Liverpool and Tottenham Fail Better in the Champions League Semifinal

The New Yorker - 05-09


Before the second game of his team’s Champions League semifinal against Barcelona, Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, summoned Samuel Beckett. In the first game of the two-game series, at Camp Nou, in Barcelona, a week earlier, Liverpool had played well, and lost 3–0. One of the goals Liverpool conceded—a rasping, freakishly curved free kick by the world’s best player, Lionel Messi—was regarded as among the finest ever scored in the competition. In the second game, at Anfield, Klopp’s team would not only have to stop an excellent Barcelona attack from adding to the three-goal lead but score at least three itself. And they would need to do so without their star center-forward, Mo Salah, who was ruled out of the game with a concussion. Liverpool’s task was, many believed, near impossible.