Will Liverpool Bounce Back From Their PL Title Disappointment to Win the UCL?

Grace Crispin

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Will Liverpool Bounce Back From Their PL Title Disappointment to Win the UCL?

A 3 - 1 win for Liverpool against Wolves was not enough to win the Premier League on the final day, as title-rivals and champions Manchester City came back from 2 - 0 down to beat Aston Villa 3 - 2 and win their sixth Premier League title.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were second best by a single point, having finished the season with 28 wins, eight draws and just two losses. This means that in the two recent seasons in which The Reds lost out to City - the 2018/19 season and the 2021/22 season, they lost only three games and yet missed out on the trophy both times.

However, Liverpool have already won two trophies this season. The Reds beat Chelsea on penalties to win both the League Cup and the FA Cup after both games finished 0 - 0. Klopp and his men could still finish the 2021/22 season with a treble if they can beat Real Madrid in the Champions League Final in Paris.

Liverpool FC

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Liverpool’s History in the Champions League

With six Champions League titles, Liverpool are the club with the third-highest number of titles in the competition, just behind Real Madrid with 13, AC Milan with seven and joint third with Bayern Munich.

Liverpool’s first title came in the 1976/77 season where The Reds faced German team Borussia Monchengladbach in the final. A 3 - 1 win sealed a first-ever European Cup and started a dynasty of European football excellence. The second came just a year later, a 1 - 0 victory over Belgian team Club Brugge enough to win The Reds their second cup.

The Reds have had mixed results when meeting Real Madrid in the Final of the European Cup. The two clubs have met twice in the Final before, first in 1981 where Liverpool won 1 - 0 to win their third title and then again in 2018 where Madrid beat Liverpool 3 - 1.

Their fourth title was the first The Reds won on penalties. Liverpool met Italian side Roma in the 1984 European Cup Final, where the score was 1 - 1 after extra time and Liverpool ultimately won 4 - 2 on penalties.

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The fifth and sixth titles came under the modern variation of the European Cup, the Champions League. The Reds’ fifth title is arguably the most iconic, the 2005 win in Istanbul. Liverpool came back from 3 - 0 down, to be level at 3 - 3 going into extra time. The Reds eventually won 3 - 2 on penalties to complete the full comeback and win the Champions League for the first time in 21 years.

The final and most recent Champions League triumph came just a year after the painful loss to Real Madrid in the 2018 Final. In an all-English final, Liverpool cruised to a 2 - 0 win over Tottenham.

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This Champions League Season

Liverpool found themselves in Group B with AC Milan, Porto and Atletico Madrid, where they dominated the group, winning all six games and leading the group by 11 points.

AC Milan troubled Liverpool slightly despite finishing last in the group, with the games ending 3 - 2 and 2 - 1 (in Liverpool’s favour).

The Reds have met Porto frequently in the last couple of Champions League campaigns, this time Liverpool prevailed both times, a 5 - 1 win at the Estadio do Dragao and a 2 - 0 win at Anfield.

Atletico Madrid have also been a frequent opponent for Liverpool in the Champions League but were beaten 3 - 2 at the Wanda Metropolitano and 2 - 0 at Anfield.

The Reds drew Serie A Champions Inter Milan in the Round of 16, travelling to the San Siro first. Goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah saw Liverpool welcome Inter to Anfield with a 2 - 0 lead. The goal from Lautaro Martinez saw Inter Milan take a win in the second leg but it was not enough to stop Liverpool from progressing to the Quarter-finals.

Liverpool were matched up with Portuguese side Benfica for the Quarter-finals. Liverpool won the first leg at the Estadio do SL Benfica 3 - 1, with goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz. Benfica were able to breach the Liverpool defence, with Darwin Nunez getting a goal. However, the deficit was too large for Benfica, who crashed out despite the entertaining 3 - 3 draw at Anfield.

The Semi-finals saw Liverpool paired up with Spanish side Villarreal. The first leg, this time at Anfield, was a straight-forward 2 - 0 win for The Reds, an Estupinan own goal and a Mane goal completing the scoresheet. Liverpool were stunned in the first half at the Estadio de la Ceramica, where Villarreal stormed to a 2 - 0 lead at half-time. But some second-half heroics from Fabinho, Diaz and Mane saw the tie end at a comfortable 5 - 2 on aggregate.

Real Madrid had a bit of a more challenging run to the Final. Their group consisted of Inter Milan, Sheriff and Shakhtar Donetsk, where Los Blancos won five of the six games, only losing once in a shock 2 - 1 defeat to Sheriff.

Madrid then faced PSG, who they beat 3 - 2 on aggregate after a Karim Benzema hattrick in the second leg. The Quarter-finals paired Madrid with holders Chelsea, where Benzema scored another hattrick, this time at Stamford Bridge.

The second leg was more challenging, with Chelsea leading 3 - 1 going into extra time, but another Benzema goal took Los Blancos to the Semi-finals. Manchester City posed a large challenge, especially after winning 4 - 3 at the Etihad, but more Benzema and Rodrygo heroics sent Madrid to the Final with a 6 - 5 aggregate win.

Despite Real Madrid’s excellence in the competition this season, Liverpool’s sheer dominance in their run to the Final could be a sign of their ability to go all the way. Jurgen Klopp and his men have shown the determination in all cup competitions this season and will be extra intent on finally getting revenge for the 2018 Final in Kyiv.

Champions League Final Tips

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