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Liverpool's Divock Origi (R, Front) celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final second Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield in Liverpool, Britain on May 7, 2019.

The 4 times Klopp’s Liverpool lost a European first leg – & their response

Liverpool’s 5-2 home defeat to Real Madrid has left their hopes of progressing in Champions League hanging by a thread.

But Jurgen Klopp can still turn things around and progress into quarter-finals – if Liverpool can overturn a three-goal deficit. At the Bernabeu. Gulp.

“What I said after the game three weeks ago was that Madrid are through to the next round,” Klopp told reporters in his pre-match press conference ahead of the second leg.

“But three weeks later, we know there is a game to play and if it is only a one percent chance, I would like to give it a try.

“In this room, 100 percent of people think we have no chance. If I am the only one who thinks we have a little, that’s fine.

“It’s Real Madrid, they are three goals up. It’s not something you want for Christmas, but we have nothing to lose. We are alone with a little belief, in with a chance of doing it.”

We’ve looked at the last four times Klopp’s Liverpool have trailed after the first leg of a European game to see how they fared in the return leg.

Real Madrid (2021)

Liverpool faced old enemy Los Blancos towards the end of their injury-ravaged 2021-22 campaign.

Their post-lockdown title defence proved to be a disaster as they struggled to cope without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, unthinkably going on to lose six successive matches in the Premier League at Anfield.

Cult heroes like Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams stepped up to help steer Klopp’s Reds to an unlikely top-four finish as they recovered in the Spring, taking 26 points from the last 30 available.

But they didn’t recover enough to lay a glove on Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid. They were well-beaten, 3-1, in the first leg at the Bernabeu – in which a teenage Vinicius Junior scored a brace – before producing a respectable but relatively meek 0-0 draw in the behind-closed-doors second leg at Anfield.

Madrid went on to beat Liverpool in the final the following year, the third time in five years that they eliminated Liverpool. It looks set to be four in six unless the Reds can do something remarkable in the Spanish capital.

Atletico Madrid (2020)

Having won the Champions League in 2018-19, Liverpool tried to retain their title and came up against Atletico Madrid in the last-16.

Saul Niguez’s early goal gave Diego Simeone’s side a first-leg lead, while Liverpool failed to attempt a single shot on target at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a 2-1 aggregate lead during the second leg at Anfield, only for Adrian’s loose clearance to gift Atletico sub Marcos Llorente a vital away goal in extra time. 

Llorente struck again in the 105th minute before former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata added insult to injury with a third in the dying seconds to send Atletico through to the last eight. 

That was the last time that Liverpool let a lead slip to lose at home prior to Real Madrid’s spectacular 5-2 remontada.

Barcelona (2019)

Liverpool’s hopes of reaching a second successive Champions League final looked to be over after the first leg of their semi-final against Barcelona in 2019.

A goal from former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and a quickfire double from Lionel Messi gave Barca a 3-0 win at the Camp Nou and a comfortable lead to take back to Anfield.

With Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both unavailable for the second leg, Liverpool were massive underdogs but produced a stunning comeback against all the odds.

Divock Origi started the unlikely revival before substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in the space of 122 seconds in the second-half.

The decisive moment came in the 79th minute as Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner kick found Origi, who got his second goal of the game and made it 4-3 on aggregate.

Villarreal (2016)

Three years before Barcelona, Liverpool faced another Spanish side in a semi-final as they played against Villarreal for a place in the 2016 Europa League final.

The Reds looked set for a creditable draw in Spain until substitute Adrian Lopez scored a dramatic injury-time winner for the hosts.

At Anfield, Liverpool levelled the tie on aggregate through Bruno Soriano’s early own goal before Daniel Sturridge swung the semi-final in their favour.

Villarreal’s Victor Ruiz was sent off in the 71st minute and Adam Lallana booked Liverpool’s place in the final with their third goal.


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