The records Liverpool must break for a miracle in Madrid

Liverpool travel to Real Madrid on Wednesday night in hope of a miracle after falling to a 5-2 defeat in the first leg.

In what has become an almost annual occurrence, the Reds will face off against the Galacticos with both sides looking to book a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Liverpool started brightly at Anfield to race into a 2-0 lead, with early goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, but Madrid’s emphatic comeback has left the Reds requiring snookers in order to progress.

Here we take a look at some of the key facts heading into the showdown at the Bernabeu.


Can we hope for a miracle?

MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, February 25, 2009: Liverpool's Yossi Benayoun celebrates scoring against Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League First Knock-Out Round at the Santiago Bernabeu. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How likely is it that the Reds could pull off the unthinkable?

Liverpool will need to record a 4-0 victory or a win by at least four goals to progress to the quarter-final stage without the need for a penalty shoot-out.

Their record win over Real came in March 2009 when they won 4-0 at Anfield in the Champions League.

Only once in history have the Reds overhauled a three-goal first-leg deficit in Europe. They famously beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final of 2019, winning 4-0 at Anfield after a 3-0 defeat in Spain.

Their biggest aggregate margin of defeat is by four goals. They were beaten 7-3 by Ajax in this competition in 1966 and by Spartak Moscow 6-2 in the Cup Winners Cup in 1992.

Liverpool have won three out of four penalty shoot-outs in European competition and 20 from 27 in all competitions, the last coming against Derby in the League Cup last November.


There’s something about Madrid

NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' looks dejected as his side conceded the fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Napoli won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is the first time in the club’s European history that they have lost two games in the same campaign by a three-goal margin or more. They lost 4-1 at Napoli in the group phase.

Away from home, they have won eight of the last nine on an away ground in Europe, that defeat at Napoli being the only blemish.

On an opponent’s ground, they have kept two clean sheets in the last 11 games, one at Inter Milan last season and the other at Ajax during this campaign.

In every Champions League season under Jurgen Klopp that the Reds have been eliminated, it has been by a team from Madrid: 2018 – Real, 2020 – Atletico, 2021 – Real, 2022 – Real.

The year Liverpool won it under Klopp it was, you guessed it, in Madrid!


A good omen?

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 2-0 to win their sixth European Cup. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Should Mo Salah score he will surpass Didier Drogba as the African player with the most goals in the Champions League. They both currently have 44.

The Reds could keep a second successive away clean sheet in Europe for the first time since December 2020 at Atalanta and Ajax.

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

Liverpool have played 21 times on this day down the years and have never lost, winning 13, including each of the last five.


A hard egg to crack

PARIS, FRANCE - Saturday, May 28, 2022: Champions League winners' goal medal during the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF at the Stade de France. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

They have won more European Cups than any other club – 14. They lifted the trophy in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and last season.

It is Real Madrid’s 53rd European Cup campaign, more than any other team.

They are playing in the Champions League for the 26th consecutive season and have reached the semi-finals or better in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

On only three occasions have they conceded four at home in 229 European fixtures, the last coming against Ajax in 2018-19.

Last season they were two goals down at home to Chelsea after 51 minutes before rallying to win the tie 6-3 on aggregate.

Last month’s win at Anfield was only the second time they had won 5-2 away from home in the first leg of a European tie.


This Season’s Scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 5, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 7-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Real Madrid: Vinicius Junior 19, Benzema 18, Valverde 12, Rodrygo 10, Asensio 7, Militao 6, Modric 6, Alaba 2, Kroos 2, Rudiger 2, Lucas Vasquez 2, Arribas 1, Ceballos 1, Hazard 1, Rodriguez 1.

Liverpool: Salah 22, Nunez 14, Firmino 10, Elliott 5, Diaz 4, Gakpo 4, Alexander-Arnold 3, Carvalho 3, Van Dijk 3, Bajcetic 1, Matip 1, Oxlade-Chamberlain 1, own goals 4

* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).