Ahead of their round of 32 fixture against German club, FC Augsburg in the Europa League, let’s have a look at Liverpool’s past record in Europe and how European success is something Liverpool haven’t been deprived of.
Liverpool FC, claim themselves to be the most successful club in England, although their last league title came in 1990, European success is some the Merseyside club have been consistent with. A total of 11 titles in European football, more than any English club. The 11 titles cab broken down into 5 UEFA Champions League titles, 3 Europa League titles and 3 Super Cups.
Their first taste of European success was in 1973, when they beat German Club Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 on aggregate. 2 goals from Kevin Keegan and one from Larry Lloyd in the first leg gave them a 3-0 advantage. They also won the first division in the league that year, a successful year for Liverpool also marked manager Bill Shankly’s retirement.
3 years later the club won their second Europa League (known as UEFA Cup) beating Belgian club, Club Brugge 4-3 on aggregate in the finals. As the 1975-76 Super Cup winners, Liverpool entered the 1976-77 European Championships. They defeated FC Zurich in the semi-finals 6-1 and were pitted against a familiar foe, Borrusia Monchengladbach. Another win for Liverpool against the German side in a European Club final, Liverpool won the first of their 5 European Cup titles. They completed the double, European Cup and League title in this season.
Qualifying for the Super Cup in 1977-78, they defeated Hamburg 7-1 on aggregate to clinch the title. They entered the 1977-78 European Championship final defeating Monchengladbach 4-2 in the semi-finals, yet again. A hard fought 1-0 victory against Club Brugge in the finals meant Liverpool were the first English club to retain a European Championship title.
They entered the 1980-81 European Championship as the league winners of the preceding season. Defeated Bayern Munich on away goals in the semis and entered the final against Real Madrid. A solitary goal by Alan Kennedy won Liverpool their 3 European Championship, this was also manager Bob Paisley’s third. 3 years later they won their fourth against Roma, this also completed an unprecedented treble, the league cup, the league title and the European championship.
Failure to win another title in Europe for 17 years saw a halt in their European dominance. Liverpool’s next title came in 2001, a double, winning the UEFA Super cup and the Europa League title defeating Bayern Munich and Alaves respectively.
The 2005 season was perhaps Liverpool’s finest performances in Europe. “That night in Istanbul” as it is termed by Scousers. Down by 3 goals to Milan at half time, it looked impossible for Liverpool to make a comeback. 3 goals in the space of 6 minutes, some Steven Gerrard magic had them 3-3 after Extra time. The result was to be decided on Penalties. 3-2 in favour of Liverpool, their keeper saved Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty to give Liverpool their 5th European Championship. This win was soon followed by a win in the Super Cup against CSKA Moscow 3-1, their 11th European title.
It has been 11 years since their last taste of European success, can this season give them their 4th Europa League title and a 12th overall? Well, it sure is a rocky road but with players like Sturridge, Firmino and Coutinho, nobody doubts their ability.
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