You’ll remember it from not long ago. Barcelona traveled to Liverpool with a 3-0 lead in the Champions League semi-final tie and ended up getting embarrassed at Anfield. Lionel Messi had previously done the Reds in at the Camp Nou by doing cool Messi-type things but Barcelona were powerless to stop Liverpool’s determined efforts on their home turf.
Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum scored two goals a piece to assure back to back trips to the big final. Barcelona were stunned early at Anfield and Liverpool dominated their Catalan opponents for most of the match. Gerard Pique, complicit in Barcelona’s meltdown in front of the roaring Anfield crowd, remembers that night all too well.
“It has been hard to get up emotionally because the days passed and you did not forget the defeat, it is a fall that will last over time,” said Pique.
The Barcelona defender’s emotions following such an epic loss and the flashbacks he has weathered since that glorious day are just the tip of the iceberg of regret that looms under all Pique’s projections of a mentality-deficient team that just last season laid down for AS Roma in a similarly spectacular fashion.
“When something like this happens, everything or almost everything has gone wrong,” Pique said.
“I think that on a mental level, some people were affected by what happened in Rome because we had it very recently.
“With the first goal, which was very fast, unconsciously you see the image of Rome.
“Then two more came very quickly and it looked too much like what happened a year ago. Surely it was a mental block, but football was also missing.
“And they pressed very high, very intense, Anfield also played his role, we were not able. Sometimes happens. It was a very hard day.”
Pique certainly should count himself among the “some people” in the Barcelona squad who pulled the covers over their heads at Anfield even if he seems more inclined to vaguely incriminate his teammates.
Liverpool were on fire that night regardless of Jürgen Klopp missing both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. They were fast, accurate, determined, and very, very clever in the case of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s surprise corner to Origi for the fourth goal.
The real bad news for Pique is that now he’ll have the image of Rome and the image of Liverpool haunting his nightmares. Evil laughter.