When the mentality monsters bounced back to win No.6

European Cup memoriesWhen the mentality monsters bounced back to win No.6

Published 28th May 2022
By Glenn Price

Liverpool's journey towards securing their sixth European Cup began in a queue at an airport in Kyiv.

Jürgen Klopp was defiant after the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final. 

As he waited to board the flight back to Merseyside from Ukraine, the Reds boss told himself, 'We have to come back, we have to go back and get this thing right.' 

Exactly 371 days later, he and his players did. 

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Reaching the Estadio Metropolitano showpiece with Tottenham Hotspur required heart, a few new faces and a footballing miracle itself.

Anfield hosted perhaps its greatest ever night as Klopp's men came from the abyss to beat Barcelona in the semi-finals. 

Spurs, who themselves completed an improbable turnaround to reach the final, lay in wait in Madrid after nearly three weeks of build-up.     

On an energy-sapping night in the Spanish capital, Liverpool moved early to gain the lead with just two minutes on the clock. 

After Moussa Sissoko was ruled to have handled in the area, Mohamed Salah stepped up to convert and avenge some demons, having left the field in tears in Kyiv through injury. 

From that moment on, it was tense, if rather uneventful. But then step forward Divock Origi three minutes before the end of the 90. 

The substitute, hero in the comeback versus Barça, came on to relieve all Liverpool nerves and clinch No.6. 

Joel Matip played the pass in the aftermath of a corner, and Origi duly cemented his legend status with a drilled finish into the far corner.

From despair to delirium within a year, the mentality monsters were at the pinnacle of European football.

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Team

Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum (James Milner, 62), Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino (Divock Origi, 58), Sadio Mane (Joe Gomez, 90).

Route to the final

Group C

  • 1st: Paris Saint-Germain
  • 2nd: Liverpool
  • 3rd: Napoli
  • 4th: Red Star Belgrade

Last 16: Liverpool 3-1 (agg) Bayern Munich

Quarter-finals: Liverpool 6-1 (agg) FC Porto

Semi-finals: Liverpool 4-3 (agg) Barcelona

Champions League top scorers

Mohamed Salah – 5

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino – 4

Divock Origi – 3

James Milner, Virgil van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum – 2

Daniel Sturridge, Naby Keita – 1

Published 28th May 2022