Liverpool fans are no strangers to drama and their latest Champions League exploits again left most of them emotionally drained.
The Reds have certainly experienced incredible highs and lows in recent years – from just missing out on the Premier League title to last season’s Champions League win.
On Wednesday night, fans once again experienced the full spectrum of emotions as Liverpool raced into a 3-0 lead over Red Bull Salzburg, were pegged back to 3-3, then saw Mohamed Salah snatch a dramatic winner.
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Last season Liverpool fell just short of an imperious Manchester City side in the league title race, but it was not for the want of trying.
In almost every game they squeezed every last minute out of a match, scoring crucial late goals against Crystal Palace and Tottenham to keep them in the hunt.
That never-say-die attitude was on show on Wednesdayand, even when Salzburg completed the seemingly impossible to make it 3-3, there was still the sense that Liverpool would still find a way in the end.
“We showed character,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “I was not surprised about that, which is why I was not overly concerned at 3-3 because I knew we would have chances again.”
Fans play their part
Liverpool fans are used to winning, especially at home and especially in Europe.
They have not experienced defeat in a European competition at Anfield since 2014, when Real Madrid won 3-0.
At 3-0 there was an air of expectation. The famous Anfield atmosphere was buoyant but somewhat subdued – understandable given the ease with which their side had cut through Salzburg.
But when the visitors found their way back into the game, the home supporters did their part. They lifted their side as they cheered every break forward and every possession-winning tackle.
“At 3-3, our guys put a lot into it and they were a bit tired and the energy of the stadium picks up,” said Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch. “Liverpool is an incredible team.”
Klopp added: “The fans are always important.
“In a game like this to celebrate winning a press ball like a goal. I am like this. The atmosphere was really intense.
“The people remember that we are at Anfield and that something is possible.”
‘A very important lesson’ for Liverpool
In the face of Liverpool’s dominant home record, many sides have arrived at Anfield looking beaten before the first whistle has been blown.
When I asked one Salzburg fan before if he expected his side to win, he just laughed. Indeed, none of the opposition fans I spoke to predicted their side would win. At best they hoped for a draw.
Marsch admitted his players were similarly fearful of their opponents to begin with.
“We had too much respect for Liverpool in the first half, that is for sure,” he said.
“We learned when you come to a place like Anfield it is not just the opponent; it is the entire experience.”
For Liverpool, this game provided a lesson in not becoming complacent.
“We opened the door and they were running through,” said Klopp. “It was a very important lesson for us tonight.”
Liverpool now know where they need to improve and, for a side that have won every Premier League game this season, that is an ominous sign for their opponents.