Liverpool’s previous 22 games against English clubs in Europe – from Leeds to Man City

25 May 2019

Liverpool take on Tottenham in the final of the Champions League on June 1, in the latest in a long run of clashes with fellow English sides in Europe.


The Reds defeated Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Red Star, Bayern Munich, Porto and Barcelona on their route to the final, which will see them meet Spurs in Madrid.

Along with the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal, this serves as an intriguing all-English tie which will see either Jurgen Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino lift their first trophy with their clubs.

But how have Liverpool fared against English sides in European competition in the past?

 

The 1970s and the Road to a 1st European Cup

Liverpool's legendary Bill Shankly. Turning towards the Kop end of Anfield, Shankly gets an ovation from the fans who idolised him when Liverpool became League champions.

Liverpool’s first European meeting against a fellow English side came against a formidable Leeds team in 1971, in the Fairs Cup semi-finals.

Leeds legend Billy Bremner scored the only goal at Anfield in the first leg, and a goalless draw in the return game saw Bill Shankly’s side dumped out of the short-lived competition.

Two years later, Shankly’s men came up against Tottenham in the last four of the UEFA Cup.

The first leg was decided by a first-half effort by Reds full-back Alec Lindsay, and it put them in pole position to reach the final.

Despite losing 2-1 at White Hart Lane, Steve Heighway’s away goal after 54 minutes proved crucial, and they would go on to beat Borussia Monchengladbach in the two-legged final.

(L-R) Liverpool's Phil Neal, Emlyn Hughes and Jimmy Case show the European Cup to their jubilant fans

In September 1978, Brian Clough’s formidable Nottingham Forest outfit were pitted against Liverpool in the first round of the European Cup.

The Reds were still strong favourites to progress, but Forest won 2-0 at the City Ground, leaving Bob Paisley’s team with it all to do at Anfield.

Clough’s men defended heroically throughout, and the 0-0 draw saw holders Liverpool sent packing in round one.

 

The Chelsea Rivalry Begins

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's Luis Garcia, John Arne Riise and Djimi Traore celebrate the opening goal against Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After nearly 27 years without facing an English team in Europe, Liverpool faced Chelsea in an enormous Champions League semi-final in 2005.

The rivalry between the two clubs had grown hugely since the respective arrivals of Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho, and there was genuine hatred between both sides.

The Blues were firm favourites to win the tie, having clinched the Premier League title in between the two legs, but Liverpool had other ideas.

A tight 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge meant the tie was perfectly poised heading to Anfield, and we all know what happened next.

Luis Garcia’s controversial early goal proved critical, and Liverpool held on in desperate fashion for the rest of the night.

Who else is yet to recover from that late Eidur Gudjohnsen chance?

Liverpool and Chelsea were then drawn in the same Champions League group the following season but, in truth, the two goalless draws were extremely forgettable affairs.

 

More Semi-Final Joy Against the Blues

Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt (center), John Arne Riise and Jose Reina (left) celebrate after winning the match on penalties

In 2007, Mourinho and his side were desperate for revenge, as the two clubs once again did battle in the Champions League semis.

Joe Cole’s solitary goal in the first leg in west London gave Chelsea an advantage as they headed to Merseyside, but again it was Liverpool who prevailed in glorious fashion.

Daniel Agger’s beautifully worked first-half strike levelled the tie on aggregate, and an unbearably tense encounter saw both sides close to nicking an all-important goal in normal time.

Penalties were eventually required to decide who would make it to the final, and Pepe Reina’s heroics and Dirk Kuyt’s winning spot-kick sent Anfield into raptures.

Once again, Benitez had got one over on Mourinho.

 

Ups & Downs in 2007/08

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 8, 2008: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard MBE and Fernando Torres celebrate after Gerrard's penalty made it 3-2 during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match against Arsenal at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A very talented Arsenal side were Liverpool’s opponents in the Champions League quarter-finals in April of 2008, in what was yet another unforgettable matchup.

The Reds earned a credible 1-1 draw at the Emirates, with Kuyt levelling up Emmanuel Adebayor’s opener, although the Dutchman was lucky not to concede a penalty after pulling back Alexander Hleb in the second half.

Arsenal made a superb start to the second leg at Anfield, playing the Reds off the park, and Abou Diaby’s strike gave them the lead.

Sami Hyypia’s towering header restored parity before the break, and a sensational effort from Fernando Torres after 69 minutes turned the game on its head.

Anfield was stunned with just six minutes left on the clock, however, as an unstoppable Theo Walcott run eventually saw the Englishman square for Adebayor, who finished clinically.

There was still time for more drama, though, as Kolo Toure brought down Ryan Babel inside the area. Steven Gerrard scored the penalty, and Babel then put the icing on the cake on the counter-attack in the dying seconds.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 10, 2008: Liverpool's John Arne Riise in action against Chelsea during the Premiership match at Stamford Bridge. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Following the elation of that win, Liverpool unfortunately felt the misery of defeat against Chelsea in Europe for the first time.

John Arne Riise’s catastrophic last-gasp own goal gifted the Blues a 1-1 draw at Anfield, and Avram Grant’s team won 3-2 after extra time at home.

It was a tough one to take.

 

Epic 4-4 Not Enough for Rafa’s Reds

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 8, 2009: Chelsea's Michael Ballack in action against Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool and Chelsea reconvened for the fourth time in the Champions League knockout stages in as many years in 2009, and sadly the Reds would fall short at the quarter-final stage.

Chelsea were magnificent in the first leg on Merseyside, recovering from Torres’ opener to eventually win 3-1.

Although the tie effectively looked over, the Reds produced a fantastic, brave display in the return fixture in the capital.

Fabio Aurelio’s outrageous free-kick and a Xabi Alonso penalty made it 3-3 on aggregate, and Benitez knew that another away goal would send his side into the semis.

Didier Drogba, Alex and Frank Lampard quickly swung the tie in Chelsea‘s favour, but goals from Lucas Leiva and Kuyt again meant just one more was needed to go through.

They just couldn’t muster the strength to score a fifth, though, and Lampard’s second of the night officially finished Liverpool off.

It was an incredible football match, and one that epitomised the quality, passion and unpredictability in games between English teams in Europe.

 

Knocking Out the Mancs, United and City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 16, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the first goal against Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds have met English sides in Europe on two occasions in Klopp’s reign already, and they have both proved fierce encounters as they faced Man United in 2016 and Man City in 2018.

United were the opposition in the last 16 of the Europa League in 2016, as Liverpool continued their road to the final in Basel.

The first leg at Anfield saw a blistering performance from the hosts, with David de Gea the only positive for Louis van Gaal’s side as he kept it at 2-0, through goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino.

At Old Trafford, Anthony Martial reduced the deficit from the penalty spot, only for a moment of pure brilliance from Philippe Coutinho, dinking it over De Gea from a tight angle at close range, to humiliate United for a 3-1 aggregate win.

Two years later, Liverpool were drawn against City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and once again Klopp’s Reds won convincingly.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 14, 2018: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The home side again for the first leg, they produced a scintillating display to overwhelm Pep Guardiola’s outfit, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s rocket the pick of the goals in a 3-0 win.

Onto the Etihad, and Gabriel Jesus’ second-minute strike gave the Reds a minor scare, Firmino and Mohamed Salah earned another win on the night, and 5-1 over two legs.

That fuelled Liverpool’s push to Kyiv, and though that campaign ended in misery, Klopp will be hopeful it’s second time lucky as they take on Spurs in Madrid.

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