Liverpool continue their Champions League campaign against RB Leipzig in the Round of 16. The Reds will be looking to gain some momentum and will be a welcome distraction from a different competition than the Premier League.
This will be Liverpool’s first meeting with RB Leipzig, however the reds have faced German opposition in European competitions many times before. The first being in 1965 and the most recent in 2019.
Liverpool vs German Opposition
Liverpool’s first meeting with a German side came in 1965 against FC Koeln when their quarter-final tie was played over three legs in three different countries and saw the reds go through in the most bizarre fashion, in the shape of a coin toss. After extra time on a boggy pitch referee, Robert Schaut decided to settle the tie by flipping a coin. Ron Yeats picking tails sent his side to the semi-finals.
German Rivalry in the 60s & 70s
Liverpool played a host of German teams through the 60s and 70s including Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern Munich, 1860 Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt but it was the showdowns with Borussia Moenchengladbach that are most memorable.
Meeting the German side in the 1973 UEFA Cup final, Liverpool won 3-2 over two legs thanks to goals from Kevin Keegan and Larry Lloyd. The first leg was played twice after the first match got abandoned in the 27th minute due to bad weather conditions. It was replayed the following day.
The most memorable game against Gladbach though was the 1977 European Cup final which saw the reds win old big ears for the first time. The reds then beat Gladbach again in the semi-final the following year which helped them make it two.
Facing Hamburger SV in the 1977 Super Cup final, the Reds thrashed the Germans 7-1 over the two legs. The game had more at stake though as Kevin Keegan had left the reds for Hamburger for a then world-record fee. Liverpool fans proceeded to sing ‘you should have stayed at a good club’ to Keegan.
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They beat Bayern Munich in the 1981 European Cup semi final before winning their third European Cup.
After a 20 year hiatus of playing German sides, Liverpool then played Bayern again in the 2001 Super Cup Final and beat them 3-2 thanks to goals from John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen.
The Reds then met Bayer Leverkusen for the first time in 2002 but were beaten 4-3 over two legs, however, the reds would get their revenge three years later in 2005 as they went past Leverkusen in the round of 16 and went on to win a fifth European Cup.
Liverpool’s German manager reignites the German rivalry
There would be no more German ties till Jurgen Klopp came to town and a first time opponent in FC Augsburg were beaten in the Europa League. The game against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals grabbed the headlines as Jurgen Klopp faced his old team.
The reds won the first leg 1-0 but found themselves 2-0 down after 10 minutes and 3-1 down early in the second half. A late fightback would see the reds win 4-3 thanks to goals from Divock Origi, Phillipe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and a 90th minute Dejan Lovren header.
In 2017 Liverpool would face TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in their Champions League qualifier who were managed by RB Leipzigs manager Julian Nagglesman.
A free-kick from 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold would be the scousers first goal for the club and made a welcome contribution to Liverpool’s progression into group stage were they would go all the way to the final.
The last German outfit the Reds faced was current holders of the tournament Bayern Munich. After a 0-0 at Anfield, Liverpool beat Bayern 3-1 at the Allianz Arena in the Round of 16 and went all the way to win the tournament and the clubs sixth European Cup.
Liverpool go into the Leipzig clash not in the best of form however the reds have won five of their six European cups after beating a German team on the way.
Beating Leipzig would lift a lot of spirits and if omens are to believed the Reds could be lifting number seven at the end of the year.