Luis Díaz had been standing on the grass at the football stadium on Anfield Road for just three minutes when he performed a very special feat. He took a long ball close to the sideline in such a spectacular way that the fans in the best seats right behind him gaped in amazement as the striker had long ago kept running with the ball. Díaz crossed the right foot behind the left leg and controlled the ball in the air. Other professionals have a hard time with this, even in training without opponent pressure. But Díaz attracted the ball almost like a magnet.
Not only this scene inspired Liverpool Football Club after a difficult hour. In the derby with city rivals FC Everton, the title candidate had struggled with the relegation candidate from the same city. Then it was 1-0 thanks to a header from Andrew Robertson after a cross from Mohamed Salah (62nd minute). Jürgen Klopp’s Joker made the decision. Díaz sent himself up into the air with a side kick, and Divock Origi raised the bouncing ball into the net with his skull (85 ‘). In the battle for the title, Liverpool are only one point behind Manchester City, who won 5-1 the day before.
It is a spectacle at home that makes fans from countries where teams routinely celebrate their tenth championship title in a row three matches before the end of the season with oversized beer glasses jealous. However, this is due not only to the monotony that spreads the usual sight, but also the quality that can be seen elsewhere on the lawn. Díaz ‘trick is just one example that is nice to look at. Manchester City and Liverpool are playing at a level that is currently unparalleled in the world. The performance in the Champions League speaks for itself.
Liverpool and Quadruple
The first match of the semifinals continues there. Pep Guardiola and City present against Real Madrid on Tuesday (21.00 in FAZ live ticker for Champions League and Prime Video), on Wednesday (21.00 in FAZ live ticker for Champions League and DAZN) Klopp and Liverpool are against Bayern besieged FC Villarreal required. The following week, decisions will be made on who will advance to the final on May 28 in Paris. It would not really come as a surprise if the high-class duel of giants from the English Premier League reached its final climax in the French capital.
Before that, there are five national assignments on the schedule. Manchester City not only seem to have an advantage due to the lead of one point. Wolverhampton, Leeds, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa do not seem to outweigh Liverpool’s opponents Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Southampton and Wolverhampton. There are also finals for Klopp and Co. on 14 May. At Wembley, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are at stake for the FA Cup title. This gives Liverpool an opportunity that may only come once in a footballer’s life: the quadruple.
Klopp has often stressed that it is actually impossible to actually win all four major trophies this season. But what is impossible for such an excellent team? Even at home in a sluggish season, in the best Usain Bolt manner, she still has the composure to look left and right and then remain superb. The duel with Everton was not easy for Liverpool. But Klopp had the chance to put incredible quality on the table in the crucial half hour. And it worked: Liverpool still won the match.