Don’t be complacent. It’s something Liverpool and the club’s fans will know they can’t be tonight when they take on FC Porto up five goals on aggregate. But saying they can’t be, shouldn’t be complacent is easier said than done.
No club has ever come back from a deficit as large as Porto’s in the Champions League knockout rounds, and reports out of Portugal have Porto already refocused on domestic exploits. Still, Liverpool know they can’t be complacent.
“We all have to treat this game with the respect it deserves,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. “Before the game begins, everyone should look up at the scoreboard. The scoreboard will read 0-0, and that’s where all our heads have to be.
“It’s a brand new game, one where we have no lead or advantage, and we have to go out there and win the individual and collective battles all over again and try to win another really tough football match.”
Take their opponents seriously and worry about tonight’s scoreline, not the one from a few weeks ago. Treat it as a standalone match, one that’s important for Liverpool to win before heading to face top four rivals Manchester United.
Don’t be complacent. Even if that’s easier said than done, perhaps. Henderson, though, believes the players are up to that task—and the supporters, too, as they’ve seen their own European comebacks and won’t take victory for granted.
“Our supporters are too experienced in this competition to believe that a tie is over,” he added. “Liverpool supporters respect the Champions League as a competition far too much to underestimate any opponent or take any 90 minutes for granted.”
“We have an opportunity tonight to make a statement about our intent. This presents the chance to show we all have a winner’s mentality—a ruthless streak—to win every race, every tackle, every header, every personal battle and ultimately every contest.”