Well, what a special night that was at Anfield. Barcelona came to town to complete the job their 3-0 home leg win seemed to have guaranteed. Yet roared on by the Anfield faithful Liverpool again showed the determination to succeed which has made them the only side capable of staying with Premier League champions-elect, Manchester City. It is this sheer self belief and desire, galvanised by the motivating figure of Jurgen Klopp, which I believe will see Liverpool lift the Champions League trophy in Madrid on June 1st.
Of course their opponents in Madrid, Tottenham, produced their own incredible fight back.
Yet although Liverpool have been there and got the t-shirt 9 times, including the famous 2005 win in Istanbul, it will be last year’s final defeat which will be all the motivation they need. I think the experience of playing in a final so recently, however bitter the result proved to be, could be crucial. Liverpool will want to finish the job and show how far they have come since that defeat to Real Madrid. Mo Salah will be chomping at the bit to play another final after injury forced him out so early last time round.
Plus the league table does not lie. With one Premier League game to go, Liverpool are a whopping 24 points above Spurs.
They are the better team, and pound for pound they have the better players. With two 2-1 victories against Spurs in the league this season they know they have the upper hand. Liverpool are a different beast since the addition of Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson to the back line, conceding only 22 goals in the Premier League and their winning run, grinding out results when necessary, points to a confidence in their ability to beat anyone, including Barcelona.
For me the consistent quality of the service supplied from wide by Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will give Liverpool a significant edge.
The front three are of course exceptional, but the service the two wide men provide would be the stuff of dreams for any forward. It was a strange quirk of the semi-finals that so much was made of the missing star forwards, yet their replacements came in and won the games. You always want people to take their chances and Divock Origi certainly did that for Liverpool with two well taken goals. However, even the most ardent Origi fan will not expect him to start in Madrid if the regular trio are fit and raring to go.
Liverpool will press Spurs from the start and I believe Spurs will make too many mistakes and will be punished. The Spurs full-backs will be too wary of Robertson and Alexander-Arnold and if they go defensive, as they did in the first halves against Ajax, then they will hand the advantage to Liverpool. Trailing Manchester City by just one point going in to the final league games, Liverpool will realistically think the Champions League as their best hope for glory.