The Most Successful European Club Vs The Most Successful English Club
The biggest match on the European club football calendar is finally here. It’s all been building up to this one. It’s Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Forty-one years on from their inaugural battle in the beautiful city of Paris, the two behemoths of the game reconvene just north of the French capital in Saint-Denis for the 2021-22 Champions League final on Saturday.
The combatants also happen to be among the most successful clubs in the competition’s history, as 13-time winners Real Madrid will square off against six-time champions Liverpool in a rematch of the 2018 final which still lives fresh in the memory for a multitude of reasons: Mohamed Salah’s injury, Gareth Bale’s worldie, Loris Karius’ nightmare…the list goes on.
The Reds have a seventh title in Europe’s primary competition in their sights this weekend, while continental veterans Los Blancos are aiming to get their hands on the trophy for a record-extending 14th time.
Real Madrid came into the season looking like a side that was aging and in decline. However, a La Liga title and a berth in the UCL showpiece has defied expectations. Few expected this side to get as far as it has in Europe’s top club competition, but there’s just something about the aura of Los Blancos that has propelled them through an astonishing campaign filled with comebacks and late goals.
Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal have been sent packing by Jurgen Klopp’s side en route to the Stade de France, while Carlo Ancelotti’s men have dumped out a trio of heavyweights in Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Granted, Real Madrid have had a tricky route to the final, playing Ligue 1 champions PSG, current Champions League holders Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City, but they have been incredibly fortunate to get this far.
Real, the world’s most valuable football club, come into the final on a high having finished 13 points clear of Barcelona to win the La Liga title. Liverpool missed out on a historic quadruple after Manchester City pipped them to the Premier League title by just one point last weekend. However, the Anfield side still have their eyes on a third trophy this season after previously winning the English League Cup and FA Cup.
Related: Heineken UCL Special: Can Real Madrid Prevent A Second Consecutive All English Final?
FORM GUIDE: REAL MADRID
Understandably taking their foot off the gas slightly in La Liga having wrapped up the title with weeks to spare, Real only managed to win one of their final four top-flight fixtures in 2021-22, and their matchday 38 ended in a dull goalless stalemate with Real Betis in the capital.
One should certainly not take Real’s recent results at face value, with Ancelotti not afraid to rest and rotate his resources ahead of Saturday’s final, in which the most successful team in European history will aim to lift the trophy for a 14th time and end a four-year drought in the competition.
Los Blancos have suffered plenty of scares along the way, but their European pedigree is not up for debate, especially seeing as they have won each of their last seven European Cup/Champions League finals since going down 1-0 to Liverpool in 1981 – potentially a good omen for those in red.
Ancelotti will also be wary of the fact that his side have failed to keep a single clean sheet in this season’s Champions League knockout stages – albeit while scoring 14 of their own in their last five continental matches – and the wily Italian will aim to complete his own quadruple against Liverpool in Saint-Denis.
FORM GUIDE: LIVERPOOL
EFL Cup? Check. FA Cup? Check. Premier League? Close but no cigar. It would not have been a final weekend in the English top flight without some twists here and some turns there, but the Anfield faithful must now rethink their plans for a quadruple trophy parade.
Ending such a promising campaign with only two cups in the cabinet would not prove to satiate the travelling Liverpool party, and they were forced to navigate a scare against European specialist Unai Emery and his giant-killing Villarreal side in the semi-finals, but no white flags were waved at La Ceramica.
Saturday’s encounter will mark the 10th time that Liverpool have appeared in the final of the European Cup/Champions League, and some may argue that they have enjoyed a relatively favourable run to the showpiece event, but as Klopp will surely stress, there are no easy fixtures in this competition.
While Inter Milan did shut out the Reds in a 1-0 Anfield win that ended up proving inconsequential, Liverpool have scored at least twice in the rest of their Champions League fixtures this term – no mean feat amid the unforgiving schedule that Klopp always has plenty to say about.
Furthermore, that loss to the Nerazzurri represents the Reds’ last defeat in any competition, with Klopp going on to oversee an 18-game unbeaten run in all tournaments since that defeat on March 8, including 10 wins from their last 11.
While the teams have only met a handful of times across their respective histories, it is Real Madrid who have the edge over Liverpool in the head to head stats.
Real Madrid wins: 4
Liverpool wins: 3
Real Madrid goals scored vs. Liverpool: 10
Liverpool goals scored vs. Real Madrid: 8
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1 thought on “The Most Successful European Club Vs The Most Successful English Club”
The better side obviously won if you ask me. Real Madrid didn’t need multiple chances to hit the back of the net, unlike Liverpool that couldn’t utilize their chances.