Liverpool must face rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League yet again next year.
In what will be a repeat of last season’s controversial final, Jurgen Klopp’s men were drawn to face the reigning champions in the round of 16. It will be the latest saga of a regularly repeated fixture that has produced some truly unforgettable moments.
The two European juggernauts have faced each other four times in the last four year, with two of the fixtures being the final showpiece itself. And with two more fixtures nail biting imminent, Daily Star Sport consider five of the most controversial moments that have happened between the two sides.
Real vs Reserves
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A Champions League meeting at the Bernabeu can often be the biggest match a team has played in the last ten years. However, when Brendan Rodgers took the Merseysiders to the Spanish capital, he decided to prioritise the Premier League, over the La Liga behemoths.
The now Leicester manager effectively deployed a second string starting eleven to face Real Madrid, leaving the likes of Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho, and Raheem Sterling on the bench, while Fabio Borini, Javier Manquillo, and an ageing Lucas Leiva were on the team sheet.
Liverpool only lost 1-0 but they never looked like toppling a Real Madrid side including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale, They soon crashed out of the Champions League completely, after failing to navigate their way out of the group.
Ramos stunts Salah
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Mohamed Salah was one of the best players in the world when he lined up against Los Blancos on the 2018 Champions League final. He came into the contest having hammered home 44 goals and 16 assists in 52 appearances for Liverpool.
However, his final was cut short, after Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos grabbed his arm, locked him into a judo-like arm lock, and hauled him down. The Egyptian suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to depart the pitch in tears.
Real Madrid went on to win the game 3-1. To rub extra salt in the wounds, at the following Ballon D’Or awards ceremony, Ramos tapped Salah on the very shoulder he dislocated in the final in Kyiv.
The Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool is remembered for the shambolic organisation and security that saw fans ominously stuck behind metal railings outside the stadium, before French police threw tear gas into them. Such was the trouble and the panic outside the stadium, the match was also delayed by 35 minutes.
A statement emblazoned on the television screens within the Stade De France tried scapegoating supporters who had turned up late. However, French authorities were forced into a very embarrassing U-turn as interior minister Gerald Darmanin apologised for the “bad management” that caused the terrifying situation.
Parisian police chief Didier Lallement also stated the match was “obviously a failure” as “people were being pushed around or assaulted while we owed them safety".
Lloris Karius’ career was flipped on its head after a truly disastrous performance against Real Madrid in the 2018 final. The now Newcastle United goalkeeper made two horrendous mistakes that gifted the big eared trophy to the Spanish giants.
His evening began to take a turn for the worse when he tried to roll the ball out to Trent Alexander-Arnold, only for Benzema to anticipate correctly, getting his foot on the ball and diverting it into the net. Unfortunately, the game was put out of reach when a swerving, but yet still savable, shot from Gareth Bale slipped painfully through his hands.
His mistakes effectively draped Real Madrid colours on the European Trophy again and ended Liverpool’s European hopes.
A Real demolition
If there ever has been an easy victory over Real Madrid, Liverpool were the ones who dealt it to them. Rafael Benitez’s side made a huge statement by completely dismantling the Spanish giants at Anfield.
Goal from Fernando Torres and Andrea Dossena, either side of a brace from Gerrard secured a dominant victory for the Merseysiders. They quite simply overwhelmed their Spanish counterparts and made one of the planet’s elite sides look very ordinary.
The only positive Real could take was that it would have been even worse, were it not for the heroics of Iker Casillas in goal.
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