Preparation and planning and tactics and talk. There can seem an endless number of things to focus on, points to discuss and prepare for, ahead of another match. And not just any match, but the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
That will all fade to nothing in the background, though, once the game itself kicks off, and in the end the only thing that will really matter—to the teams, to the fans, and to Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp—will be the result.
“Whatever I say, we still have to play,” Klopp said to reporters looking for insight into Liverpool’s season to date—and next most important match. “And I really like that. At the end, after all the things we’ve spoken about, there’s still a game.
“Nothing we have done so far has put us in a position where we can relax and take a deep breath. The boys are really on fire and looking forward to this opportunity. That’s cool. Now we want to continue that journey of course.”
Liverpool may have a three-goal advantage and faith in their ability to score the away goal Barcelona didn’t when they faced Roma in the second leg of the quarter-finals and were beaten, but they still have to go out and prove it.
And Liverpool may be in a favourite’s position domestically as they look to secure a top four finish that, along with a final appearance—and maybe even more—would ensure this season goes down as, at least, a success. But they still need to go out and earn it.
This is a Liverpool season with the potential here, now, with mere weeks left in the season, to be something truly special. Something historic. It’s not that yet, though, and the right result is needed against Roma here to keep the possibility alive.
“Creating history does not happen when someone says it beforehand,” Klopp added. “It happens and then someone says, that’s history. We don’t have to make it bigger than it is. We do our best and then see what the score is.”