Jose Mourinho was forced to admit he was wrong to write Liverpool off after they overturned a 3-0 deficit to reach the Champions League final.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United manager was not alone in giving Jurgen Klopp’s side no chance of beating Barcelona by a big enough margin to go through to the Madrid final.
But Divock Origi’s goal after seven minutes at Anfield gave Liverpool hope as they went on to seal a 4-0 victory on the night – 4-3 on aggregate – to complete a remarkable comeback.
That meant Mourinho was forced to praise his former rivals after they achieved the seemingly impossible, having written them off at the start of the night.
“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 told beIN Sports ahead of the match.
“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 an 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.”
After watching Liverpool’s comeback, Mourinho was forced to admit he was wrong to write them off and credited the win to Klopp’s never-say-die mentality.
“I didn’t expect this,” he added. “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 is not about tactics or philosophy but heart and soul and fantastic empathy that he created with this group of players.
“They had the risk of finishing a fantastic season with nothing to celebrate and now they are one step from being European champions.
“I think Jurgen deserves this because the work they are doing in Liverpool is fantastic but I think this is about him, a reflection of his personality to not give up, his fighting spirit, every player giving everything.
- Annie Idibia loses dad to cancer
- Naira Marley Plays a ‘wanted man’ in new video for ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy?’