Liverpool: Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 Champions League demolition of Barcelona naturally dominated the front and back pages of British newspapers on Wednesday with most going on a similar theme to the Daily Mail’s splash: ‘Miracle of Anfield’.
“An Anfield miracle transcribed from the pages of pure fantasy,” read the headline of the match report in The Independent, while The Guardian led with “Out of this world”.
The Merseyside club’s sensational victory over what some pundits described as one of the best sides of the modern era allowed them to overturn a 3-0 deficit from the first leg of their semi-final.
There were some suggestions that Liverpool had topped the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’, when the club similarly overturned a three-goal deficit to beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final to win their fifth European title.
European fixtures at Anfield have had a special atmosphere going back a lot further than that and some suggested the noise generated by a packed house combined with Jurgen Klopp’s aggressive side had unsettled the Spanish champions.
“This is Liverpool’s gift: to rip up what you thought you knew about football and footballers, to take you — mentally and physically — to a place you don’t know and never wanted to go,” Jonathan Liew wrote in The Independent.
There was plenty of praise for the spirit and self belief that Klopp has fostered in his team.
“Juergen Klopp makes Liverpool believe they can do the impossible,” wrote Matt Dickinson in The Times.
“He could have stripped off and run around Anfield with his pants down and it would all have seemed part of his manic Germanic charm. With that grin and this football, he can get away with anything.”
Spanish sports daily AS led with a quote from Argentine forward Messi in their headline “It was a horror movie”, while rival publication Marca’s edition splashed “Barcelona fail epically at Anfield”.
The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel pointed out that the job was not yet done.
“One had the feeling this was the moment he had been working towards since the day he set foot on Merseyside,” he wrote of Klopp.
“This spirit. This togetherness. This performance. This passion, this emotion: it was all here, every last drop of what he wanted to achieve.
“And yet, there is still such a long way to go.”
Liverpool face either Tottenham or Ajax in the final on June 1.