Liverpool vs. Barcelona: Getting the Job Virgil van Done
Liverpool looked down-and-out going into their second leg tie at home to Barcelona with a 4 goal deficit. No Salah, no Firmino and apparently, no problem. This monster of a comeback was in fact the biggest ever at the semi-final stage of the Champions League. Though the ball was well and truly in, on and around their court, Barcelona, plagued with the memory of their 3-0 loss to Roma last season, once again capitulated to a deserving team.
Last night’s game was nothing short of a master class from the Reds who thoroughly deserved their victory on the night. Liverpool gave themselves a great platform with an early goal from the big Belgian Divock Origi, following some intricate interplay from Mane and Henderson. You could feel the sense of urgency pulsating through Klopp’s men who pressed fantastically, causing all sorts of problems for the world’s best in-possession side. The game was changed on its head when Robertson was forced off at half time after a collision with Suarez, paving the way for Wijnaldum to enter the fray; and what an introduction that was! Gigi carved his name into Anfield folklore by bagging a brace in 2 minutes and 2 seconds. The first had an element of luck, but the second was an absolute beauty; with Wijnaldum making Lenglet and Pique look like statues as he leapt between them and brought Liverpool level. The fourth goal was nothing short of breathtakingly and bizarrely beautiful. The Merseyside born-and-bred Red Trent Alexander-Arnold popped up with an absolute stroke of genius in the 79th minute of play, firing an early corner into Origi who finished it off superbly. The rest of the game saw Barcelona enjoying the lion’s-share of possession but failing to get that all-important away goal; job done for Liverpool.
Barcelona, much like the first leg, were conservative but not without chances of their own, with Messi, Coutinho and Suarez all failing to finish their opportunities that would have put the game to bed in the first half. The Blaugrana faithful could only look on in horror and despair as their team once again exited Europe’s most prestigious competition. As proven on occasions before, Valverede’s brand of football failed to impress and capitalise on what seemed to be simple task for Barcelona on the night. Klopp’s men on the other hand were the utter antithesis; pressing masterfully and finishing clinically, a truly memorable and infallibly admirable performance. Despite nobody at the company being a Liverpool fan, it was hard to not watch on in wonder as Liverpool produced one of the greatest performances in Champions League history.
Liverpool not only showcased one of the great tactical and pressing master classes of the Champions League era, but also a more than venerable level of desire, which Barcelona simply couldn’t cope with. This spirit and winning attitude is applicable across professions and industries. Liverpool found themselves in an incredibly difficult predicament, missing two key players and 4 goals down, but through sheer desire and willing managed to overcome the sizeable object that is Barcelona FC. Though we wouldn’t necessarily consider ourselves ‘underdogs’ at Christian Michaels, and we’ve certainly never been 3 goals down to Barcelona, we take our work on with the spirited and winning mentality that Liverpool demonstrated so aptly last night. If you’re in the market for a marketing strategy which is as meticulously organised, beautifully applied and as full of personality as Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool last night, then get in touch today.