Liverpool – Champions League History

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Liverpool head into battle of Saturday evening looking to create more memories in the Champions League. Over the years, Liverpool has lifted the famous cup on six separate occasions and will be looking to equal AC Milan’s record of seven titles with a victory in Paris.

The first of the six titles came for Liverpool came all the way back in the 1976/77 season against German side Borussia Monchengladbach. Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal all got on the scoresheet in a resounding 3-1 victory. More poignant was that this would be the final game for legendary Liverpool midfielder Kevin Keegan who swapped Merseyside for Hamburg for a German record fee.

Liverpool would not have to wait long for their second taste of European glory, successfully defending their crown just a year later in the 1977/78 final against Club Brugge. Interestingly it was the replacement for Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish who came up with the decisive goal in the 64th minute.

A hat-trick of European Cups was confirmed during the 1980/81 season with a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in Paris, something Liverpool fans today would definitely want today ahead of the final. In a tight and tetchy contest, it was full-back Alan Kennedy who scored the only goal of the contest on the 81st minute. The win underlined the dominance of English teams in the European Cup, with this being the fifth consecutive season that a team from England came away with the trophy.

Three years later a fourth European Cup was added to the trophy cabinet at Anfield. Phil Neal scored an early goal for the Merseyside giants before Roma’s Roberto Pruzzo levelled the contest just after half-time. Into the penalty shoot-out, the pressure was piled onto the Italian side who was playing on home soil at the Stadio Olimpico. Two missed penalties later and Alan Kennedy kept his composure to seal the victory, the first-ever time that the European Cup final had been settled by penalties.

Liverpool had to wait 21 years for their next appearance in the now revamped Champions League final, and it proved to be worth the wait for the Reds. Istanbul will forever go down in infamy for Liverpool fans. After a dreadful first half, which saw AC Milan race into a 3-0 lead, Steven Gerrard inspired a second-half fightback which eventually forced the contest to a penalty shootout.

Polish keeper Jerzy Dudek summoned the spirit of the spaghetti legs of Bruce Grobbelaar to stop Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko to secure a famous 3-2 shootout win against the odds. Two years later AC would get their revenge defeating Liverpool in the Champions League final in Athens.

An all English clash against Tottenham during the 2018/19 season delivered Liverpool’s sixth and so far final Champions League crown. Mo Salah tucked away an early penalty with just two minutes on the clock to settle the early nerves at the Wanda Metropolitano before super-sub Divok Origi scored a decisive winner three minutes from time to seal Klopp’s first European trophy with Liverpool.

As you can see from down the years, Liverpool has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the European Cup. Now, ahead of their clash with Real Madrid, can they do a repeat of Paris 81 to defeat Real Madrid and take home the biggest prize in club football for the seventh time.

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