Liverpool conceded two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second leg of their Europa League quarterfinal against Borussia Dortmund, replacing the melodically vibrant pre-match unity at Anfield with a familiar gust of dejection. The scoreline held until halftime and Dortmund’s progression seemed like a foregone conclusion, but then something incredible happened. Liverpool scored four times in the second half, with the last two goals coming from Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren, of all people, to win 4–3 and advance on an aggregate score of 5–4.
The Liverpool players later credited the unbelievable turnaround to Jurgen Klopp’s halftime team talk. The following is a transcript of what Klopp told his players in the dressing room during the break.
Ok guys, this first half was not good. Most people expected Dortmund to beat you, though. You really have nothing to lose, I guess. But I do.
In Germany we have a word: schadenfreude. Do you know this word? It is what I would feel if we beat my old club. I need this, guys. I need this very much.
That first half was like having your ex-wife over to your new house and watching her suddenly start to have sex with her new boyfriend on your couch without putting a towel down or anything. It was very bad for me. Very, very bad.
So, you have nothing to lose, but I have a lot to lose. I know we are still getting to know each other, but I think you all like me so far, yes? I like you. So, please…do me this favor and go back out there and show me the character that Brendan Rodgers always calls me at three in the morning to talk about. Seriously, he does this all the time. It’s very annoying.
Remember the famous night in Istanbul? This club came back from 3–0 down in the Champions League final and won on penalties. And that was with Rafa Benitez as manager. A man who is now getting relegated with Newcastle. Think about that. We can do this. We have to do this.
Now I will say the word “shit” and pretend I did it by accident because everyone in this country always thinks it’s so cool when I do that all the time.
Divock, Philippe — I know you have goals in you. And Mamadou, Dejan — if you don’t do something good, I’m going to sign Mats Hummels and make you both work as his butler next season.
So lets do this! If we win this match, I promise I will give you all so many hugs that you will think that you are living in some sort of utopia of hugging. And I will look Thomas Tuchel in the eyes and I will say “Nice try, Thomas” but in my head I will be thinking “You’re not leaving sex stains on my couch, but I did put laxatives in your glass of wine, so enjoy your drive home.”
Now let’s go back out there and win this shit! Haha I said “shit” again!