Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Liverpool stage remarkable comeback to beat Barcelona 4-0 - as it happened

In front of an Anfield crowd, Liverpool scored four goals to send them to the Uefa Champions League final in Madrid

In the second leg of the Uefa Champions League semi-final Liverpool faced a three-goal mountain to climb against Barcelona.

With the odds seemingly stacked against them, the English club played without their star forward Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita, while Barcelona's lethal striker Lionel Messi was in full health.

But on their side, a raucous crowd at Anfield, who gave the home team a heroes welcome. And heroes they were.

Four remarkable goals allowed Liverpool to overcome their three-goal loss in the first leg of the semi-final, and earn a place in the Champions League final.

Read our live blog to experience the game as it happened or Graham Caygill's match report.

All times UTC+4

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00:56 Liverpool win 4-0 to reach final

Amazing. Just amazing. Liverpool celebrate. Barcelona despair. What a game.

Liverpool are in the Champions League final having started the night 3-0 down on aggregate.

At the beginning of the night Liverpool appeared to have an impossible task. A three-goal deficit. Their star striker injured. And Lionel Messi's left foot.

But bit by bit they clawed their way back into the game and subsequently the Uefa Champions League final.

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00:52 Stoppage time

Liverpool bring on Daniel Sturridge for Xherdan Shaqiri. Five minutes of stoppage time to go. Barcelona have not threatened since going 4-0 down. Do they have anything left in the locker?

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00:48 Origi off

Having scored arguably the most important goal of his career, Divock Origi is substituted for Joe Gomez as Liverpool look to close out the game.

Five minutes to go and still 4-0 Liverpool.

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00:43 John Bishop's one-word analysis

It appears sentences have failed Mr Bishop, and we don't blame him. He only had this to say:

Back to us in the studio.

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00:38 GOAL 4-0 Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Divock Origi of Liverpool (27) celebrates as he scores his team's fourth goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Divock Origi of Liverpool celebrates as he scores his team's fourth goal. Getty Images

Unbelievable. Liverpool have done it. They are 4-0 up and now ahead 4-3 on aggregate. What an effort.

Trent Alexander-Arnold takes a quick corner, the Barcelona defence are half asleep, and Divock Origi nets.

Extraordinary. But it is not over yet. Ten minutes to go and if Barcelona score they would be ahead on away goals.

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00:33 State of play

Soccer Football - Champions League Semi Final Second Leg - Liverpool v FC Barcelona - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - May 7, 2019 Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, Clement Lenglet and Philippe Coutinho react after conceding their third goal scored by Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, Clement Lenglet and Philippe Coutinho look despondent after conceding their third goal. Reuters

Twenty minutes to go and it is 3-0 Liverpool and 3-3 on aggregate.

As things stand it will go to extra time if it finishes that way. If there is another goal before the 90 minutes there will be no additional time.

If Barcelona score they would have an advantage of an away goal and Liverpool would have to score at least two more to go. If it ended 4-4 on aggregate then Barcelona would go through on away goals.

Tense times indeed.

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00:28 Messi goes close

Lionel Messi is denied by Allison's legs as he goes for goal after finding space.

It was a tight angle but a reminder to Liverpool that they cannot afford to relax at the back.

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00:26 Wooowwwwww

Pundits will be scrambling through their thesauruses to find the words to describe this turn of events, but John Bishop – a comedian and somewhat renowned scouser – put it best:

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00:24 Coutinho substituted

A forgettable return to Anfield for Philippe Coutinho is over.

He has been substituted for Nelson Semedo as Barcelona look desperately to regain some kind of control in the game.

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00:20 Anfield rocking

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during. Getty
Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during. Getty

Liverpool's fans are in great voice. Mohamed Salah is grinning in the stands.

Liverpool need one more goal and they will be in the Champions League final on June 2 against either Ajax or Tottenham Hotspur.

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00:18 Barcelona are rattled

The bemused look on Luis Suarez's face says it all. Barcelona are on the backfoot. The 3-0 first leg aggregate lead is gone.

Liverpool have the momentum and this is going to be a thrilling finale.

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00:15 GOAL 3-0 Liverpool

The second goal was given, then seconds later ANOTHER.

Absolutely amazing. Georginio Wijnaldum again. What a substitution. He has scored two in 10 minutes and it is now 3-3 on aggregate and all to play for...

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00:13 Is it Liverpool 2-0 Barcelona?

The VAR is being consulted, nervous wait for fans.

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00:11 Allison keeps Liverpool in it

Luis Suarez denied by Allison in the Liverpool goal. A big save that keeps Liverpool in the tie.

At the other end Virgil van Dijk went close but his effort was blocked on the line.

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00:07 Liverpool substitution

Presumably because of injury Andrew Robertson is substituted at half time and he is placed by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Game is back under way. Barcelona are 45 minutes from the final on June 2 in Madrid, unless Liverpool can do something astonishing.

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00:05 Jose Mourinho impressed by Liverpool

The former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is in the BeIN Sports studio and he is impressed with how Liverpool started the game.

Their attitude was "phenomenal" enthused the Portuguese former manager.

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00:03 Questions for Jurgen Klopp

Probably a tough team talk for Jurgen Klopp at the break. Liverpool are 1-0 up and still very much in contention to reach the final.

But they need at least two more goals in the next 45 minutes as they trail 3-1 on aggregate. Barcelona were poor for the opening 15 minutes but came much more into the game and Lionel Messi will be annoyed he didn't do better with one of his three chances.

Ernesto Valverde will be relatively relaxed. Yes, his side are losing. But Liverpool are going to have to take more risks and if they do then that will leave even more gaps at the back.

Klopp has to decide when his side go for it. Daniel Sturridge is the main attacking option on the bench and you would be surprised if he is not on by the 70th minute.

What a fascinating game this is.

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23:50 HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-0 up

Liverpool's Fabinho competes for the ball with Barcelona's Luis Suarez. Reuters
Liverpool's Fabinho competes for the ball with Barcelona's Luis Suarez. Reuters

Jurgen Klopp's side have hope. They need two more goals to take the game to extra time and they have shown enough threat that the dream comeback is not out of the question.

Barcelona, through Lionel Messi of course, have had their moments and they know if they score once it will effectively put them through to the final.

Messi goes agonisingly close on the stroke of half time to remind Liverpool, if they didn't already know, of his threat, while Allison gets down well to stop Jordi Alba.

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23:44 Salah's in the crowd

Andrew Robertson goes down hurt for Liverpool as play stops while he is treated. But the TV cameras spot a smiling Mohamed Salah in the crowd.

The Egyptian looks relaxed. Does he know something we don't? Is the Liverpool revival firmly on track?

Robertson, now fully recovered, has an effort from outside the box deflected wide for a corner, which the visitors deal with. Still 1-0 Liverpool.

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23:42 Barcelona remain confident

Barcelona remain confident of a victory – or at least whoever is running their Twitter account is – and in fairness, the odds are in their favour.

Liverpool still need three more goals and if Barcelona score, that'll be a four-goal hole to climb out of.

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23:39 Origi impresses

It is not easy to make an impact when you are behind Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the pecking order for forwards at Liverpool.

But Divock Origi is making the most of his chance with Salah and Firmino hurt. He scored the only goal so far, but he is also working hard and proving a real nuisance to the Barcelona backline.

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23:36 Henderson injury scare

epa07554491 Liverpool player Jordan Henderson holds his knee in pain during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg soccer match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, 07 May 2019. EPA/NEIL HALL
Jordan Henderson holds his knee in pain. EPA

A worrying moment for Liverpool as Jordan Henderson appears to twist his knee while trying to turn on the edge of the Barcelona area.

Still limping the England midfielder is attempting to play on after treatment.

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23:32 Nervous Klopp watches from the side lines

Liverpool fans across the UK and the world might be looking something like the team's manager Jurgen Klopp does in this photo right now:

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp puts his hands together in hope. Getty
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp puts his hands together in hope. Getty

They got off to a rocking start but after half an hour their momentum appears to have slowed.

They still need three more goals to avoid extra time and proceed to the final in Madrid.

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23:29 Positives for both sides

Both managers will be content. Jurgen Klopp's side have pulled back some of their deficit. But Barcelona are beginning to find gaps in the home defence and Ernesto Valverde will fancy an away goal sooner rather than later.

Still 1-0 Liverpool.

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23:25 Blinded by the kit

Barcelona are in their away strip tonight and it appears they've taken the unusual tactic of attempting to blind the opposition.

In hi-vis kit that could stop motorway traffic, the Barcelona kit is very very bright.

epa07554434 Barcelona's starting eleven poses before the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg soccer match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, 07 May 2019. EPA/NEIL HALL
Barcelona's starting eleven poses at Anfield. EPA

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23:23 Tough love for Suarez

Luis Suarez is barged into by James Milner. The Uruguayan gets up afterwards but is winded by the clash.

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23:20 Barcelona finding their range

They were slow out of the blocks but Barcelona are now beginning to motor.

Allison does well to parry a Philippe Coutinho shot away and from the resulting corner Lionel Messi drags a shot wide.

Liverpool are riding their luck at the back undoubtedly right now.

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23:18 First pics of Origi's goal

It's low, it's powerful, but most importantly for Liverpool, in the back of the net. Here's an early pic of Origi's (possible) game-changer goal:

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Divock Origi (27) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Divock Origi scores Liverpool's first goal. Getty Image

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23:16 Messi goes close

Barcelona have their first promising attack and it ends with Allison tipping away Lionel Messi's shot.

They have been below-par so far but a reminder of just how quickly Barcelona can turn defence into attack.

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23:12 Mane has penalty shout

Sadio Mane goes down in the box under a challenge from Sergi Roberto.

Definite contact and Roberto is nowhere near the ball.

Decent shout and Barcelona have got away with one there.

Liverpool are flying and the Spaniards need to ride this out. A second goal makes this very interesting.

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23:07 GOAL for Liverpool: 1-0

Just what Liverpool needed. They open the scoring as Divock Origi scores after Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen can only parry Jordan Henderson's shot.

One down, two more needed to get back level.

And its a tale of two Twitter accounts after the first goal.

Liverpool opts for the ever classic extended "goal", while Barcelona plays it off with cool "Not the start we wanted."

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23:04 Early clash between Messi and Robertson

We are under way and Lionel Messi is not happy. He hits the turf and then is shoved in the head by Andrew Robertson.

The Argentine is upset but no action is taken.

Liverpool have had an early corner but no immediate sign of a goal.

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23:00 And we have kick off

Yes that's right. The game has begun. Everyone is extremely excited. That's all for now.

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22:54 Is Lionel Messi the goat?

Barcelona's twitter account showed some footage of Lionel Messi warming up with the caption "[goat emoji] is ready."

Using our best investigative skills we tried to decode the account's message. And for those not in the know (and yes, we had to Google it too) it is a reference to the acronym for greatest of all time.

That's a big claim Barcelona, you haven't seen us play yet.

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22:51 Suarez and Coutinho's return

Barcelona players Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho both make their first returns to Anfield in a competitive match tonight.

Both were popular in their time at Liverpool but it will be interesting to see what reception the South American pair get.

Suarez didn't do himself any favours last week by clashing with a number of Liverpool players, especially Andy Robertson.

The Uruguayan has attempted an olive branch by saying he will not celebrate if he finds the net at Anfield - something he did do at Camp Nou last week.

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22:47 Critical first goal

The first goal will decide what kind of game this will be.

If Liverpool can get it and cut the deficit then we could be in for a dramatic night.

If Barcelona score first, getting an away goal, it puts them four ahead and would mean that Liverpool would need to find the net five times to get past the La Liga champions and reach the final.

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22:42 Pre-match warm-up begins

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez of Barcelona warm up prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez of Barcelona warm up prior at Anfield. Getty Images

With less than 20 minutes before kick-off, players from both teams are warming up.

Barcelona appears more confident in their warm-up, as you would expect going into a game three goals ahead.

Meanwhile, Liverpool plays seem raring to start the match.

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22:37 Mo Salah tours Anfield

Liverpool's star striker Mohamed Salah walked around the pitch shortly before the start of the game, receiving applause from the fans.

Salah was ruled out of playing in tonight's fixture against Barcelona following a head injury sustained in the Premier League match on Saturday.

But the Egyptian striker had a message for fans: Never give up.

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22:30 Barcelona lay a memorial wreath

As a sign of respect to the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster, the directors of FC Barcelona laid a wreath at the memorial at Anfield.

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22:27 A welcome you can only get at home

Liverpool's fans have given their players a welcome they would unlikely get elsewhere.

A birds eye shot of the player's coach arriving shows flares and bright red smoke welcoming the player's bus into Anfield.

And video footage from the ground shows hundreds of excited fans chanting club songs and jumping with excitement.

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22:25 Villarreal a source of hope

Scoring four goals against one of the best sides in Europe is not an easy prospect but one Liverpool face having to accomplish if they are to reach the final in Madrid on June 2.

It can be done though. Just ask Villarreal. They put four past Ernesto Valverde's side in April in a La Liga clash.

The kicker though was it still was not enough to beat Barcelona. The game ended 4-4 and Liverpool must not only score goals, but not concede at the other end.

A tough conundrum for Jurgen Klopp to master indeed.

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22:15 Anfield a fortress for Liverpool

A source of comfort for Liverpool is they are unbeaten at Anfield in the Champions League this season, with four wins and a draw.

Bayern Munich, in the last 16, are the only side to have escaped from Merseyside without losing, that being a goalless stalemate in February.

You have to go back to October 2014 for the last time Liverpool lost in the competition at home. That was against Real Madrid when one Cristiano Ronaldo was on target.

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21:50 Liverpool turn to Divock Origi among four changes

He was the hero for Liverpool on Saturday with a late winner at Newcastle United and Jurgen Klopp is starting Divock Origi against Barcelona in the hope he can produce more heroics.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Xherdan Shaqiri also come into the starting line-up with Joe Gomez, Georginio Wijnaldum and the injured Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah missing out.

Barcelona, unsurprisingly, are unchanged from the side that won 3-0 six days ago.

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20:55 Atmosphere building at Anfield

Two hours until kick off at Anfield and fans of both sides are beginning to arrive at the stadium.

As a reminder, around 10pm we will get the team news with Jurgen Klopp having to do without the injured Mohamed Salah.

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20:05 Title decider in Man City's favour

Liverpool are not just hoping for success tonight but on Sunday when they try to win their first English league title since 1990.

They trail Manchester City by one point and must beat Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday at Anfield, while hoping City fail to defeat Brighton and Hove Albion, if they are to be champions.

City got the advantage by beating Leicester City 1-0 on Monday. John McAuley looks here at how Pep Guardiola's side did it.

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19:15 History favours Barcelona

The bad news for Liverpool, if they needed any more with them being 3-0 down and being without Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, is history against them.

Barcelona have never lost a European Cup semi-final after being ahead after the first leg.

Given their significant advantage that situation is unlikely to change tonight.

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18:30 Lionel Messi likely to be Liverpool's threat again

The daft thing about last week was Liverpool did not play that badly against Barcelona, indeed they bossed much of the second half.

But they are still 3-0 down and must find a way to keep Barcelona's top scorer Lionel Messi quiet.

It was Messi's late double that put the game almost out of Liverpool's reach and they cannot afford to let him score tonight.

An away goal would be devastating to Liverpool. If Barcelona score once then Liverpool need to score five to go through.

Tall order indeed. Here is a reminder here of last week's report.

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16:30 Tall order for Liverpool without Mohamed Salah

Good afternoon. Liverpool faces a fight to climb out of a three-goal-deep hole to earn their place in the Uefa Champions League final.

In their way? Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates, who, last week outplayed Liverpool with a 3-0 triumph to take them a step closer to Madrid, where the final will be held on June 2.

And to make Liverpool's task harder, the club's top scorer Mohamed Salah was ruled out of the game after he suffered a head injury in last Saturday's Premier League victory at Newcastle United

Stay here for The National's coverage of the Champions League semi-final.

All times UTC+4

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Jurgen Klopp urges Liverpool to 'celebrate' whatever the outcome against Barcelona

Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool that if they are going to exit the Uefa Champions League they should β€œfail in the most beautiful way” as they prepare to face Barcelona without the injured Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

β€œTwo of the world’s best strikers are not available and we have to score four goals to go through in 90 minutes," Klopp said. "It doesn’t make life easier but as long as we have 11 players on the pitch, we will try. The boys showed often enough that they don’t give up. They will show it.

β€œThat is the plan: just try and if we can do [something] wonderful and if not, fail in the most beautiful way. With a close result, so close.”

Read his full comments here

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Barcelona's Luis Suarez will not celebrate if he scores against former club Liverpool at Anfield

Barcelona's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez attends a training session at Anfield stadium in Liverpool on the eve of their UEFA Champions League semi-final. AFP
Barcelona's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez attends a training session at Anfield stadium in Liverpool on the eve of their UEFA Champions League semi-final. AFP

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez scored the opening goal against his old club as Barcalona took a commanding 3-0 first leg lead last week to defend at Anfield. And although he celebrated then, he has vowed not to if he finds the net again on Tuesday.

"People who love this sport know the importance of the goal I scored last week but I have respect for Liverpool fans," he said. "I am very thankful to Liverpool, the fans and the club. If I score [at Anfield], I won't celebrate it.

Read his full comments here

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Mohamed Salah ruled out with a concussion

Liverpool's Mo Salah lies on the pitch after colliding with Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool EPA
Liverpool's Mo Salah lies on the pitch after colliding with Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool EPA

Liverpool's star forward Mohamed Salah will not be fit to face Barcelona when the two sides meet in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after being ruled out with concussion.

Salah was carried off on a stretcher after suffering a head injury against Newcastle United on Saturday, a match Liverpool won 3-2 to keep alive their Premier League title hopes.

Salah netted to make it 2-2 at St James' Park - the Egyptian's 26th goal of the season - before he was injured in a collision with Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, laying motionless on the pitch for several minutes while he was treated before leaving the field on a stretcher with his hands covering his face.

"It's concussion so he wouldn't be allowed to play. We cannot do it," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told a news conference on Monday.

Read the full story here

Updated: May 8, 2019 01:23 AM

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