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Midfielder Fabinho believes Liverpool will have to reinvent the spirit of their famous Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona to have any chance of progressing against Real Madrid.
In 2019, on their way to winning the competition, they overcame a 3-0 first-leg semi-final deficit to win 4-0 at Anfield.
The circumstances, however, are considerably different on this occasion as although Liverpool still need three goals, having lost the first leg 5-2, they will have to do it in the Bernabeu, where Real have only once failed to score in their last 66 European matches.
Fabinho, a former Madrid B team player who made one first-team substitute appearance in 2013, is well aware his old club are swift to “smell blood” as they demonstrated at Anfield, where they bounced back from 2-0 down.
However, he holds out hope the remaining members of that semi-final win over Barcelona, of whom six are likely to start on Wednesday, can find some inspiration.
“I think it is important to have this mindset for a game like this because we have nothing to lose,” said the 29-year-old. “Everyone expects Real Madrid to win the game and go to the quarter-final so this game will be good for us because we go with the responsibility to win in the Liverpool shirt and try to play our best football.
“This group, some of the players have a real nice experience of the Barcelona game when we were 3-0 down and we changed in the second game. It will be a little bit different because we will not play at Anfield so we have to be really motivated to play this game.
“Real Madrid smell the blood and if they have an opportunity they hurt you and if they get an opportunity they will score again.
“We learned many things (from the first leg) and we will try to be less exposed but there will be moments when we are exposed, especially if we have to score three or four goals.
“But these are things you have to try to react on the spot. I think we need to be cool-headed and it is important not to be desperate from the beginning.
“We need to score but the most important thing is not to concede any more goals so if we get nil by the end of the first half that would be a good result because after that anything can happen.”
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