After Liverpool’s emphatic 5-2 first leg win at Anfield against Italians Roma, there was a real sense that Jürgen Klopp’s men had placed one foot in the door for the final in Kyiv come the end of May.
Not many pundits, fans or even club officials would have said that Liverpool could, realistically, reach the Champions League final this season. Yes, they had a promising attack and still maintained Philippe Coutinho until January, but their defence was leaking in goals left, right and centre. To have thought they would be 180 minutes away from lifting the trophy for the first time since 2005 under Rafa Benitez’s kinship would have been ludicrous.
And yet, Liverpool are on the verge of something truly spectacular. Through Mohamed Salah’s brilliance, Sadio Mané’s relentless energy and Roberto Firmino’s selflessness, along with a fantastic manager and team cohesion, the Reds are halfway to the Champions League final.