The lowdown on Liverpool FC

The lowdown on Liverpool FC

We take a closer look at the team that FC Barcelona face in the Champìons League semi-finals

THE CITY

Located in Northwest England, Liverpool is the fifth largest city in the United Kingdom, and boomed during the Industrial Revolution as a major port carrying coal, cotton and, sadly, slaves. In modern times, it is known for its music scene, and most particularly for being the birthplace of The Beatles.

HISTORY

Formed in 1892, Liverpool FC have been a strong force in English football practically since day one, although it was during the managerial reigns of the great Bill Shankly (1959-74) and Bob Paisley (1974-83) that the ‘Reds’ truly became a superpower, winning nine of the club’s 18 league titles and three European Cups, with such legendary players as Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish leading the way.

The eighties brought the two lowest points in the club’s history, the tragedy at Heysel in 1985 that caused 39 mostly Italian deaths, and Hillsborough in 1989, where 96 people lost their lives.

The club has remained one of the giants of world football, and has offered a home to the likes of Ian Rush, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and our own Luis Suárez over the years, and won a fifth European crown with that amazing comeback against Milan in 2005, yet Liverpool have not been crowned English champions since 1990 and never in the Premiership era.

Just how they have gone three decades without winning the trophy once is one of the unexplained mysteries of modern football.

STADIUM

First built way back in 1884, Anfield was originally used by Everton. When they departed for Goodison Park in 1892, a new club, Liverpool FC was formed to play at the ground and it has been their home ever since.

Naturally, the stadium has undergone massive expansions over the years. The latest, completed three years ago, brought the capacity up to 54,074, but there are plans in place to see that raised to 61,000 in the near future.   

 

FANS

Liverpool and Everton’s local rivalry dates back to that 1892 dispute, but the relationship has never been particularly hostile. In fact, the Merseyside Derby doesn’t even enforce fan segregation.

In many ways, Liverpool have a far more bitter relationship with Manchester United, due to the rivalry between the two neighbouring cities and the fact that the two clubs so frequently vie for supremacy in English football.

The song You’ll Never Walk Alone, originally from the Carousel musical and popularised by Liverpudlian band Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 1960s, is forever associated to Liverpool, but also listen out for The Fields of Anfield Road. This adapted version of traditional Irish ballad The Fields of Athenry changes such lyrics as “Where once we watched the small free birds fly” to “Where once we watched King Kenny play” and it’s brilliant!

HEAD TO HEAD

1975/76 UEFA Cup Semi Final
Barça 0 Liverpool 1 (Toshack)
Liverpool 1 (Thompson) Barça 1 (Rexach)
Liverpool won 2-1 on aggregate and went on to beat Club Brugge in the final

1977 Friendly (Amsterdam Tournament)
Liverpool 1 (Johnson) Barça 0
This was the 3/4 place playoff of a tournament won by AZ

2000/01 UEFA Cup Semi Final
Barça 0 Liverpool 0
Liverpool 1 (McAllistair) Barça 0
Liverpool won 1-0 on aggregate and went on to beat Alavés 5-4 in the final

2001/02 Champions League Second Group Stage
Liverpool 1 (Owen) Barça 3 (Kluivert, Rochemback, Overmars)
Barça 0 Liverpool 0
Barça topped the group and Liverpool qualified second ahead of Roma and Galatasaray. Liverpool went out to Bayer Leverkusen on the quarter finals and Barça to eventual winners Real Madrid in the semis

2006/07 Champions League Round of 16
Barça 1 (Deco) Liverpool 2 (Bellamy, Riise)
Liverpool 0 Barça 1 (Gudjohnsen)
Liverpool qualified on away goals and went on to final, losing 2-1 to Milan in Athens

2016 Friendly (Wembley)
Liverpool 4 (Mané, OG, Origi, Grujíc) Barça 0

DOMESTIC FORM GUIDE

Liverpool have only lost one league game all season, a 2-1 loss at Manchester City, and have won seven in a row since a 0-0 draw with neighbours Everton. But as things stand, they are one point adrift of leaders Man City with two games to go. All they can do now is win and hope…

They went out of both domestic cups in their opening games, to Wolves in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the EFL Cup.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FORM

Group stage
Liverpool 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Napoli 1-0 Liverpool
Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade
Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool
Paris Saint Germain 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool 1-0 Napoli
Liverpool finished second in the group, edging out Napoli on head-to-head

Round of 16
Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool

Quarter Final
Liverpool 2-0 Porto
Porto 1-4 Liverpool

THE PLAYERS

Liverpool’s top goalscorer this season (all competitions) is Egyptian Mohamed Salah with (25), one more than Senegalese international Sadio Mané (24), while Roberto Firmino of Brazil is third (16).

Those same three players have all scored 14 Champions League goals for Liverpool over the years, a record only topped by Steven Gerrard (21).

Surprisingly, two defenders lead the way in assists, Scotsman Andrew Robertson (13) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12).

Apart from Spaniard Alberto Moreno, a product of the Sevilla youth system, no other member of the Liverpool squad has ever played for a club in Spain.

Salah, Mané and Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk have all been named Liverpool player of the month twice this season with the latter also recently named as the PFA Players' Player of the Year for the Premier League. Daniel Sturridge and Alexander-Arnold picked up the other awards.

liverpool
liverpool

 

THE BOSS

Jurgen Klopp spent almost his entire playing career at Mainz 05 in Germany, and then went on to become the club’s longest serving manager before accepting an offer from Borussia Dortmund, who he led to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.

Following Brendan Rodgers’ dismissal in 2015, Liverpool lured Klopp to Anfield, and the appointment has proved to be a very good one indeed.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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