The atmosphere against Leicester in the Carabao Cup on December 22nd was somewhat unexpected: while it tends to be loosely fourth on fans’ list of competitions of importance every year (after the Champions League, the League, and the FA Cup), the noise in the ground would make a neutral assume the opposite.
Whether the feral nature of the noise levels in Anfield had to do with the game state itself (chasing a game in a ground unused to seeing the team lose will always bring out something), the concern that the game might move behind closed doors soon (though Boris Johnson has not suggested anything like this), or the state of the Leicester away end’s poverty songs (there was barely a period in the game where “Feed the Scousers” didn’t get an airing, and the “F*ck the Tories” in return was just as common) is unclear, but it was feral.
Liverpool fans themselves noted as much, with many suggesting the noise levels were as good as they get:
Tell you what, I know the competition doesn’t mean as much, but I’ve been to all of the big Klopp Anfield nights and this atmosphere is RIGHT up there.— Ben Kelly (@bkelly776) December 22, 2021
After the match, the Leicester players themselves — who found themselves on the tough side of the Reds comeback win — emphasized the role fans played in the feat. On Instagram, James Maddison wrote, “Cruel end to a great game at the stadium with the best atmosphere in England. Tough one to take!” — to some irritation in his comment section.
Maddison has subsequently been joined by his manager, with Brendan Rodgers having had many memorable moments on the in the other of the Anfield managerial dugouts.
Rodgers emphasized in particular the impact the crowd had in the second half, as the Reds had a seemingly endless siege on the Leicester goal in front of the Kop: “The crowd here are an exceptional crowd. They really get behind their team. I thought we’d weathered that storm in the second half.
These comments are only the latest in a long line of opposition players and managers giving the Anfield crowd its roses — something which always annoys rivals who want Anfield to be nothing special. I was in the Kop against Leicester, and let me tell you: it was something special.