With Liverpool facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final later this month, we take a look back at three classic encounters between the two European giants.
Between them, Liverpool and Real Madrid have got their hands on Europe’s big prize 17 times, with the La Liga side the current Champions League holders after winning the trophy in each of the last two seasons.
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However, despite their long history of success on the continent, Liverpool and Real have only met on a handful of occasions – including one European Cup final. The most memorable were these three encounters…
1981 European Cup final: Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid
Liverpool headed to Paris in May 1981 looking to win a third European Cup in the space of just five years, albeit against the most successful team in the competition with six wins to their name.
However, in a cagey contest at the Parc des Princes, it was Bob Paisley’s men who emerged victorious thanks to Alan Kennedy’s 82nd-minute strike. The left-back collected a throw-in, before charging into the box and rifling a shot high into the back of the net as Liverpool became the first British club to win the trophy on three occasions.
All that was left was for captain and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson to lift the trophy in front of the club’s ecstatic fans.
2008/09 Champions League last 16, second leg: Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
In front of a raucous Anfield crowd, Liverpool destroyed Real to make it through to the last eight of the competition 5-0 on aggregate, with skipper Steven Gerrard turning in a virtuoso display.
Rafa Benitez’s side – who had won 1-0 in the Bernabeu a fortnight earlier – made a dream start when Fernando Torres poked them ahead after only 16 minutes, before Gerrard doubled the hosts’ advantage from the spot just before the half-hour mark.
Gerrard – on his 100th European appearance for the club – scored his second of the night two minutes after half-time following a lovely passing move, with the midfielder volleying home superbly in front of the Kop. Substitute Andrea Dossena completed the win with a late fourth. The Reds progressed to the last eight to face Chelsea, who would knock them out with a 7-5 aggregate success.
2014/15 Champions League group stage: Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti’s team taught Liverpool a lesson when they faced each other at Anfield in a group-stage fixture four years ago, with the hosts finding themselves 3-0 down at the interval for the first time in their European history.
The holders opened the scoring thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational 23rd-minute effort, the Portuguese hooking an unstoppable volley past Simon Mignolet and into the far corner of the net.
Karim Benzema then added two more goals to kill the match off as a contest, with Brendan Rodgers reacting to the one-sided first period by substituting striker Mario Balotelli, but Real comfortably saw out the second half on their way to topping Group B, with Basel snatching second place after a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the final round of fixtures.
Follow Liverpool v Real Madrid live on skysports.com on Saturday May 26