Self-belief, a friendly line judge and two daggers to the heart—and suddenly Liverpool Football Club find themselves back in the (snake-free) final four of the Champions League. It required nerves, maybe not of steel, but definitely of rubber. Manchester City, the team who the league table claims is the best in all the land, fell by a definitive 5-1 margin to Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and all is right in the European hierarchy.
Down 1-0 inside two minutes at the Etihad, and with their three goal aggregate advantage whittled down to two, the Reds weathered the storm and then ruthlessly tore the heart out of their opponents at the first opportunity.
And of course, that first golden chance fell to none of other than Mohammed Salah, the magical Egyptian deflating the entire stadium and effectively ending the tie with an impudent second half chip.
“They were pressing high and had lots of chances, so at the beginning we struggled,” the now 39-goal forward admitted after the match. “But we came back and fought hard to get the result.
“I’ve said many times I play for the team and I try to score to help them win the game – that’s the most important thing for me.”
Vice-captain James Milner went on to commend his side’s resiliency in the face of mammoth amounts of attacking pressure
“They’re a good team and they were always going to put us under pressure,” the ex-City legend said following the match.
”Maybe [the early goal] woke us up to concede that early, it says a lot about the boys coming under that pressure in first half and in the second half last week.
“In the second half today we got hold of it slightly more but we still have to improve.
”Everyone knows how good Manchester City are so to beat them is a good confidence-builder but we have to be better in the next round.
”We got about them a bit more in the second half, kept ball slightly better, were more composed that’s the key, it’s what you have to do against these sorts of teams.”