Facing a 3-0 deficit heading into the second leg of their Champions League semifinal, Liverpool scored four times at home to stun Barcelona, winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate and advancing to the final.
Divock Origi scored twice, including the winner in the 79th minute, while Georginio Wiijnaldum also added two goals for the home side.
Liverpool Gets on the Board Early
Liverpool will now await the winner of Ajax and Tottenham, with those two clubs playing the second leg of their semifinal tie on Wednesday in Amsterdam.
The scoring started early for the Reds, as Origi pounced on a rebound from a Jordan Henderson shot to give the home supporters hope that their team could make up the three goal disadvantage they started the night with.
But while Liverpool continued to press the Barcelona defense throughout the first half, they couldn’t find a second goal, leaving them down two at the half. Meanwhile, Barcelona came to life, forcing several good saves out of Alisson to prevent Barcelona from grabbing a crucial away goal – something that would have required Liverpool to score five times to advance.
The match turned around when Wijnaldum scored twice in two minutes early in the second half. First, the substitute smashed a low drive past Marc-Andre ter Stegen off a cross from Tent Alexander-Arnold. Only moments later, he took a cross from James Milner and headed it into the top corner, leveling the match.
That gave Liverpool all of the momentum heading into the final 30 minutes, but Barcelona could still steal the match with an away goal, and Alisson was tested on occasion in the second half.
Crafty Corner Sends Reds Through
Still, it was Liverpool that had most of the opportunities, including a fateful corner in the 79th minute. Alexander-Arnold made a crafty play on the set piece, starting to walk away from the corner then running back to quickly fire the ball low into the box. Origi was unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, and caught Barcelona unaware, firing the ball into the net to give Liverpool a 4-3 lead.
“OHHH THEY’VE CAUGHT THEM!! THEY’VE CAUGHT BARCELONA NAPPING!”
— Iconic Commentary (@CommentaryLimbs) May 7, 2019
Now desperate, Barcelona moved forward, getting the ball into the Liverpool penalty area several times in the dying moments of the match, as an away goal would still give the Spanish side the win. But Alisson wasn’t tested in the final minutes, and in stoppage time, Liverpool kept control of the ball to run out the clock and reach its second straight Champions League final.
“It’s unbelievable,” Wijnajdum told BT Sport immediately after the end of the match. “After the game in Spain we were confident that we could score four goals at home and win 4-0. I think people outside the club didn’t think we could do it but we have shown anything is possible.”
The win makes Liverpool the favorite to win the Champions League. The Reds will play the winner of Ajax vs. Tottenham, with the Dutch side currently holding a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg of that semifinal. According to William Hill, Liverpool is now a 2/5 favorite to win the final, which is set to take place on June 1 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.