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Barcelona, 07-05-19, CL Semi final (H)

Back to the Champions League and this is the second leg. We have put ourselves in a difficult situation and the solution to this that we have to win by four clear goals in order to progress. It's a huge mountain to climb but it's not impossible to reach the summit with the result. The task is difficult but it's there for the taking. Now we are missing three players, Keita, Salah and Firminio from injuries. A very sensible decision to leave Salah out. The first eleven that the Gaffer will put out are:

Alisson

TAA     Gomez (Matip)     VVD     Robertson

Henderson     Fabinho     Wijnaldum (Milner)

Origi     Sturridge (Wijnaldum/Shaqiri)     Mane

Or leave both Milner and Sturridge on the bench. Retain Wijnaldum in Midfield and insert Shaqiri as the false nine. Gomez and Matip selection is a tricky one and Matip is a great passer of the ball. Despite what team the Gaffer puts out and the home support has their duty to do as the 12th man to help us. Best of luck Redmen.

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  • We play Tottenham in Madrid on June 1
    • I was hoping we'd get Ajax, to be honest, we never seem to play comfortably against Spurs and they will feel as uplifted as we do after coming back to win. I suppose Klopp will know exactly what he's up against as we've already played Spurs this season, but then so will Pochettino. We can at least put to bed the idea that English football is the inferior relative of continental football.
      • And to think there could be an all English Europa Lge final as well, think its obvious that the prem Lge is the best in Europe right now.
        After looking at that game tonight i think it's fair to say that either team would have been a big test for us in the final but we now know it's spurs. I still would have slightly favoured spurs but they know our game as much as we know there's, should make for a cracking final, lets hope they can replicate the semi's.
  • We may have a "lightweight" squad but by gosh do they all perform when needed!! Nobody shall take a jibe at the term "Fortress Anfield" again!! Wijnnie, Trent & Origi especially seem to rise to the occasion when it counts, not forgetting Divock's last minute winner at Goodison! :D
  • I heard on the radio a reporter interviewing supporters leaving the ground and asking at what stage they started to believe. If they had asked me I would have replied " about 5 minutes after the final whistle". Even at 4-0 I was just waiting for Messi to perform some magic and conjure up an away goal. Scoring 4 times against Barca was outstanding but the nil at the other end was even more impressive. What impressed me most was the maturity of the performance. It would have been easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and over-commit or to do something rash but the players got the balance between attack and defence just right. There were too many heros to mention individuals but I'm going to make an exception of young Trent not just for his assists but also for his defending which is slowly improving. That was surely his best game for Liverpool. Whoever we play in the Final I will be confident that number 6 is on its way.
  • I watched the highlights again this morning (to make sure I wasn't dreaming) and there's so much worth commenting on. As the goal tally starts mounting it's noticeable how some of the Barcelona players just seem to freeze rather than respond, something I certainly didn't expect. Milner deserves a mention for how seamlessly he switched roles (and didn't seem to tire), Alisson proved he was truly first class and I thought Henderson did a proper captain's job in maintaining the tempo to make sure we got all four goals within the 90 minutes. The back line and Fabinho did such a thorough job in neutralising Messi and Suarez, something that was probably more difficult than getting the goals. One of the best all-round performances by a team I can remember.
  • With the drive, determination and the desire helped us with this fantastic turnaround from the lads and all four goals were amazingly taken. VVD as usual was the stand out player with his leadership and held the line together for us when it was needed. Alisson was immense with so many important saves. If I was going to hand out MOTM Award and as you (Uncle) have said earlier that each player got 8 out of 10 but it would be a very narrow decision for me to make and I would hand the award to Origi for his intelligence and determination.

    The fourth goal was one of the worst set pieces I have seen in a long time from a team like Barcelona that they were caught sleeping or off guard. TAA and Origi must have been on the same wavelength before the fourth goal was scored and that to me shows a sign of intelligence and vision from these two young men. It was a very cheeky set piece.

    On the sarcasm side, I think Luis Suarez won the game for us after he deliberately took out Robertson and this duel between has been brewing since the first leg and the bust up at the half-time in Camp Nou tunnel. Robertson was unable to continue on the second half and was replaced by Wijnaldum which started the riot with the next two goals. I hope Robertson will be fit for the next game. This is another chapter written into the European Nights at Anfield Folklore for future generations of LFC Supporters to discover.
    • In fact, I said no player deserves below 8 out of 10, I think there were some performances that should get a 9 or even a 10. I would give a 10 to Origi and Trent because what those two young players produced against all the odds was just astounding, they looked like seasoned professionals. I'd also give a 10 to Wijnaldum because he did exactly what you want an impact sub to do. Matip was easily worth a 9, he pushed himself to a level I didn't even think he had. Shaqiri was probably our worst player but I'd even give him an 8 because although he gave away the ball a few times in the first half (probably due to his lack of game time) he came out in the second half and was much more productive. The rest of the team were easily 8's or 9's too. Considering what this Liverpool side has overcome, with all the injuries and limited recovery time, against one of the top four sides in the world you'd have to be harsh to give any of those players a low mark.
      • I have misread a part of your post I was thinking each player got 8 out of 10 and yes most were in the 9's and 10's. The bottom line is that we were the better team against Barcelona over the two legs, it's just we had to make things right for the second leg and we have succeeded.
  • It takes a lot to shut me up but I am absolutely gobsmacked. I wouldn't have believed it was possible against Barcelona. I don't think a single player of ours deserves anything below an 8 out of 10, it was one of the best team performances I think I've seen from any Liverpool side. All the players who were brought in to replace injured players responded and that's all you can ask. We're going to the final - I can't believe I've just said that.
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Activity

Simply Red commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"I also would have preferred Ajax as both teams don’t know each other and am very wary of Spurs. It took a last gasp own goal last time to win 2-1 and am sure they still smarting from that. It’s also Klopp’s 4th final as he lost the last 3 so the pre…"
1 hour ago
Uncle commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE

There's been some subtle, but potentially important, rule changes since the last Champions League final. Each team gets to name a 23 man squad and they can pick their substitutes from any of the 12 players not chosen in the first 11. 3 substitutes…"
Tuesday
Huytonian commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"There's also pressure on Spurs to bring back silverware.  Like us they have developed a strong team but have yet to win anything.  Whre the pressure is greater on us is our just missing out on the PL.  That may reinforce our players' determination b…"
Saturday
Uncle commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"I think where we undoubtedly have an advantage is in the fact that most of our squad have now experienced an event on this scale. The Champions League final is probably only second to a World Cup final in terms of an occasion and this is a factor th…"
Friday
Huytonian commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"I would have preferred Ajax as I see European competition as a chance to test ourselves aginst the best on the continent.  However Spurs deserve to be there after their comeback in Amsterdam.  Games against Spurs are usually tight affairs and this m…"
May 17
Uncle commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"With Ajax having so many young players I had feeling that at some point is was possible, not definite but possible, that the closer they got to the final the more likely it would be that they'd crumble under intense pressure. It's no coincidence tha…"
May 15
Warrior18 commented on Uncle's blog post MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PAGE
"Great idea Sam.
We know we are playing Spurs but i'm still 50-50 as to whom i would have prefered in the final. That Ajax team played some fantastic football in all the rounds leading up to the semi final and i think they would have given us a more…"
May 15
Uncle posted a blog post
As we won't have a match between now and the Champions League final, and so no match blog through which to share our views, I thought it may be useful to have a page which people can use to post and discuss anything in connection to the Madrid final…
May 14
Uncle commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"I think the players will need a week off just to adjust to not having the pressure that was ratcheting up week after week. I can remember when, as a youngster, I used to get more and more stressed during the period leading to exams and then after th…"
May 13
Huytonian commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"I'm sure they will get the preparation right Uncle. I read that the players will be given this week off to recuperate (though long-distance flights are banned). Then they will have 5 days warm weather training (and 1st June in Madrid will be certain…"
May 13
Uncle commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"I read a statistic that in 116 seasons out of 119 we would've had enough points to take the top division title in England. That puts into perspective the level Liverpool achieved this season and any team that gets a final total of 97 points has done…"
May 12
Huytonian commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"I don't feel the same sense of disappointment as I did in 2013/14 when we went close but came up short in the last few matches. No one can accuse the team of "bottling it" this time. They kept going right to the end against possibly the best ever PL…"
May 12
Uncle commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"That's the team I'd go for. I can't see Brighton keeping City out but then I couldn't see us putting four past Barcelona either. The one slight concern I have is that we've just played a game that was particularly emotionally draining, tears and adr…"
May 11
Huytonian commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"You wouldn't be the only happy man if both Moreno and Lovren left this summer but it may be too much to hope for. However the form of Matip and Gomez this season should mean that Lovren becomes fourth choice in future."
May 11
Warrior18 commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"We definitely need a quality back-up keeper and a quality left back as you say. Klopp has said there won't be any crazy spending being done this summer but also that we do need a couple of players in and i agree with him, no need for loads of player…"
May 10
Huytonian commented on Warrior18's blog post Wolves, 12-05-19, PL (H)
"I can't believe it was just a week today that we overcame Newcastle. That game seems like it took place in a different century so much has happened in the last few days. It looks like Salah, Robertson and Henderson will be fit for Sunday which is a…"
May 10
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