Liverpool will not be able to rely on a surge of emotion, color, and noise from the Anfield crowd to inspire a comeback from a 3-1 deficit against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
If the champions are to qualify for the semis , they will need Jurgen Klopp’s inspiration and tactical strategy to knock out one of Spanish football’s giants once more.
Klopp has gained respect on Merseyside since leading Liverpool to a sixth European Cup and their first league title in 30 years.
However, the ambitious German has been unable to improve the Reds’ poor performance this season.
With seven matches left to play in the Premier League, Liverpool’s title defense is mathematically unlikely, as they are 22 points behind Manchester City in fifth place.
Real Madrid ran wild in the first 45 minutes in Madrid last week to open up a commanding first-leg lead, putting an end to hopes that the Champions League will save them from a frustrating season.
Liverpool’s deficit isn’t as wide as it was when Barcelona came to Anfield in the semifinals two years ago, in what turned out to be one of the most memorable European nights in the club’s history.
Klopp’s team rolled over Barcelona’s impressive cast of star names 4-0 on their way to winning the trophy, despite being depleted by injuries.
However, due to coronavirus limitations, Klopp hinted that the mission could be even more difficult now, in front of the sterile environment of an empty stadium.
“If you want to have some emotional memories, then you watch the Barcelona game back and 80 percent of this game was the atmosphere in the stadium, so yes, we have to do it without that,” said Klopp after the first leg.
With the Reds in desperate need of goals, whoever Klopp trusts in attack alongside Jota and Mohamed Salah must be clinical if he is to regain his magic touch.