Today marks the anniversary of Liverpool’s remarkable comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League which paved the way for their sixth European title win and left Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez stunned.
Jurgen Klopp’s side looked on course to crash out of the competition following a 3-0 defeat to Barca in the first leg of their semi-final at Camp Nou.
But a thrilling second leg at Anfield saw the Spanish champions crumble as Liverpool ran out 4-0 winners, with Divock Origi scoring the decisive goal 11 minutes from the end after a brilliant display of quick-thinking from Trent Alexander-Arnold in front of the Kop. Suarez, once a hero at Liverpool, was booed by the home supporters as his combative playing style led to clashes with Andy Robertson and Fabinho.
With Barcelona 1-0 down and struggling to find a foothold in the game, Suarez fired a warning to his teammates as they left the dressing room after the half-time break: ‘We cannot let them score again.’
But Suarez’s cautionary words did little to jolt Barcelona’s players as Klopp’s men scored three goals without reply in the second half. After the match, Suarez didn’t hold back in criticizing his teammates for their performance as he claimed Barca ‘looked like a youth team’ with their shambolic approach to Liverpool’s fourth goal.
In the dressing room, Barcelona’s players sat in stony silence.
Philippe Coutinho and Gerard Pique covered their faces with their hands. Jordi Alba sat there shaking his head. Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic stared into the distance.
The 32-year-old would later admit that Barcelona’s players should never forgive themselves for their failure to match Liverpool’s desire and determination that evening.
‘We are the only ones responsible for that match,’ Messi said.
‘Because we knew that the same thing as last year couldn’t happen, but it did. ‘I think the match we played was pitiful, the image we gave.
‘More than the fact there were failures, mistakes, errors, the worst thing is – and we can’t forgive ourselves for this – is that we didn’t compete.
‘This is why we ask for forgiveness, not for having lost the match but for not competing for the pass to the final.’
Suarez went a step further than the Argentine and described the defeat as the worst moment of his life.
‘The days after back in Barcelona were the worst moments of my life and career along with the 2014 World Cup, I wanted to disappear from the world,’ said the former Liverpool striker.
‘I didn’t want to take my children to school, everyone could see I was in a very bad way, I had days I didn’t want to do anything, they were very difficult moments.
‘When the first goal came we didn’t know how to react, we knew we had really messed up.
‘After the game in the dressing room no-one could say anything, there was sadness, bitterness, and disappointment because we knew we’d given an awful image.