As fans of the beautiful game we’ve all seen some pretty remarkable things, whether it be in the World Cup or down the local park on a Sunday. From Zidane’s headbutt to Gary from marketing scoring a last minute winner despite being tragically hungover, we all witness the ups and downs in equal measure. Some are more breathtaking than others, but sometimes you have to roll the dice and see what you come back with.
Tonight, Liverpool Football Club are going to have to roll the dice in a monumental way when they take on Barcelona in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi final. The Spanish giants were able to register a 3-0 win in the first leg at the Nou Camp, preventing the Reds from scoring what could’ve been a crucial away goal in the process.
Alas, while most second legs such as this wouldn’t cause Barca all too many problems, you just never know what you’re going to get with the red half of Merseyside. Sometimes they roll over and don’t live up to their potential, but more often than not, they write chapters into the history books that you previously would’ve considered to be impossible.
They seem to thrive off of that kind of thing because they’re always the underdogs. Of course, statistically speaking that isn’t necessarily the case, but in their own minds it’s them against the world. That hasn’t been a mentality that has always paid off, but if they wind up with historic nights to remember, who can blame them?
The big question heading into tonight’s game is whether or not the comeback is doable. Logically speaking it absolutely is because anything can happen in this weird and wonderful sport, but all you need to do is analyse the evidence to realise that the odds are even slimmer than usual. Salah is out, Firmino is out, and Liverpool need to score three unanswered goals against one of the best attacking forces in world football to even take this thing to extra time.
Is it fair to say that things are looking a bit bleak so far?
It’s never over
Probably. But again, their fans don’t care about any of that. They could be 8-0 down in this tie, but a small part of them would always believe that the miracle is on the cards until the final whistle blows.
We can mock them all we want, but there isn’t even much point to it anymore. If you’re so intent on going after a club that can pick up more than 90 points in the Premier League and make it to back to back UCL semi finals, then it’s probably time to start taking a long, hard look at your own side.
The bookmakers actually have Liverpool as the slender favourites on the night, but in terms of qualifying itself it’s going to be an uphill battle. Sadio Mane is going to need to have the game of his life and in response, Messi is going to have to fail to show up on English soil.
They say there’s a first time for everything.