‘Atmosphere FC’. ‘All they do is sing You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Liverpool’s ‘famous’ Anfield vibe was mocked and belittled relentlessly prior to kick off against Man City.
How silly do they look now?
Because there’s a reason why Anfield – especially on European nights – is such a fearsome prospect for visiting players and fans alike.
Saint-Etienne in 1977, Chelsea in 2005, Chelsea again in 2007, Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
All occasions where the four walls of that famous ground proved a very claustrophobic place for vastly superior opposition.
It’s been nearly a decade since Liverpool last reached the latter stages of the Champions League, so perhaps people had simply forgotten?
Because last night the all-conquering City were expected to overcome the noise made by ‘Barry from Bootle and his motley crew’ and exude their class.
What unfolded was a night many of Pep Guardiola’s players will do well to shake from their worst nightmares.
Every tackle vociferously greeted, every City pass booed into submission.
The decibel level even somehow turned up another notch when public enemy number one Raheem Sterling entered the fold.
The partisan scenes before the game were, inevitably, ruined by a very small minority who took Liverpool fans’ intimidation game too far.
But this kind of bond between supporters and players – shared by James Milner from inside the Reds’ bus – should really be cherished.
Liverpool are back in the big time and Anfield has the capacity to reduce even the most outstanding players on the planet to pale imitations of themselves.
Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker and even Vincent Kompany all looked like rabbits in the headlights.
Those underestimating it’s atmosphere were delivered a timely message.
It’s very real.
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