Let's be honest, Jürgen Klopp is usually pretty close to flawless in his interviews, regardless of result, so the chances of him saying something that would be ill-received by fans after that match was pretty much nil. He didn't upset the odds, delivering a pinpoint accurate assessment of Liverpool's wild 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund—and revealing he made mention of the greatest moment in LFC's recent history during his half-time team talk:
"I saw the game, I saw all the different moments in the game, and I thought from the first minute we were in the game. The problem is that after four minutes, we lost the ball in a not so good moment. The counter-attack of Dortmund is in some moments not easy to defend, to be honest, and that’s what we saw after four minutes, after nine minutes."
"Very often in football life, a game is over [at 2-0]—but not here, not with this Liverpool team, and that’s great to be part of. In the first half of the game, we created a lot of chances, we didn’t score and then it was really, really difficult to stay in the game because we are all human beings. We tried everything but nothing really worked.
"At half-time, there was a good atmosphere to be honest and I was satisfied with the game—not with the goals, but with the game in general. I told the lads, I was not there but a few Liverpool players who are a little bit older and work now as experts for television, they were 3-0 down at half-time but won a Champions League final.
"So even when it’s not likely, it is for sure possible and we must try it."
And boy did they try. The effort and energy on display in the second half was tremendous, and as Dortmund faded in the last half hour—recording only a single shot, and that shot coming from a set piece in injury time and missing the target—the Liverpool players never seemed to slow down in their tireless chase of a seemingly impossible result.
The energy in the stadium was palpable, and that old sensation of the Kop drawing the ball into the net as the home side attacked their most vociferous fans with time running out was tangible. Klopp quickly shut down follow-up questions about his role in the proceedings and credited his players and the supporters for the result:
"The players did it, it was not because of Istanbul. It's easy to say it. I'm a football fan so I saw the game [in 2005] and to be honest at half-time I did not think, 'Oh it looks like Liverpool will strike back.' I only told them that it's possible, but it's much more difficult to do it than say it. They showed that they have potential, real potential, and I'm completely happy.
"They did it and made it 2-1. I think even before 2-1, we had a chance and two or three really good moments but didn’t score. Then we scored and then everyone could see something happen in the stadium. You could feel it, you could hear it, you could smell it.
"It was an outstanding atmosphere and what I said was we need experiences like this to grow together, that's how it is. So now we have something like a milestone, or whatever you would call it, and that's good—that's really good.
Really good! For fear of invoking Klopp's wraith, I will refrain from using what I consider appropriate adjectives to describe the performance, but I will divulge that those adjectives are somewhat more bullish than really good.
This week, I told people that if Liverpool went all the way in the Europa League this season, it would be on the strength of their performance at the Westfalenstadion; that that game was the catalyst and showed what they were capable of against top European opposition. I was so, so wrong. Whatever glory Klopp propels this team to in years to come, this game will be where it all started.