Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed Jurgen Klopp didn’t believe his side could overturn their 3-0 deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.
The Reds provided a performance of the highest quality to defeat the La Liga side 4-0 at Anfield in the Champions League semi-final second leg to book their place in the final on June 1st.
How on earth did they do it? Five things you need to know…
- Two goals from Lionel Messi and another from former Red Luis Suarez sealed a 3-0 victory for Barcelona in the first leg.
- An early error from the Catalan side led to Liverpool striker Divock Origi scoring inside seven minutes into the second leg.
- Second half substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in two minutes to draw Liverpool level on aggregate.
- A cleverly executed corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Origi who netted his second and ultimately the winner for Liverpool.
- Tottenham’s success over Ajax in the opposing Champions League semi-final means this season’s final is an all-Premier League affair.
Football legend Messi dominated headlines in the first leg, scoring twice including a fantastically taken free-kick to help ensure Liverpool would have to pull off an almighty upset on English soil if they were to overturn the scoreline.
The Reds went on to do just that but one man who didn’t believe the side had it in them was Liverpool boss Klopp, as admitted by Mane.
Speaking to reporters, Mane said: “He motivated us but honestly, he did not believe it.”
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The final countdown
With less than a week to go until the Champions League final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano, Liverpool are preparing to battle it out with fellow English side Tottenham Hotspur for the chance to finish the 18/19 campaign on a high.
For Klopp’s men, they have a chance to get their hands on the club’s sixth Champions League title, with their last triumph coming 14 years ago when they famously came back from 3-0 down to defeat AC Milan in a match that went down in European history.
Mauricio Pochettinio’s side are in new territory. They’ve never reached a Champions League final let alone win the competition, so the London side will have to rely on their evidential talents to overcome the experience Liverpool have inherited in recent years.
It is the second successive season where Liverpool have reached the finale of the competition, where last season they lost out to Real Madrid 3-1 in a match remembered for a masterful Gareth Bale goal and an injury to Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, which prevented him performing to his maximum at last summer’s World Cup with Egypt.