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I will not forget it – Liverpool handed huge omen ahead of Real Madrid in Champions League – Liverpool Echo

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Jurgen Klopp won’t have to look too far for positive omens as Liverpool get set to host Real Madrid on Wednesday.

It was on this day five years ago when his reign really started to gather pace when he witnessed Anfield’s true power first hand.

A Europa League quarter-final tie may not have the immediate resonance of some of the more celebrated continental triumphs, but their comeback against Borussia Dortmund is a key chapter in the Klopp story on Merseyside.

It was April 14 2016 when the Reds headed into the game against the German’s former side, with the tie finely poised from their 1-1 draw at Westfalenstadion in the first leg.

Liverpool, though, would quickly find themselves in need of an unlikely comeback.

Inside 10 minutes of the second leg, the Reds would be two goals down as strikes from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left them facing an uphill battle.

Thomas Tuchel’s BVB had shown why they were considered Europa League favourites during an impressive first-half performance that dizzied their hosts.

The Reds’ prospects of a revival appeared slim at the break.

To the Liverpool manager’s credit, it was his knowledge of the history of the club he was in charge of that helped his players turn the tide after the break.

Klopp urged his charges to remember the 2005 Champions League final when Rafa Benitez’s men overturned a 3-0 deficit to a vaunted AC Milan side to win their fifth European Cup in Istanbul.

“At half time, the atmosphere was good. I was satisfied with the game. Not with the goals, but with the game in general,” Klopp said.

“I told the lads this; a few older Liverpool players who now work as television experts played in a game where they were 3-0 down at half time in a Champions League final.

“So even when it is not really likely, it is possible. And we should try to go for it.”

And go for it they did.

Divock Origi gave them a shot in the arm three minutes into the second half, but Klopp’s men were dealt another blow when Marco Reus slotted home shortly before the hour mark.

Liverpool headed into the final half hour trailing 4-2 on aggregate and needing three to go through to the last four of Europe’s secondary competition.

Philippe Coutinho conjured up a moment of magic, as he so often did during his five years at Anfield, before Mamadou Sakho gave them real hope on 77 minutes.

It was left to Sakho’s centre-back partner, Dejan Lovren, to produce the all-important fourth as he converted James Milner’s cross at the back post to complete the turnaround in stoppage time.

The post-match celebrations will live long in the memory.

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None more so than Reds fan Liamie Marum, who lost his phone in the bedlam only to find an unexpected selfie in his camera roll when it was eventually returned.

After resigning himself to losing his phone, it was handed back to the Irish supporter with a picture of Sakho and Origi added to it as a unique souvenir of an unforgettable evening.

“The manager told us we had to create the moment to tell our grandchildren and make this a special night here for the fans,” said Origi after the game. “We believed in it.”

“This was a win for the Liverpool country!” added Sakho, famously.

After six months at the club, it was Klopp’s first real eye-opener to what could be achieved during European nights at a red-hot Anfield.

“Tonight, it was brilliant, outstanding, wonderful, emotional, everything!” said Klopp, post-match. “I will not forget it. It’s special.

“To be honest, I thought from the first minute we were in the game,” Klopp said. “Then after nine minutes we were 2-0 down.

“Very often, that means the game is over. But not here, not with this Liverpool team. That’s great to be part of.

“In football, as in life, that is the moment where you have to show character. That’s what the lads did. It was pretty cool to watch.

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“To come back in a game against this high quality opponent like this, sure you need a bit of luck but everybody who saw the game has to say it was deserved.”

Five years to the day, Klopp welcomes European opposition to Anfield in need of a fight-back again.

After revealing his stirring of the Istanbul miracle in his team talk a half-decade ago, could Klopp now tap into his own previous with the Reds in the Champions League to inspire yet another turnaround?

After all, it’s less than two years ago since another famous entry into that particular book was written against Barcelona, with Klopp at the helm.

Once more, Liverpool are in need of another huge night of European football at home.

Klopp may find himself without the all important ingredient of fans inside the ground, but his own story tells him it can be done.

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