Champions League glory can make shattered Reds whole again

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Few experiences in life can hurt football fans as much as crushing disappointment does. The pain of falling short of an intended achievement may sound manageable on paper, but when it concerns the football club you have followed devotedly your entire life, the hurt goes deep and is exceptionally raw. Something that Liverpool fans were all too aware of during a horror afternoon at the King Power.

The sight of Jamie Vardy prodding home a ball into an empty net as Alisson stood an astonishing 25 yards behind him sent Liverpool fans around the world into collective despair. When that anguish subsided enough to assess the damage, floods of pain returned as it was confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that Liverpool FC would not defend the title they had so impressively won last season, as a loss against Leicester left them with an impossible task of hauling Man City back in.

It is the cold light of day after an inconceivable result that makes you question the wisdom in getting so attached to a football team. The pain resolutely lingers in the air and like any reality that is hard to accept in life, you’re convinced the feeling of gloom will never go away. Time, we’re told, is the great healer, but Liverpool do not have that as a luxury in any sort of abundance at the moment.

Instead, the club must turn to a competition that they have a strong love affair with to make them whole again. Jurgen Klopp needs to galvanize the Anfield club by bravely heading to the continent to do battle.

Indeed, still being in the Champions League gives the Reds a chance to salvage a season that is sinking at an alarming speed. Despite Klopp having to put up with a long list of the injured and wounded at Anfield, there are still enough fit playmakers available to ensure safe passage for the Reds to the later stages of the competition. The deeper the club can go, the more chance there is of utilizing their best players in the biggest Champions League nights at the business end of the competition as the injured begin to return.

Of course, the Champions League football fixtures for the round of 16 show the heavyweights of European football are all still in the competition. But that won’t be the case forever with the big boys like Barcelona going up against PSG and Atletico Madrid against Chelsea, potential winners will be knocked out and Liverpool’s chances will go up.

And when the competition gets to the latter parts, particularly the semi-final stage, it does become anyone’s game. It’s then all about holding your nerve, something Liverpool as a football club know just how to do. It was only two years ago that the Reds beat Spurs at the Wanda Estadio Metropolitano to win Europe’s biggest domestic prize for the sixth time. In fact, some might say that European glory is embedded in the very fabric of this club.

It may have been a wretched few weeks for the Reds but redemption is never far away, which means neither is hope. The Premier League is gone but a journey into Europe awaits.

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