Liverpool legend John Barnes has warned Jurgen Klopp’s side that they will find it tricky to pull off a Barcelona-esque comeback during their second leg against Atletico Madrid.
The Reds set the benchmark last season as far as their European capabilities were concerned. Having been resoundingly beaten 3-0 by Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg, Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi helped stage an extraordinary comeback as we won 4-0 and went on to lift our sixth European crown.
The predicament that they find themselves in this around, is nowhere near as dramatic, but equally as daunting. After their 1-0 defeat in what was a miserable return to the Wanda Metropolitano, Barnes told Sky Sports that Atleti boss Diego Simeone will make life torturous for Klopp and his team.
Is John Barnes right to be cautious about Atleti's threat?
“I think it’s different playing Atletico Madrid and Barcelona,” he said. “You say Barcelona is a better team than Atletico, but not defensively.
“If they have to defend a lead and have 20 per cent possession and not concede that’s what Diego Simeone does. So, it was a huge shock to Barcelona, but I think it will be more difficult against Atletico.”
After losing our last three games out of four, this will put the pressure on even more. However, we will face Bournemouth in the Premier League before then and hopefully will be back to winning ways before the crunch clash comes around.
There is no doubt that the famous European atmosphere will play it’s part on the night, as it did against Barcelona. No matter what rival fans say about Anfield, games like these always remind every club in world football why our ground is such as a sacred place. As Arsene Wenger said, it’s the hardest place in Europe (as per beIN Sport, via the Liverpool Echo).
That being said, Klopp will have all the help he needs to get over the line and into the quarter-finals. From the players to the fans. I don’t think us as supporters will be too down-hearted if we get knocked out. It’s winning the Premier League that matters.