Liverpool are known for comebacks in Europe. It’s kind of their thing. Scoring three second half goals to take Milan to penalties and win their fifth European Cup. Beating Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield to overturn a three goal deficit on the way to number six.
Liverpool. Comebacks in Europe. Kind of their thing. But always a thing that’s had the help of the fans. Of Fortress Anfield. An Anfield that really hasn’t been looked anything much like a fortress ever since coronavirus forced the fans were to stay home.
“It is completely different,” manager Jürgen Klopp said of next week’s match against Real Madrid and the 3-1 deficit faced by his Liverpool side. “Completely different. If you want to have some emotional memories, then you watch the Barcelona game.
“Eighty percent of that game was the atmosphere in the stadium, so yes, we have to do it without that. I do not sit here and think, comebacks are our thing, we do it all the time. We did from time to time but we always had supporters in the stadium.”
At Anfield in 2021, Liverpool have yet to win. They have one draw, a nil-nil with Manchester United. They have six losses, most recently to Fulham. They have one “home” win in 2021, in Budapest against Leipzig in a game rearranged due to the pandemic.
Their last victory at Anfield came on December 16th against Tottenham, during a brief period in which some fans were able to attend. Liverpool have in the past been good at staging comebacks, but it’s hard to find much hope in their recent home form.
Still, for all Liverpool’s struggles—at Anfield and more broadly—this is a side that counted themselves one of Europe’s two or three best just a season ago. It won’t be easy, and it may not seem very likely, but that’s not the same as saying it’s impossible.
“We don’t have that this time so I don’t know if we can do it, but I can promise we will try,” Klopp added. “It must be a really tricky task for Real Madrid with or without supporters. Anfield is at least a proper stadium and that will be good for us.”