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Liverpool’s European Legacy and success stories

Liverpool Football Club is still the most successful club in England in terms of European silverware. Let us take look back at stories.

Last updated: 16.04.2019
Liverpool’s European Legacy | Sports Social Blog

Liverpool Football Club is still the most successful club in England in terms of European silverware. The fans of the club would like to remind you of that fact every opportunity they get with their “5 Times” and “Kings of Europe” catch-phrases, even though the last time they won it was in 2005. Let us take look back at their success-stories.

The First and Second European Wins (European Cups 1976-77 and 1977-78) -

Bob Paisley, once assistant of Liverpool’s arguably one of the greatest managers of all time Bill Shankly, took over as manager of the club in 1974. Success did not take long to come, as the club was running smoothly and overall at par with its previous highly successful regime. They entered the 1975-76 UEFA cup after a 2nd place finishes in the previous season, and ended up winning the UEFA cup for the second time in their history.

They became the domestic league champions in 1975-76 and they entered the European Cup in their next season. They faced their first real challenge against Saint-Étienne in the quarter-final, where they won 3-2 on aggregate, after coming back from behind at the second leg at Anfield. They comfortably beat FC Zurich in the semis and faced Borussia Mönchengladbach in the finals. Four days after they lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup final, they beat the German side 3-1 in Rome to become the European champions for the first time. Paisley made a tactical change to include striker Toshack in the squad, even though he was not in the squad announced earlier, which said to have had an effect on the Germans’ strategy.

They qualified for the 1977-78 European Cup as champions of the previous year. They moved on to semifinals quite comfortably and again met Borussia Mönchengladbach. The German side won the first leg 2-1 and was beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in the second leg. The reached their successive European Cup final to face Club Brugge, and won the final 1-0, with Dalglish’s goal from an assist from Souness. This was the first time an English team retained the European Cup.

The Third and Fourth European Wins (European Cups 1980-81 and 1983-84) -

Liverpool again qualified for the 1980-81 European Cup as they were the champions of the English league in the previous season. In the semi-finals, they faced Bayern Munich, the European champions, who had already won the cup thrice at that point. At Anfield, they finished the game goalless, the second leg ended with a 1-1 score, where Liverpool progressed on away goal. They faced Real Madrid in the final at Paris and won 1-0 with help from Alan Kennedy’s only goal.

Joe Fagan, former assistant manager of Paisley, took over in 1983. His first season at Liverpool had been a very successful one. They reached their 4th European Cup final. They faced Roma in the finals in Rome, and the game finished 1-1 in regulation time. They won the penalty shootout to win their fourth European Cup. There have been horror stories of Liverpool fans in Roma getting attacked Rome.

The Fifth European Win (UEFA Champions League 2004-2005) -

Rafa Benitez took over Liverpool as their manager in 2004. Liverpool finished 4th in English Premier League season of the 2003-04 season which qualified them for the 2004-05 Champions League season. They had a quite slow start in the group stage, where they lost the first two games. They beat Olympiacos 3-1 to ensure their progress to the round of 16. They beat Leverkusen in the first knockout round and Juventus in the quarter-finals to face Chelsea in the semis. They beat Chelsea by 1-0 with a goal with Luis Garcia’s goal but there was a lot of controversy around whether the ball crossed the goal-line or not. The then-manager of Chelsea Jose Mourinho termed the goal as a “Ghost goal”. They faced Milan in the final on a great night in Istanbul. They were behind 3-0 at the half time and within a period of six minutes in the second half, they were level 3-3. The extra time kept the score same, so the game proceeded to a penalty shootout, and Liverpool won it 3-2, where Milan striker Shevchenko’s penalty was saved by Liverpool keeper Dudek.

They reached the final again in the 2006-07 season and faced Milan, but were beaten 2-1.

Final Thoughts -

After being less than relevant in the past few yew years, Liverpool as a club have shown a resurgence in the European scene. In the 2017-18 season, under Jurgen Klopp, they have reached the final against all odds as an underdog to face Real Madrid. Thanks to the two infamous howlers by their goalkeeper Karius, Real Madrid won the match 3-1, although the score does not do justice to the match. Liverpool’s star-performer Salah was substituted with an injury after a foul from Real Madrid defender Ramos, which was dubbed as unsportsmanlike by a lot of Liverpool fans. This 2018-19 season they are facing Porto in their quarter-final tie where they went up 2-0 in their first leg at home. It will be an amazing feat for them if they go through to the final and win it once and for all and silence the critics.

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