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Anything can happen, says Pep Guardiola, Juergen Klopp

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Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola attends a press conference prior to the UEFA Champions League second leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Liverpool, at City Football Academy in Manchester, north west England on April 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS

“In football, anything can happen,” said Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with a shrug, as he looked ahead of day’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg where his team have to overcome a 3-0 deficit against Liverpool.

It is a truism, of course, and neither Guardiola nor his Liverpool counterpart Juergen Klopp will need to wrack their brains too hard to think of examples where a three-goal lead — or more — has been overturned in European competition.

Former Barcelona player and manager Guardiola still describes himself as a “fan” of the Spanish club and will need no reminding of how his old team progressed to the quarter-finals last season.

Paris St Germain beat Barca 4-0 at the Parc des Princes in their last 16, first leg game only to be eliminated after a remarkable 6-1 win for the Catalans at the Nou Camp where three of the goals came in the final minutes of the game.

Klopp frequently notes how the club’s history has little impact on his team but his team’s fans understand more readily than most how fragile a three-goal lead can be.

The Anfield faithful still celebrate one of the great football comebacks — the night they won the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul on penalties against AC Milan after trailing 3-0 to the Italians at half-time.

Even this season, Klopp and his players themselves experienced how easily a three-goal advantage can disappear in European football.


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