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

Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat to Atalanta has left their hopes of progressing in the Europa League hanging by a thread.

But Jurgen Klopp can still turn things around and progress into semi-finals – if Liverpool can overturn a three-goal deficit. Away from home. Gulp.

We’ve looked at the five 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 (2023)

Having beaten Liverpool in the final the year before, evoking painful memories of 2018, Liverpool were sick to the back teeth of Madrid when they drew Los Blancos in the Round of 16 last season. Sides from the Spanish capital had knocked them out of Europe in three of the last five seasons and it was soon to be four in six.

With a porous defence and midfield that couldn’t press as it once did, the 2022-23 campaign was the worst of Klopp’s reign. The first and only full season in the German’s tenure that they failed to finish in the top four.

Yet, despite that, they gave themselves early hope of exercising some Madrid demons and registering an unlikely, famous victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s side. They raced into an early two-goal lead with goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah… only to then fall completely to pieces and lose 5-2 at a packed-out Anfield. The message was abundantly clear; Klopp needed to rebuild the team, and in particular in the midfield that was no longer functioning.

Liverpool produced a more competent display in the Bernabeu second leg, but a famous comeback never looked on. Karim Benzema struck late to give Madrid a 1-0 win.

QUIZ: Can you name Jurgen Klopp’s 30 most-used players at Liverpool?

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.

Atletico Madrid (2020)

Having won the Champions League in 2018-19, Liverpool were looking to retain their title when they came up against Atletico Madrid in the last-16.

Saul Niguez’s early goal gave the hosts a first-leg lead and Klopp’s Reds 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.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every goalkeeper to play for Liverpool in the Premier League?

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.