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Brennan's brief With the lack of cheering crowd at Anfield it's up to the strikers to save Liverpool's season against Madrid


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

After two seasons filled with Champions League and Premier League glory, Liverpool put a whole campaign on the line tonight.

Beat Real Madrid 2-0 and they are in the Champions League semi-final and the season could yet end in another glory, glory night in May in Istanbul.

Lose and the whole shebang is up the creek. Jurgen Klopp’s team, the best in Europe in 2019 and the best in England in 2020, will have nothing left to play for except their passport back to the Champions League next season – it would be some comedown.

In normal circumstances you would fancy Liverpool to do it at Anfield. Just like Celtic in Scotland, a big European night at home is part of Liverpool’S DNA. Put on the floodlights, and turn 25,000 Liverpool dockers on the Kop loose on the unfortunate from France, Spain, Italy etc standing in front of the opposition goal. It only ever ended one way.

It goes all the way back to ‘supersub’ David Fairclough in the 1970s and the late, always winning, goals he scored. To beating Roma in the Final in Rome in 1984 with ‘wobbly-legs’ Bruce Grobbelaar in goal. To coming back from 3-0 down that night against AC Milan in Istanbul 16 years ago, European success is built into Liverpool.

But these are not normal times. Real Madrid are short injured and Covid-hit players, but Liverpool will not have that home crowd at their backs, the passionate supporters who urge their team on as a force of nature, who will put a tenth of a second’s doubt in a referee’s head before he blows a whistle, or who can, as Bill Shankly once famously alleged, “blow the ball into the net.”

No, tonight it will have to come from within. Liverpool need their strikeforce, principally Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, to turn on the style against another of European football’s most famous forces and bag the win.

Then Liverpool will have plenty to play for in the last five weeks of the season.

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