A week ago, Barcelona dismantled Liverpool in a 3-0 win in Spain to take a commanding lead in their Champions League semifinal, boosted by a pair of goals from Lionel Messi, including a late free kick that seemed to all but seal a trip to the Final against either Tottenham or Ajax.
On Tuesday, the two sides met at Anfield. While getting the best of the Reds at Anfield is as hard of a thing to accomplish as there is in soccer, few thought there was a chance of a Liverpool comeback, much less one completed in regulation.
And then, lightning struck early and often. Liverpool unleashed an attacking onslaught that began with a Divock Origi goal off a rebound chance that sparked intrigue. The second goal came from Liverpool’s first sub of the game, as Georginio Wijnaldum found space in the box and powered home a goal to bring real life into the proceedings early in the second half.
Wijnaldum found the back of the net for a second time to tie things up on aggregate shortly after his first, burying a header into the top corner to send Anfield into a full on frenzy.
Then, the most improbable goal of them all came to make it 4-0, as Trent Alexander-Arnold found Origi all alone in the box. Barcelona was lulled to sleep before a Liverpool corner, and the Reds made them pay.
Barcelona was never able to muster much in the way of a real chance after. Messi tried to create a spark but couldn’t get anything past Alisson Becker and, ultimately, time ran out as Liverpool pulled off one of the all-time great comebacks that you’ll see in any sport. They also became the third team to accomplish such a feat in Champions League history.
Barcelona will be left wondering what happened, how they could have so many lapses in the second half, how they could give up such a silly goal to lose, and why they couldn’t have finished off the first leg with what seemed like a sure goal (but an unnecessary one) at the time.
Liverpool now look like the team of destiny and will move on and face the winner of Tottenham and Ajax, as the Dutch team hold a 1-0 lead going into Wednesday’s second leg in Amsterdam.