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Anfield: Liverpool's 'Temple', Their 12th Man Who Took Them to Champions League Final

By: Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri

News18 Sports

Last Updated: May 08, 2019, 15:59 IST

Liverpool's Anfield stadium (Photo Credit: Liverpool FC)

Liverpool's Anfield stadium (Photo Credit: Liverpool FC)

Liverpool players and staff had an iconic celebration with the fans after they beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, where they stood and sung You'll Never Walk Alone together.

The match had not begun, the players had not stepped on the pitch but Liverpool anthem You'll Never Walk Alone buzzed across Anfield. 12.15am IST, as the wait for Liverpool vs Barcelona Champions League match took steam, you could see a packed stadium ready for an epic night. They believed!

Around 15 minutes before start of the match, every Liverpool fan was up on their feet - some held scarfs, some banners and some just had hands on their hearts - they were all singing in chorus, egging their team on to stage a comeback, however unlikely it seemed at that point.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there's a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark

It was a storm - Liverpool were trailing 3-0 in the semi-final tie against Barcelona. They had no away goal to show for. One goal from Barcelona and the tie would have been all but over.

As Mohamed Salah walked in with his T-shirt flashing 'Never Give Up', you knew the players on the pitch would not. And they did not.

Mohamed Salah-Reuters
(Photo Credit: Reuters)

They were told not to be "afraid of the dark" - there was a dark cloud over Anfield, a risk of another trophyless season despite having a brilliant one - but they feared not, because they knew "there's a golden sky".

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

They had their dreams stomped upon just a day earlier when Manchester City got a 1-0 win over Leicester City - the Premier League Cup was going farther. Barcelona had already made their Champions League difficult but there was "hope in your heart".

Hope. Desire. Passion. Will. Determination.

When the tunnel cameras showed the Liverpool players, they had a look of sheer determination - they wanted to make the unthinkable happen, they wanted another magical European night.

Right from the word go, their intensity was top notch and 90+ minutes of match went by but their intensity did not drop - both the players and the fans. They wanted this for the club, they were desperate for it.

Liverpool did not have a bad game in Camp Nou either and rightly so, their strategy did not change for Anfield but the crowd at home made the difference.

Liverpool remained stout, concentrated and motivated throughout the match. Kopites (Liverpool fans) sang their heart out from the first second to way beyond the final whistle blew.

As Liverpool made the impossible possible, there were players screaming, there were guys crying, you could see every single teeth of Juergen Klopp - they had made the magic happen.

The Liverpool players and staff stood in a line cross-armed in front of their fans, You'll Never Walk Alone was sung again and the sight was one to behold.

Anfield is feared in Europe for this very reason - the atmosphere intimidates the opponents. There have been many comebacks for Liverpool at this ground and this one was right up there.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also described the reason for Liverpool's success in Europe. "Liverpool did not win the Championship for 30 years but in Europe, they do well. Why? Anfield. Home game, this is the most heated stadium in Europe. In the return game, the only place you don't want to go is Anfield because of the atmosphere and everything is special there," Wenger said on beIN Sports.

Former England captain Alan Shearer was breathless with the atmosphere he witnessed on Tuesday night.

"For me to be here and to sample the atmosphere, I don't think I'll see or hear an atmosphere like this again. The atmosphere was just something that took my breath away.

"I have never seen anything like this before. I've played at Anfield when there is a superb atmosphere but this is something else, something special.

"I've never seen Anfield like this and the fans were driving their players forward from start to finish. It's just been relentless. It was incredible from all the players. Wow," Shearer spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also could not hold back despite being of the rival camp. "What Liverpool produced here is breathtaking. It's fantastic and the scenes in the stadium - the tears, the emotion - it's amazing."

THIS IS ANFIELD, they said. They said it right.
first published:May 08, 2019, 14:21 IST
last updated:May 08, 2019, 15:59 IST