Liverpool 1981 European Cup

Liverpool v Real Madrid – Their Previous Clashes

Given that they have won seventeen European Cups or Champions League titles between them, it comes as a bit of a surprise that this year’s finalists in Europe’s elite competition have only met on five occasions in competitive fixtures.

We take a look back at these previous clashes between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool, May 1981, European Cup final
Soccer - European Cup - Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Parc des Princes

The two sides’ only previous meeting in a final came 37 years ago this week when a goal from left-back Alan Kennedy ensured that Bob Paisley became the first manager to win the competition three times.


The route to the final was a lot more straightforward in those days, with Liverpool seeing off Finnish side Oulun Palloseura, Aberdeen, CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich en route to the decider in Paris. A comprehensive two-legged victory against Limerick kick-started Real’s campaign, where they went on to eliminate Honved, Spartak Moscow and Inter Milan.

A similar scoreline this time around is available at 14/1, while left-back Andy Robertson is 14/1 to follow Kennedy’s lead and score anytime.

Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool, February 2009
Soccer - UEFA Champions League - First Knockout Round - First Leg - Real Madrid v Liverpool - Santiago Bernabeu

A resolute defensive display by Rafa Benitez’s side put Liverpool in pole position to qualify for the 2008/09 quarter-finals.

Gonzalo Higuain did have a goal ruled out for offside, but a Yossi Benayoun header eight minutes from time put the Reds in control of the tie.

Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid, March 2009
Soccer - UEFA Champions League - First Knockout Round - Second Leg - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Anfield

Steven Gerrard scored two on his 100th European performance for Liverpool, but Fernando Torres was the star of the show as the Reds ran Madrid ragged.

The visitors had Iker Casillas to thank for keeping the scoreline relatively modest and the 5-0 aggregate victory led to an epic meeting with Chelsea in the last eight.

Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid, October 2014
Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group B - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Anfield

Liverpool came into the game with three points from their opening two matches in the group, with manager Brendan Rodgers insisting they were not to be classed as underdogs. Real, however, raced into a 3-0 nil lead at the break with Mario Balotelli taken off at half-time after another hapless performance – and a premature shirt swap with Pepe.

With Luis Suarez departed and Daniel Sturridge injured, the hosts looked light up front and the match proved a continuation of a disappointing return to the competition after a five-year absence.

Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool, November 2014
Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group B - Real Madrid v Liverpool - Santiago Bernabeu

Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to his starting XI for the return fixture and was roundly criticised for waving the white flag before the game had even kicked off.

The lineup wasn’t exactly a first-choice selection, with the substitutes amassing more Champions League appearances previously that season than the eleven who started. If it was a case of damage limitation it almost worked, with a Karim Benzema goal all that separated the sides.

However, the result left Rodgers’ side three points off second-placed Basel in a group they would ultimately fail to qualify from.

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