Bayern Munich 1 Liverpool 3
Mane 26 Matip 39(og) Van Dijk 69 Mane 84
If you’ve got a striker as fast and agile as Sadio Mane, why not hit him with a 65-yard pass and see what happens?
Virgil Van Dyke was in the middle of his own half when he launched an intercontinental pass that bounced on the edge of Manuel Neuer’s penalty area and the huge goalkeeper raced out to challenge but as the ball came down Mane killed it perfectly and twisted beyond the keeper and into the box and then hooked his left-foot shot into the far side of the goal.
Electric improvisation by Mane to score his 51st goal for the club.
Bayern Munich 0 Liverpool 1
Then right winger Gnabry crossed low towards Lewandowski and Joel Matip stretched to intercept and the ball went in for an own-goal.
At that point I thought: There will be two or three more goals.
Ancient winger Ribery looked half-dangerous on the left flank because he likes to walk you backwards into your penalty area then take you on and have a shot or make you bring him down. But, like most of this Bayern team, Ribery’s long past his prime.
At half- time I expected Liverpool to win 2-1 on pace and energy.
While Bayern look are quite compact they are not impregnable.
Far from it!
In 61, Gnabry crossed low to the near post and the ball eluded Lewandowski. On the replay, I thought he should have scored.
Thiago Alcantara was booked for a foul on Mane.and then Liverpool won a corner on the left and Trent Alexander-Arnold took it an inswinger that Neuer tipped out for another corner on the right.
Milner took that one very professionally and Van Dijk soared up for a colossal header aimed down into the corner while Neuer stayed on his line.
Bayern 1 Liverpool 2 in 69 minutes.
It’s over!!! Liverpool are in the quarter-finals!
Very soon there were only 14 minutes left and as the game slowed down a little, I remembered Bill Shankly’s dictum: “The ball never gets tired.”
This is when you want to make the ball do the work.
Near the end the TV director cut to a pair of local heroes sitting together looking rather damp and disappointed: Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness.
Suddenly, Mo Salah is on the right flank and the little Egyptian magician conjures a cross with the outside of his left boot and Sadio Mane heads in at the far post for 3-1.
If you ever doubted that Virgil Van Dijk is a great footballer, you don’t now. In their biggest game of the season so far, on a soaking wet night in Bavaria, the 27-year old Dutchman made the first goal and scored the second.
Liverpool are successful because they are ambitious.
They aim high, spend big, treasure their heritage, and believe that they can win any competition. Why? Because this club has done it before.
In 1980 Liverpool’s chartered jet flew back from Rome and when the door of the plane opened skipper Graeme Souness stood at the top of the steps in a collarless open-necked shirt and held up the European Cup.
They had beaten Roma on penalties in their home stadium.
UEFA make the draw on Friday morning and I don’t want to see Man City v Liverpool or Man United v Spurs.