'Let's fail in the most beautiful way' - Klopp invokes spirit of Barca ahead of Atalanta

Jurgen Klopp is invoking Liverpool’s incredible Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona ahead of the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Atalanta tonight.

The Reds slumped to a disappointing, 0-3 first-leg defeat at Anfield last week against the Italians in one of the club’s heaviest-ever European defeats on home soil. 

They are aware of their status as underdogs ahead of the tie tonight in Bergamo, having only an outside shot at best of making the semi-finals. 

However, Liverpool - under Klopp - have been here before. 

Liverpool's Dortmund comeback in Klopp's first season

Back in April 2016, Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund visited Anfield for a Europa League quarter-final second leg having drawn 1-1 in the first leg in Germany. 

The Reds were 2-0 down inside 10 minutes but Divock Origi pulled one back at the outset of the second half to get the home side back into the tie. 

However, Dortmund struck again and left Liverpool on the brink of elimination, requiring three goals in a little over half an hour. 

Philippe Coutinho answered the call, firing home a fine effort, before Mamadou Sakho scored from a set piece. 

Then, as the game ticked over into added time, Dejan Lovren popped up to win the game 4-3 on the night and spark ecstatic scenes inside the ground and around the world. 

Barca semi-final one of Anfield's greatest nights

Three years later, Barcelona had won their Champions League semi-final first leg in Camp Nou, 3-0. 

Ahead of the second leg, Liverpool lost both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to injury, with it being deemed wildly unlikely that Klopp’s side could pull off a result. 

However, Origi was again on target, instigating a comeback that would live through the ages. Gini Wijnaldum then struck a quick second-half double to level the scores. 

And in one of the most iconic Anfield moments, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner with around 10 minutes to go found Origi inside the box, unmarked, to round off the comeback and lead the Reds to the final, where they would beat Tottenham in Madrid. 

 Klopp, having overseen both of those miracle results, knows that it is required all over again

'If we fail, let's do it in the most beautiful way'

"I'm long enough in this business to know that it's two legs,” he told the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

"It's over when it's over. We are allowed to play tomorrow which means it has our 1,000% focus. We are only here for one reason.”

Klopp recalled his teamtalk ahead of the Barca game, where he urged his players to go down fighting. 

"I remember that I said, 'if we fail, let's do it in the most beautiful way' - and that's exactly how I see it again,” he said. 

"We want to win the game but if we want to win then we'd better play good. If you play good then we have a chance to win it. We will see.”

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