We’re living in back to back semi-final times with Liverpool. The Reds’ victory over FC Porto on Wednesday night earned them entrance into the penultimate tier of the Champions League competition. Now, Barcelona await.
The Catalan club stepped passed Manchester United in their quarterfinal tie with little fuss. Lionel Messi scored a brace and everyone’s friend Philippe Coutinho added to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s misery putting a third goal passed David Dea at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
Barcelona will be difficult opponents, no question about it. And much work is and will be done with the purpose of stopping Messi and other problem people like Luis Suarez, but Jürgen Klopp was content to forego any focus on Barcelona after his team’s win in Portugal.
“We are in the semi-final, we play against Barcelona, you can imagine I don’t think too much about it,” said Klopp.” But I’m really happy about the fact that we play them.
“We will find things where we think we probably could use it or whatever, but on the other hand side, I don’t care, I don’t mind tonight. Tonight we are in the semi-final and we play on Sunday against Cardiff - that’s in my mind and will be in my mind 100 per cent when I wake up tomorrow and not how we play against Barcelona.
“We have enough time for that and we can watch so many teams who tried it already and maybe we find something. I’m looking forward to it, but not tonight.
“It’s brilliant. The news that there’s a competition, a proper football game between Barcelona and Liverpool, I think that’s really good news. I’m happy for all the people in the club that it’s like this; second time in the second year in the semi-final. That’s a big statement.”
Not so long ago it was outrageous to suggest that Liverpool could ever compete in a meaningful way with Barcelona. Liverpool had been set adrift competitively in the Hodgson malaise and the struggle to find solid ground was ongoing up until Klopp arrived and blessed our weary eyes with real football acumen.
European glory is still in the stars and Barcelona would be a real, smart feather in the cap. Joe Gomez is back in action. Another Virgil Van Dijk goal from a set piece. More honey badger destruction. Cleanse me in this soap.