By 90Min
May 31, 2019

When Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League final on Saturday, they will become one of only five teams to have played in nine or more European Cup or Champions League finals. The others are Juventus (9), Bayern (10), Milan (11), and Real Madrid (16). That's some company.

The Reds certainly have a long and illustrious history in the competition, and as they are aiming to win it for the sixth time this weekend, there is no better time to have a look back at all the finals that have come before it.


Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach

Rome 1977

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Back in the late 1970s, Liverpool were still at the beginning of a solid decade-and-a-half of unprecedented domestic dominance. Having just retained the First Division title, and hitting their stride under the tutelage of Bob Paisley, they had overcome FC Zurich by six goals to one on aggregate in the semi-finals, and were ready for their first European Cup final. 

Lining up with Stevie Heighway and Kevin Keegan leading the line, second half goals from Tommy Smith and Phil Neal secured a hard-fought victory after Allan Simonsen had cancelled out Terry McDermott's opener, and announced the Reds' arrival as a European powerhouse. 


Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge

London 1978

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No-one had ever retained the European Cup when Liverpool took to the Wembley pitch to face Club Brugge in 1978. See where this is going?

Lining up with new striker Kenny Dalglish, who had come in to replace Keegan the previous summer, Liverpool had just conquered Gladbach in a replay of the previous final to book their passage to a second successive final. And it was the Scot who struck in the second half to separate the two sides and return the trophy to Merseyside. 


Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid

Paris 1981

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By 1981, Liverpool had established a pedigree in the European Cup, and had added two more domestic titles to their collection since their last run to the final. They had, however, failed to win the league in the 1980/81 season, with Aston Villa claiming their first title in over 70 years in their stead, so the Reds were extra keen to make amends and finish the season on a high. 

Having won the trophy twice by now, they had established some European pedigree, but were up against the big dogs of European football. It was already Real Madrid's ninth final, having won six of them, so it was clearly a match between two sides who knew how to win the tournament. Left-back Alan Kennedy's strike, however, was enough to ensure that Paisley would become the only manager to this point to lift the trophy three times. 


Liverpool 1-1 AS Roma (4-2 pens)

Rome 1984

This European Cup lark was getting easy at this stage. The legendary Paisley may have given way for Joe Fagan, but the transition looked to be seamless, as they claimed the First Division in each of the three seasons since 1981, and found themselves in yet another final after just about  seeing off Dinamo Bucharest. 

Facing Roma at Stadio Olimpico, however, they were second favourites, and set out to make the match as tight and difficult for their opponents as possible in a hostile atmosphere. Phil Neal's 15th minute opener was cancelled out by Roberto Pruzzo before half-time, and when regulation and extra-time failed to separate the sides, penalties were required. It was Kennedy, yet again, who would prove to be the hero, as he held his nerve to convert the winning penalty. 


Juventus 1-0 Liverpool

Brussels 1985

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Liverpool had a proud history in European Cup finals prior to this one, but their visit to Brussels in 1985 remains a black mark on their record in the tournament.

A Michel Platini penalty separated the sides, inflicting a first ever European Cup final defeat on the Reds, but the match itself was overshadowed by the tragic events before kick-off. 39 Juventus supporters were killed, with the incident famously remembered as the Heysel Disaster, and Liverpool were banned from European competition for six years as a result. 


AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (2-3 pens)

Istanbul 2005

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Following the tragic events of Heysel in 1985, Liverpool were hit hard by their lack of European football in the following years, and it took them 20 years to reach the final of the competition they had previously called their own four times.

Early on, however, it didn't seem to be going to plan at all. Coming up against arguably the best side in Europe at the time, Milan took Liverpool to pieces, as Paolo Maldini netted as early as the first minute, with Hernan Crespo scoring twice to make it three by half time. Steven Gerrard, however, was a man on a mission, and was not letting three goals stand between him and his first Champions League. 

The Reds started the second half like particularly angry bats out of hell, and after Gerrard headed in on 51 minutes to give them hope, one of the most remarkable comebacks in history followed, as Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso got the Reds level by the hour mark, and they would go on to reclaim the trophy on penalties.


AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool

Athens 2007

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Liverpool had their fun in Istanbul, but by 2007, when the two sides met in a replay in Greece, the Rossoneri were out for revenge. 

They found themselves leading by two goals thanks to strikes from Andrea Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi, and although Dirk Kuyt's late goal had the Reds dreaming of Istanbul 2.0 as the clock ran down, it wasn't to be this time around. 


Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool

Kyiv 2018

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This all leads us to Kyiv last year, and, well, we all know what happened there, don't we?

In case you need a recap, Mohamed Salah got injured, Loris Karius did a silly thing, Sadio Mane gave Liverpool hope, Loris Karius did another silly thing, and then Gareth Bale scored arguably the best goal in Champions League history.

Roll on Madrid 2019.

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