Liverpool

Liverpool on the verge of landmark 10th European Cup final

Jamie Spencer
Liverpool are extending their record as England's most successful club in the European Cup/Champions League
Liverpool are extending their record as England's most successful club in the European Cup/Champions League / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Liverpool are on the cusp of a 10th European Cup/Champions League final courtesy of their dominant semi-final first leg win over Villarreal on Wednesday night.

In truth, Liverpool could have scored more than the two they did – both of which came in quick succession early in the second half. Villarreal, meanwhile, hardly got a sniff of the ball in the attacking third of the pitch and Alisson was almost a complete spectator.

It isn’t quite ‘job done’ – Villarreal have embarrassed Juventus and Bayern Munich sides who underestimated them in previous rounds – but Liverpool were so in control in the first leg, any repeat performance in the return leg next week will comfortably see them through.

Liverpool are already the premier English club when it comes to the European Cup, having been crowned continental champions on six occasions since their first title in 1977. In total they have reached nine finals – four in the Champions League era alone to date.

This season now promises to be a 10th. Only Real Madrid (16), AC Milan and Bayern Munich (both 11) have been in more. No other clubs have reached double figures. Currently, only Juventus can match Liverpool’s nine so far, but the Italian giants have lost seven of those.

Jurgen Klopp has already reached two Champions League finals with Liverpool in 2018 and 2019. Getting to a third this season would see him surpass Rafa Benitez, who took the Reds to finals in 2005 and 2007.

Three finals in five seasons would also mark the club’s most concentrated period of European success since the golden era of the late 1970s and early 1980s that yielded four European Cups in the space of eight seasons.

Ex-Liverpool manager Roy Evans, who spent decades at the club as part of the famous ‘Boot Room’, has already likened Klopp to legendary former boss Joe Fagan. He is creating his own dynasty.

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