James Milner recalls Jurgen Klopp’s motivational words ahead of Barca comeback
It was the comeback of all comebacks – and James Milner has revealed Jurgen Klopp's words helped Liverpool believe they could complete the "impossible".
Few would have predicted the Reds would be capable of overturning a 3-0 first leg defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp to reach the Champions League final last year.
Not least without the talents of injured duo Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to call upon.
And not to mention the spellbinding form of Barca's talismanic captain Lionel Messi, whose free-kick in the first semi-final clash between the two sides looked to have wrapped up proceedings.
However if any side could cause a European upset, Liverpool at Anfield were the best placed to do so; and that was the message Klopp relayed to his players.
Milner had worked tirelessly to try and keep tabs on Messi in the first leg, but could do little about the Argentine's two goals.
"It wasn’t a bad performance by us in the Nou Camp, we had chances," Milner told Liverpool's official website. "I remember I had at least one half-decent chance. I thought we played pretty well. Messi did his Messi-like things, the free-kick was ridiculous, and it was just one of those games you felt a bit hard done by."
Liverpool were also breathing down Man City's necks in the Premier League, and only just overcame a tricky test away at Newcastle.
But any hopes of ending their 29-year title wait looked to be dashed by Vincent Kompany's late winner against Leicester 24 hours before the Reds' second leg, which primed Klopp's battle cry.
"The night before the Barça game, we’re in a hotel and City obviously played [and beat Leicester City]," Milner added. "The deflation of that the night before, then you have to go and turn around a deficit to Barcelona. All that added to the effort.
"We walked into the training ground the next morning and the manager said before the meeting, ‘Has anyone got anything to say about that? No, nothing. Right, here we go. It’s pretty impossible but if anybody can do it, we can.’"
An early goal from Divock Origi gave Liverpool the foothold they needed, before the Belgian grabbed a winner late on.
"We got a good start and the crowd was behind us," Milner continued. "I remember getting a corner in the first minute and the roar was incredible just from that."
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