Jose Mourinho’s pre-game assertion that he ‘wouldn’t put one single coin’ on Liverpool reaching the Champions League final came back to bite him.
On punditry duty in the beIN SPORT studio, like many spectators, the former Manchester United boss gave the Reds no hope of overturning the 3-0 first-leg deficit.
But Jurgen Klopp’s side produced an astonishing performance to come out 4-0 victors.
‘I don’t gamble in football, I don’t like gambling but I wouldn’t bet one single coin on Liverpool playing in the final,’ Mourinho had said.
‘Anfield can make miracles. But this would be more than that. 3-0 would be more than that.
‘They are losing 3-0. Tonight is not about how to stop them. It is about how they can create and incredible situation to beat Barcelona after a 3-0 defeat. Tonight Anfield is a magic place to play, a beautiful place to play.
‘Even people not in love with that club have to admit it is a magnificent club, incredible stadium and one of the best atmospheres. So when we say impossible is nothing we mean it but… it will be almost impossible.’
Almost impossible it may have been but that was good enough for the belief to course through Liverpool veins after Divock Origi’s early opener.
Gini Wijnaldum then came off the bench to score twice before quick thinking from Trent Alexander-Arnold at a corner provided Origi with his second and Liverpool’s all-important fourth.
Mourinho can hardly be blamed for his pre-match prediction given the sheer scale of the task at hand.
And after the game, he reflected: ‘I didn’t expect this. I did say impossible is nothing. If it is possible, Anfield is one of the places to make the impossible possible. But I have to say, this remontada (comeback) has one name, Jurgen.
‘I think this was not about tactics or philosophy but heart and soul and empathy that he created with this group of players.’