Liverpool will take on Barcelona the ‘beautiful way’ says Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool’s difficult task against Barcelona became a whole lot harder after Mohamed Salah joined Roberto Firmino on the sidelines for tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is without Mohamed Salah and Firmino who have scored 42 goals between them this season. Pic ture: AFP/Getty

The Egypt international is suffering from concussion after being carried off at Newcastle on Saturday, meaning two of the Reds’ feared front three – with 42 goals between them this season – will be absent as they seek to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Barca.

However, they have no option but to go for it, although – with the knowledge that their neck-and-neck battle with Manchester City for the Premiership crown will go right to the wire – they could be excused for their attention drifting to Sunday’s season climax, when a win at home to Wolves could secure their first domestic title since 1990.

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But manager Jurgen Klopp – who confirmed Firmino would miss out with a muscle problem – has pledged that should their bid for a second successive Champions League final come up short they have to fail “in the most beautiful way”, even if Salah’s absence is a huge blow to 
their chances.

“It is a concussion and that means he will not even be allowed to play,” Klopp said of his top scorer, whom he is confident will be available for the weekend.

“He feels OK but that is not good enough from a medical point of view. He is desperate, but we cannot do it.

“The approach we will take is that we try to win the game, if that makes sense. But you cannot play against Barcelona and tell the world ‘Watch this’ and after ten minutes we are 
level.

“You cannot win 3-0 in the first five minutes; even if you are 3-0 up, you haven’t won it. We have to be ready to try for 95 minutes or even more.

“He feels OK but that is not good enough from a medical point of view. He is desperate, but we cannot do it.

“Two of the world’s best strikers are not available tomorrow and we have to score four goals to go through in 90 minutes.

“It doesn’t make life easier but as long as we have 11 players on the pitch, we will try.”

Overturning a three-goal deficit against Barcelona is not unheard of as Roma did it in last season’s quarter-finals.

Unlike Liverpool, though, they had an away goal from the Nou Camp, losing the first leg 4-1 but winning 3-0 in the Stadio Olimpico.

It is what gives Klopp some optimism, although he concedes if they do not manage it the Reds will have given the Champions League all they have for the second successive season.

“There is hope and it is football,” he added. “We are far away from giving up, but we are not in a situation where we say it will happen 100 per cent. If there is an opportunity to go to the next round, we have to try. It is a long season and there is at least a little chance to make it even longer. If not, these are the last two home games of an incredible 
season. I think we should celebrate that with a good performance on the pitch and a very good performance in the stands. That would be really nice. That’s what we want to show, nothing else.

“We want to celebrate the Champions League campaign, either with a proper finish or another goal.

“If we can do it, wonderful, and if not then fail in the most beautiful way, if you want, with a close result.”