Liverpool’s route to the Champions League final
Jurgen Klopp’s side have endured a rollercoaster ride en route to their second successive Champions League final.
After reaching their ninth final in Europe’s top club competition – and second in succession in the Champions League – Liverpool will be looking to win a sixth European Cup when they face Tottenham in Madrid on June 1.
Press Association Sport looks at their route to the final.
Liverpool 3 Paris St Germain 2, September 18
Substitute Roberto Firmino drilled home an added-time winner as Liverpool won their opening group game. The home side had squandered a two-goal lead given to them by Daniel Sturridge, on his first start for the Reds in the competition, and James Milner’s penalty inside 36 minutes. Thomas Meunier benefited from a debatable offside decision to pull one back just before half-time and Kylian Mbappe equalised seven minutes from time but Firmino had the final say.
Napoli 1 Liverpool 0, October 3
The tables were turned on Liverpool as Napoli’s Lorenzo Isigne scored a 90th-minute winner to defeat Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Stadio San Paolo. The hosts also hit the crossbar through substitute Dries Mertens as Liverpool put in one of their worst performances under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool 4 Red Star Belgrade 0, October 24
Mohamed Salah scored his 50th goal in his 65th Liverpool appearance in a comfortable victory over the Serbian champions. Firmino opened the scoring before Salah scored twice – the second a penalty – to bring up his half-century. Sadio Mane missed another spot-kick but made amends scoring the fourth.
Red Star Belgrade 2 Liverpool 0, November 6
A damaging defeat confirmed Liverpool’s worst away run in Europe’s elite club competition in 39 years to make qualifying from Group C more difficult. Two first-half strikes from Milan Pavkov, a 24-year-old scoring his first European goals in only his 11th appearance, were enough to beat the off-colour Reds. Xherdan Shaqiri, of Kosovar-Albanian parentage, was left at home in order to ease local hostilities.
Paris St Germain 2 Liverpool 1, November 28
Defeat in the French capital – the first time the club had lost all three away matches in the group stage – left Liverpool facing an all-or-nothing final game at home to Napoli. Milner’s penalty on the stroke of half-time pulled back a goal after Juan Bernat and Neymar had put the hosts 2-0 up.
Liverpool 1 Napoli 0, December 11
A brilliant first-half goal from Salah, and an added-time save from Alisson Becker, saw Liverpool scrape into the knockout stages by the narrowest of margins. Needing to win either 1-0 or by two clear goals, Mane should have added to Salah’s individual effort. Without that cushion they needed Alisson’s late save from Arkadiusz Milik to progress.
Liverpool 0 Bayern Munich 0, February 19
A last-16 tie against Bayern Munich was seen as a tough task for Klopp’s side, especially with midfielder Fabinho as a makeshift centre-back for the first leg as Virgil Van Dijk was suspended. The Bundesliga side left Anfield the happier after keeping the free-scoring Reds at bay.
Bayern Munich 1 Liverpool 3, March 13
Mane’s two goals, one a superb effort in which he deceived Manuel Neuer to chip into an empty net, and Van Dijk’s first Champions League goal booked a quarter-final place. After Mane’s crucial away goal first up, Bayern drew level courtesy of a Joel Matip own goal. However, headers from Van Dijk and Mane secured a comfortable victory.
Liverpool 2 Porto 0, April 9
Guinea international Naby Keita enjoyed his best game in a red shirt with his first goal at Anfield. Firmino’s 14th goal in the competition for the club drew him level with Salah and Ian Rush and doubled Liverpool’s lead. The only disappointment on the night was that they did not finish the job as they did last season when they won the first leg 5-0 in Porto.
Porto 1 Liverpool 4, April 17
Liverpool eased into a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona with a convincing win in Portugal. Mane netted the opener in the first half, with Salah making it 2-0 in the 65th minute. Although Eder Militao pulled one back for the hosts, Firmino and Van Dijk completed an emphatic aggregate scoreline.
Barcelona 3 Liverpool 0, May 1
A decent performance in the Nou Camp was not rewarded with a result. After former Reds striker Luis Suarez opened the scoring, Klopp’s side more than held their own. However, they were undone by a stroke of misfortune and a touch of brilliance as first Suarez’s shot off the crossbar presented Lionel Messi with an open goal before the Argentina international later whipped in a superb free-kick. Ousmane Dembele missed a simple chance late on to make it 4-0 which proved to be pivotal.
Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0, May 7
Klopp’s side conjured one of the great European comebacks as Barca were stunned by a remarkable performance. Divock Origi’s early goal initially ramped up the atmosphere before midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum came off the bench at half-time to score twice within three minutes just before the hour. Eleven minutes from time, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner took Barcelona by surprise, allowing Origi to sweep home the goal for a 4-3 aggregate win to send the Reds into a second successive final.