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'I told Liverpool players to remember Istanbul'

The Reds’ players were told to remember what the club did against AC Milan in 2005 last night.

Image: Shaun Botterill

JURGEN KLOPP URGED Liverpool to channel the spirit of Istanbul at half-time of their miraculous win over Borussia Dortmund.

The German’s men looked in trouble as they trailed 2-0 at the break at Anfield in the second leg of the quarter-final, before a remarkable comeback.

Goals from Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren saw the Premier League side claim a 4-3 win – 5-4 on aggregate – to reach the last four.

Klopp brought up Istanbul at the break, recalling Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League final victory over AC Milan after they trailed 3-0 at half-time.

“At half-time, there was a good atmosphere to be honest because I was satisfied with the game — not with the goals, but with the game in general,” he said.

I told the lads, I was not there but a few Liverpool players who are a little bit older and work now as experts for television, they were 3-0 down at half-time but won a Champions League final.

“So even when it’s not really likely, it is for sure possible and we should try it.”

Early goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had put Dortmund in control before Divock Origi pulled one back, only for Marco Reus to then edge Dortmund furth ahead.

The comeback started there, though, with three goals in the final half-hour and, while Klopp used Istanbul, he wanted Thursday to be remembered in its own right.

“The players did it, it was not the team of Istanbul,” Klopp said.

“It’s easy to say it. I’m a football fan so I saw the game [in 2005] and to be honest at half-time I did not think, ‘Oh it looks like Liverpool will strike back’.

I only told them that it’s possible, but it’s much more difficult to do it than say it. They showed that they have potential, real potential, and I’m completely happy.

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“Forget the story about ‘these could be heroes’ — give us the time to play the semi-final against probably a really strong [team]. They are all pretty strong so we don’t need to compare this. This, tonight, was brilliant in itself.”

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