Jürgen Klopp has been working at Anfield Road for almost three years, but he may still be overwhelmed by the magic of the venue. After the 3-2 (2-1) victory of FC Liverpool against Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the Champions League, he sat on stage in the heated press room and sounded deeply moved. „The atmosphere was fantastic. It’s something special to see such things in this stadium,“ he said, and there was little to suggest that his emotion had been played.
Last season, Anfield Road was the setting for a glittering European Cup campaign. Opponents like Manchester City or AS Rome were roared down by the crowd and Klopp’s footballers played against the wall. The game against the star selection from France’s capital was the continuation of this.
In the first half, the team around exceptional talents such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappé were washed away by the noise that descended from the stands and Liverpool’s high-speed game. After just over half an hour, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner scored 2-0.
Daniel Sturridge Honours
- PFA Team of the Year: 2013–14 Premier League
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2011
- Premier League Player of the Month: August 2013, February 2014
Klopp’s team tends to epic dramas
After equalising after Thomas Meunier and Mbappé scored, a goal from Roberto Firmino, who was only able to use a Joker in injury time because of an eye injury, had to be scored in injury time to decide the match in favour of Klopp’s side. When the ball hit the long corner, the stadium seemed to burst. On the stands the people tumbled wildly like in a hidden object. The cheering was so loud that it could have been heard all the way to the Irish Sea. The fans sang the melody that had accompanied the club through last season’s competition to the final of Kiev against Real Madrid, who were so unlucky to lose 3-1. They sang: „Allez, allez, allez!
The match against Paris showed once again that European Cup evenings on Anfield Road are among the most moving events international football has to offer, and that Klopp’s team tends to epic dramas under the floodlights of its home stadium. The game has what it takes to become a classic, especially if it turns out afterwards that it was the cornerstone of a successful season in the Champions League.
The entry into the final in the past season was a surprise. This season, however, Klopp’s team are among the closest of the favourites – and have proved against Paris that this classification is justified. Liverpool were clearly better, as evidenced by the number of shots on goal (13-7) and corners (13-1). While Paris was dependent on its individual players, Liverpool had a better collective. „We were well organised and played with a big heart. All eleven players were involved,“ said Klopp. The best man in his team was Milner, not a virtuoso, but the hard worker in the engine room. That says a lot about the team’s performance. If you want to experience a wide selection of gaming opportunities then Jenningsbet is for you.
The self-confidence is stronger than ever
Liverpool’s victory confirmed what Klopp had already known. The day before the match, he had been asked whether the defeat in the final against Real Madrid, favoured by the mistakes of goalkeeper Loris Karius, now with Besiktas, had caused any damage to his players‘ self-confidence. „No, not at all,“ the coach had said. The match against Paris was proof that he was right. What’s more, his team may even have grown from the narrow failure in the final.
They played against Paris with an unbroken confidence in their own abilities, could not be distracted by the interim equaliser and earned the late winning goal. Liverpool have recently been able to take setbacks against top-notch opponents. „We simply have the confidence to score at any time,“ said midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
It was different in the final against Real Madrid. At some point during the second half, the team could see that they were beaten and had accepted that. The comedy of the goals scored after Karius’s failures had certainly contributed to that. Against Paris, Liverpool have picked themselves up again. This is a sign that the team has not only matured footballerically, but also in their minds. Klopp could still experience one or the other special evening at Anfield Road.