TONY PARSONS Liverpool’s win over gutless Barcelona was the greatest win in English football history
Barcelona's 4-0 defeat could only have happened at Anfield, says Tony Parsons
By Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday Columnist
12th May 2019
The Sun on Sunday
Champions League semi-final, second leg
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
(Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate)
IT could only have happened in Liverpool.
When I watched Liverpool recover from a three-goal deficit to stuff Barcelona
— widely considered the best team in the world — by a gob-smacking, mind-boggling, gravity-defying 4–0, I honestly believed that this was the greatest performance ever by an English football club.
Liverpool beat Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League, after being three goals down from the first leg
Now I have sobered up. And a few days have gone by. And I have had some time to think about it in the cold light of day.
And you know what? I STILL
think that was the greatest performance by any English football club in history.
In the other Champions League semi-final, Tottenham had their own magnificent, Frank Sinatra-sized comeback from a 3–0 deficit against Ajax
. And all credit to those swaggering Spurs. But that felt like the triumph of a football club. Liverpool’s win felt like a victory for a city.
Liverpool gave a three-goal start to a team boasting the best player on the planet. And then Liverpool gave them a bloody good hiding.
You did not need to be a Liverpool fan — or even a football fan, or even a sports fan — to watch that match and feel glad to be alive.
Liverpool v Barcelona was a performance that made you believe in the power of never giving up.
It made you believe — truly believe — that passion, commitment and hard work are rewarded.
It made you believe — ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough.
And I am not sure it could have happened in any other city.
That performance demanded a cocktail of pride, community and grit that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.
The fight. The fortitude. The belief that it ain’t over until it’s over. The tempo. The pace. The passion.
I swear you could feel the heartbeat of a city.
YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
I have been inside Anfield when they are singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.
I have stood beside those Liverpudlians when 50,000 of them are being a Gerry And The Pacemakers tribute band.
And hearing them sing You’ll Never Walk Alone live is one of the wonders of the world.
Once — overcome with excitement — I even joined in their singing (a cause of great mirth to my Scouse mate, who insists you can’t sing You’ll Never Walk Alone in an Essex accent).
Liverpool is a special place. Scousers are special people.
In my experience, they are the most loyal and loving of friends and the fiercest and most implacable of enemies.
Look at the way they changed their minds about Luis Suarez, former buck-toothed darling of the Kop and pantomime villain on Tuesday night when he embodied the hubris of Barcelona.
So cocky were Barcelona, so totally convinced that they were going to walk all over Liverpool, that Suarez promised that he would not celebrate in front of the Kop.
YOU GOT THAT ONE RIGHT, GOOFY!
Barcelona were too dismissive of Liverpool — the team, the ground, the people.
The greatest team in the world? Well, maybe. But Barcelona underestimated the resilience of a proud working-class city.
The best of Liverpool and its people came together in 90 glorious, life-affirming minutes on Tuesday night. And Barcelona could not cope. Nobody could.
At its most dramatic, sport can tell us something worth knowing about life.
That was why grown men wept openly at Anfield.
Never give up, Liverpool seemed to say. Never give in. While there is still hope, you must believe. Never stop fighting. For you are loved.
And, as that beautiful old song has it, hold your head up high.
Luis Suarez's return to Anfield turned into a nightmare Getty - Contributor
Liverpool's win was a truly emotional night
Getty - Contributor
Liverpool's players could barely believe their victory