I like proactive friends. And I love proactive friends that book two hospitality tickets for a Champions’ League game in Liverpool without knowing who they will attend the match with!
This is how my Champions’ League Night at Anfield began: a simple message on Facebook Messenger telling me that he had an extra ticket for Liverpool versus Hoffenheim (23rd August 2017) and no one to go with!
I wasted no time and after a couple of quick searches on Skyscanner.com and Booking.com I had my plane tickets and hotel room booked.
I had already been to a few Premier League games before, and I had attended some Champions’ League events here in Italy (where I’m from) but I had never been to Anfield, so the seven days that I had to wait before jumping on my flight were endless.
23rd August 2017 – The day of the match.
With an 11am two-hour long flight I only had one thing to think of: what to bet on the match!
Guess what, being a long-time bettor, there is one simple rule that I pretty much follow all the time: I bet on the event that I attend; this makes things even more fun and gives me the chance to cash in some extra money to cover the trip (or makes the trip more expensive).
Obviously, I also wanted to cheer for Liverpool (my friend is a big supporter), so even before meeting my friend in the city center, I had already decided what to bet on: Liverpool -1 on the Asian handicap (spread), despite Liverpool’s commanding 2-1 lead after the first leg (played away in Germany).
This is without a doubt one of my favorite bets when it comes to soccer and especially when I attend an event where I support the home team and I am pretty confident about the home team’s strength, which was the case.
Liverpool -1 (asian handicap) @ 1.9
5:00pm – Getting to the stadium
Yes, we arrived early, very early, but we had hospitality tickets, which means we had access to the museum (plus we wanted to stop at the store).
I liked the museum, it’s full of history of the club but it is not too big, definitely worth a visit; this is the thing I liked the most:
If I could caption this photo, this is what I would write: “Humble in Glory, a true Champion”. Apart from the quote, which by the way I totally love, my favorite part of the photo is the grass and mud stain on Steven Gerrard’s Number after the sports battle. Simply Amazing.
Hospitality tickets come with dinner included so after a quick visit to the team’s official store where we bought a couple of jerseys, we headed to the restaurant; beer wasn’t included, but we managed to drink a few anyway.
One of the best things Anfield offers is its atmosphere (at least this is what people always told me), and they were right!
Even before the match, you could start feeling it!
And that amazing chant that they sing: “You’ll never walk alone”.
“You’ll never walk alone” probably deserves a blog post for itself, but for now I want to share a short video of it that I managed to record:
Right before the match, what a way to encourage your team!
Liverpool, as I expected, proved to be too much for Hoffenheim leading 2-0 after only 20 minutes with the early goals by Can and Salah.
We were pretty lucky in terms of goals as we saw six! Liverpool proved to be a much better team than Hoffenheim on this occasion and the final score was 4-2 (read a full recap here: http://www.mirror.co.uk).
What did 4-2 mean? Well, for Liverpool that meant moving on to the group stage of the competition, while for me that also meant that my bet on Liverpool -1 was a winner, which was the icing on the cake, making the trip less expensive than I thought it would be!
It really was a magical night!