How do you best capture the emotions of an occasion like Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona? Stay out of it as much as you can, Des Kelly believes.

The BT Sport reporter was up close and personal to the celebrations of arguably Anfield's greatest ever night, interviewing the stars of the show on their stage. 

As Liverpool defied the odds in the Champions League semi-final to put four past the Spanish giants, Kelly's job on that night a year ago, he insists, was easy.

"How can I put it? It's like being a best man at a wedding," the experienced broadcaster tells Liverpoolfc.com. "You know you've got to do something and you know you've got to entertain, but it really isn't your day. 

"You're just there not to make a mistake and hopefully add something to the spectacle. It isn't your event, you're part of something bigger. You're just there to facilitate other people to bring out what they've got in them.

"It was extraordinary. It was, in my opinion, Liverpool's best ever single result. Of course it's pandemonium afterwards, but the chaos is much more interesting and easier for me than a monotone interview in front of the advertising boards. 

"To be in the middle of the emotional celebrations, there's very little you have to do. My job is just not to mess it up too much."

Kelly absorbed the action that night from probably the best seat in the house. Taking a position right near the tunnel, his only obstruction to the field of play are the upstanding managers in either dugout. 

Preparation for him is ultimately pointless on those types of nights. Plans are entirely dictated by the hard-to-believe craziness unfolding on the pitch.

Unplanned, Kelly ended up performing his post-match duties on the pitch that night in a cauldron of disbelief and noise.

 

"I never assume because it often just turns around in a second," he states. "There was a moment where Barcelona could have scored and won it, so I was still half prepared for the 'noble failure' interview. 

"It's best not to have a plan because you know it's all going to go out of the window. 

"For the post-match interviews, Sadio Mane was heading off and I said to him, 'Where are you going? You should be joining the celebrations'. He obviously misheard me and then came straight to do an interview. 

"Then suddenly Gary Lineker says, 'Des is with Sadio Mane'. I hadn't actually meant to interview him at all, he just wandered over by mistake.

"Doing it on the pitch, there isn't a plan. You just try to not get too repetitive if you're out there for a long time. It's one of those occasions where everybody wants to come and speak because they know it's an historic night and they want to be part of that as well. 

"You can't hear anything! The mechanics of it, Gary will say, 'Let's go down to Des on the pitch' and that's it. 

"The only thing I expect to hear throughout the whole thing is somebody saying 'wrap it up' or 'last question'. So if the questions are bad it's my fault!

"It is so noisy that it's very difficult to coordinate loads of things. I physically move people into position and people think I'm dragging them around, but I'm basically pulling them in tight so I can hear them and they're in the camera shot and they can hear me. It's as simple as that. 

"You're not there being everybody's best friend, you're just actually physically man-handling them into the right place, trying to look polite about it. 

"The noise is utterly deafening at Anfield on a European night."

Liverpool in European competitions typically makes for box-office viewing. 

In his broadcasting role, Kelly has been in a unique position to witness pretty much all of the club's greatest moments in recent history. 

"Liverpool have provided some of the most amazing nights of European football ever in the recent couple of years," he stresses. "The Dortmund game in the Europa League, the Man United games in the Europa League were fantastic, all the way through to Kiev. 

"The Roma games were incredible. To be honest, the semi-final that year after Liverpool won the first leg 5-2, apparently they lost 4-2 in the return – I had no idea! I had lost count, it was something like 7-6 on aggregate, wasn't it? I just knew Liverpool were through. 

"It was one of those nights where it was pandemonium on the pitch and everyone is celebrating. 

"These are great moments in players' lives and fans' lives and it's an absolute privilege for me to be standing in the middle of the pitch in that moment. It's quite surreal.

"All I have to do is talk to people. It's a nice job."

IAN RUSH MICHAEL THOMAS

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