As they have reached the 2022 Champions League Final, Liverpool now has the opportunity to get revenge against the same opposition they faced in the 2018 Final and the team they beat in the 1981 Final, Real Madrid.
The Reds have sealed their place in the Champions League Final against Los Blancos during their midweek match with Villareal. Juergen Klopp’s side were involved in a thriller of a second leg of the semi-final. The Yellow Submarines surprisingly managed to take a two-goal lead through Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin in the first half. The two-legged tie was tied at two on aggregate before Liverpool scored three straight goals to advance. In the second half, Liverpool showed their true class and turned the table by responding three times as Fabinho, Luiz Diaz and Sadio Mane found the back of the net. They progressed to the final with a 5-2 victory over the two legs.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti’s men once again overturned their disadvantage against Manchester City by coming back to defeat them 3-1. The Citizens struck first through Riyad Mahrez. Rodrygo bagged a brace right at the death before Karim Benzema secured the final with a penalty in the extra time. Real Madrid went through their fifth finals in a decade with a 6-5 win in aggregate.
Their meeting in the UCL summit is definitely not the first time. Both sides have locked horns twice, in Champions League Final 2018 and in European Cup Final 1981. The 1981 match happened to take place in the same city as this year’s Final, Paris. For The Reds, they are bound to have two missions in their agenda, taking revenge from their previous defeat in Kiev in 2018 and rekindling their victory in 1981.
The Champions League Final 2022 Means Double Missions for Liverpool
The Disastrous Defeat in 2018 Final
Their last encounter in the 2018 final was definitely something Jurgen Klopp’s men could not forget. Most players in the current squad experienced such a devastating loss, especially Mo Salah. The Egyptian forward had to suffer a dislocated shoulder after Sergio Ramos’ disastrous foul on him in the first half and leave the pitch immediately.
The game itself went sideways with the infamous blunder of their goalkeeper back then, Loris Karius, leading to Los Blancos’s opening goal. Sadio Mane’s equalizer gave them a hope to bounce back. Unfortunately, Gareth Bale’s brace, one of which was from a bicycle kick, allowed Zinedine Zidane’s side to soar that evening. Salah’s replacement, Adam Llallana, was unable to fill the void left by the Egyptian winger.
That defeat prompted Jurgen Klopp to bolster his squad by bringing in key players such as Roma goalkeeper Alisson Brecker, Monaco’s Fabinho, Naby Keita, and Swiss international Xerdan Shaqiri. Their decision paid off in the following seasons, as The Reds won their sixth UCL title in 2019 and their first Premier League title in 2020. On the contrary, Real Madrid’s form was degrading afterwards until this season. Real Madrid’s form, on the other hand, deteriorated after that until this season.
The Glory Days in 1981
A triumph in the Paris final would not only be perfect revenge for their 2018 defeat, but it would also reignite their success in the 1981 Final. Kenny Daglish and his team were in the midst of a glorious period of English club dominance in Europe at the time. They won their first European Cup in 1977, and then another in 1978. Then, in 1979 and 1980, their English counterpart, Nottingham Forest, intervened. Liverpool were back in business after failing in two consecutive seasons, and they snatched their third title by defeating Real Madrid 1-0. Alan Kennedy scored the only goal of the game which was held in Parc des Princes.
The 2021/22 season is the best moment to rekindle such. Jordan Henderson and Co have not won UCL since two seasons ago. What’s more, the final which was supposedly staged in St. Petersburg, has been moved to Paris, the very same city they lifted the silverware in 1981.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 21: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield on August 21, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)