What a brain, what audacity. Divock Origi, who has scored some of the most important goals in the history of this club, while being its fifth choice striker, got the winner but Alexander-Arnold was the evil genius behind.
He walked over to the ball by the corner flag, seemed to change his mind about taking, and stepped away. Barcelona, at that moment, relaxed, regrouped, some even turned their backs. Alexander-Arnold switched direction with a greyhound’s speed and whipped it on. Origi met it first time and Barcelona’s stood baffled. That old one? How could they be so foolish? How could they be so…out?
Yet out they are. Magnficently out. Stupendously out. Liverpool did not even need extra time. They overturned a three-goal deficit, won 4-0 and deserved it. This was a magnificent performance, greater even than that night in Istanbul when, for the record, the score ended 3-3 and there were long periods when Liverpool were poor.
They were wonderful here. Shorn of two of their greatest players, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, and then Andrew Robertson for the second half. But that changed the game, ironically, for the better – because in brought in another of the night’s matchwinners: Georginio Wijnaldum.
To call him a super sub really doesn’t do it justice. Super subs are strikers, chucked on as a last resort. Wijnaldum had a meatier role, shoring up midfield, so James Milner could go to full-back. But Wijnaldum wanted more. So he turned this semi-final on its head, instead.
It was Wijnaldum’s second-half goals that got Liverpool level and shook Lionel Messi and Barcelona to their foundations. When Liverpool scored early there was hope – but few could have imagined this, two goals in three minutes to level the aggregate score at 3-3, and give Liverpool the momentum for a momentous victory.