Mo Salah chasing rare European goal run as Reds eye triumph in Real’s backyard

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Mohamed Salah is hunting down a goal to become only the fifth Red to score in four successive Champions League games as Liverpool look for more quarter-final joy.

Liverpool have met Real six times in history (all in this competition) – winning the first three (including 1981 final) and losing the last three (including 2018 final).

They could become the first English team to beat Real twice in Madrid – Arsenal and Manchester City have also won at the Bernabeu.

But the Reds have won one of the last eight meetings with Spanish opponents and twice in 10 encounters under Jurgen Klopp – beating Villarreal in 2016 and Barcelona in 2019 (both in semi-final return legs at Anfield).

 

Salah and Mane Key?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (L) celebrates with team-mate Mohamed Salah after the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are in the quarter-finals for the eighth time in the Champions League era.

In their European history, they have progressed from this stage on 19 of 25 occasions – the last time they failed to do so in 2008/09 against Chelsea in this competition.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, who has played in all eight European games this season, have scored all the goals in the Reds’ last three Champions League matches – Salah has three and Mane two.

And should he score, Salah will become only the fifth Reds player to score in four successive European games, following Steven Gerrard (twice), Roger Hunt, Robbie Fowler and Djibril Cisse to achieve the feat.

 

Road Comforts

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 15, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (C) celebrates with team-mates Thiago Alcantara (L) and Sadio Mané (R) after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

Seven of Diogo Jota’s last eight goals for Liverpool have come away from Anfield.

The Reds have won each of their last five games played away from Anfield in all competitions and seven of the last eight. Those include both legs of the round of 16 against RB Leipzig.

They have kept three successive clean sheets and in only four of the last 27 games have they conceded more than once.

 

Careful

Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner will miss the second leg should either of them play and receive a yellow card. Jordan Henderson has also been booked twice.

 

A Team in Form

KIEV, UKRAINE - Saturday, May 26, 2018: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Real Madrid's Isco during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Real have won the last four games and are unbeaten in 11 since losing at home to Levante in January.

And they have scored a goal after the 85th minute in six of the last seven fixtures.

They have never been eliminated by a British team in four ties at the quarter-final stage. This is their 36th quarter-final in this competition, and they have lost only six.

 

Real’s Danger Man

KIEV, UKRAINE - Saturday, May 26, 2018: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the first goal with head coach Zinédine Zidane during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Karim Benzema has scored four goals in three appearances against Liverpool. Along with Didier Drogba, he has most goals against Liverpool in the Champions League era.

Benzema has 70 goals in this competition and is fifth on the all-time Champions League scorers list, one goal behind fourth-placed Raul.

And the Frenchman has found the net in each of the last five games in all competitions (seven in total).

 

Man in the Middle

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Referee Felix Brych during the opening UEFA Champions League Group D match between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. (Pic by Gerrit van Keulen/Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

Felix Brych (Germany). Has reffed Liverpool seven times before (W4, D1, L2) and has awarded three penalties against Liverpool.

His last game the 1-0 win at Ajax on Matchday 1 this season.

He has reffed Real Madrid 10 times (W6, D2, L2). Lost the last two, including the game at Man City (1-2) in the round of 16 last season.

 

This Season’s Scorers

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Real Madrid: Benzema 24, Casemiro 6, Asensio 5, Modric 4, Ramos 4, Vinicius Junior 4, Own goals 4, Hazard 3, Valverde 3, Kroos 2, Lucas Vasquez 2, Mendy 2, Varane 2, Diaz 1, Militao 1, Rodrygo 1

Liverpool: Salah 26, Jota 12, Mane 12, Firmino 6, Jones 4, Minamino 4, Own goals 4Wijnaldum 3, Alexander-Arnold 1, Grujic 1, Henderson 1, Matip 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1,
Shaqiri 1, Van Dijk 1

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