With Liverpool’s biggest game of the season reserved for a massive European night on the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, emotions couldn’t be running higher among the Anfield faithful.
Jurgen Klopp commended the intimidating atmosphere the Anfield support provided in their spectacular 2-0 win over fierce rivals Manchester United last month in the Europa League. At the weekend,the German called for a similar atmosphere for Thursday’s crucial second-leg decider against Borussia Dortmund.
The fans seem to have answered Klopp’s call, with a procession being planned to welcome the team bus at Anfield, followed by an early occupation of the stadium to set the atmosphere for an enthralling European night.
The team bus welcome is similar to the ones the fans gave the Reds prior to crucial games against Manchester City and Chelsea in the second half of the 2013/14 season, when they were in the midst of a title challenge.
The welcome ahead of the Dortmund clash has been planned in detail through social media, with supporters urged to meet at the top end of Anfield Road at 6pm local time, in-time for the arrival of the Dortmund and Liverpool team coaches respectively.
There will also be a mosaic tribute to the 96 from the Kop during pre-match proceedings.
A ‘touch of class’ from Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund have announced that their supporters shall hold a ’96’ mosaic in black and yellow on the night, as a tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims. In a statement to its supporters, Dortmund said, “Paper boards [have been] prepared in the away section, to provide the number ’96’ in black and yellow.”
As a token of their appreciation for the German club’s initiative, Liverpool have issued all the travelling fans invites to the Hillsborough memorial service set to take place the next day at Anfield.
It’s heartening to see such moments of respect and gratitude between clubs for one another, even in the context of a highly competitive European quarter-final. Jurgen Klopp has time and again emphasized the importance of fans and how they act as the veritable 12th man for the side on the pitch. The German could certainly use one tonight in a match that could define Liverpool’s progress under his reign.