Liverpool will need to bounce back quickly from their Premier League heartbreak if they are to claim Champions League glory against Real Madrid this weekend.
The Reds’ pursuit of the unprecedented four-fold officially ended on Sunday after Manchester City won their sixth top-flight title.
Liverpool did their job winning 3-1 against Wolves, but City’s comeback from two points to win 3-2 against Aston Villa was enough for the crown.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side can still win the prize their rivals covet most as Europe’s most prestigious competition reaches its peak.
And a seventh Champions League trophy to add to their domestic cup double would still represent an incredible season for Liverpool.
But beating European powerhouse Madrid won’t be an easy task, with Gareth Bale inspiring Los Blancos to a 3-1 triumph when those two sides met in the 2018 Champions League final.
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Liverpool vs Real Madrid: talkSPORT commentary
The 2022 Champions League final will take place on Saturday May 28 at the Stade de France in Paris with the kick-off 8pm UK time.
It was originally scheduled to take place at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, but UEFA moved the match following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
France has not hosted a UEFA Champions League final since 2006.
talkSPORT will have live coverage of the game with commentary from Jim Proudfoot and former Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend
Liverpool first got another shot at silverware by beating Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate in their semi-final showdown.
Then Real Madrid and Man City staged an all-time classic with the Spanish giants winning 6-5 on aggregate.
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Liverpool vs Real Madrid: team news
Liverpool’s growing injury problems worsened after Thiago Alcantara limped out of the win over Wolves and is now a doubt for the final.
Fellow midfielder Fabinho remains a doubt while Virgil van Dijk was rested for the final game of the season after a muscle problem.
Meanwhile, Madrid brought David Alaba back to training after a kidnapper problem but he missed the 0-0 draw with Real Betis on Friday.
Bale was denied his own departure from the Bernabeu during this game but could be handed a lifeline in his final game at the Paris club.
Champions League: road to the final
Round of 16
- Inter Milan 1-2 Liverpool – FT
- Paris Saint-Germain 2-3 Real Madrid – FT
- Chelsea 4-5 Real Madrid-FT
- Benfica 4-6 Liverpool – FT
- Villarreal 2-5 Liverpool – FT
- Real Madrid 6-5 Man City – FT
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: what was said?
Klopp: “Losing the league today has of course increased the desire to correct the situation next week, and yes, what happened has certainly increased the desire for us (to win the Champions League).
“There are incredible expectations of this team, but that’s okay. I’m incredibly proud, of course I am, the boys have played an incredible season, the whole journey so far has been absolutely exceptional.
“It’s been amazing, and for us it doesn’t stop today. We now have a week to prepare for the final and that is what we will do.
“We will try absolutely everything. The season was so close, so close, it came down to moments, decisions.
“What I learned about life is that if you stay focused and keep going, you get the reward. Not today, but we will keep going and it will happen.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: The facts of the match
- Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior has been directly involved in nine UEFA Champions League goals this season (three goals, six assists) – the last South American player to be directly involved in 10+ in a single campaign in the competition when he was 21 or younger. was Lionel Messi in 2008-09 (14 – nine goals, five assists).
- Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold could make his third UEFA Champions League final appearance. Aged 23 years and 233 days on the day of this year’s final, he would be the second youngest player in the history of the competition to appear in three finals, after Alessandro Del Piero in 1998 (23 years 192 days), while the right-back could be the youngest to start three of these finals, overtaking Thomas Müller (23 years 254 days).
- Karim Benzema has scored 15 goals for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season, just two shy of the all-time record in a single European Cup/UEFA Champions League campaign (17, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14). If he scores in this game, Benzema would also become the third-highest goalscorer in the history of both competitions (currently tied with Robert Lewandowski on 86), behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125).
- Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals and provided 11 assists for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League – only Robert Lewandowski (55) and Kylian Mbappé (47) have been directly involved in more goals. During this period, Salah is one of only two players with more than 30 goals and more than 10 assists in the competition, along with Lionel Messi.
- Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who will be 34 years and 160 days old on match day, would be the second oldest player to score in a UEFA Champions League final, after Paolo Maldini for AC Milan in 2005 ( 36 years 333 days, also against Liverpool). Benzema opened the scoring in a 3-1 win the last time these two sides met in the competition final, in 2018.
- Jordan Henderson could make his 50th UEFA Champions League appearance for Liverpool (currently on 49), which would see him join Jamie Carragher (80), Steven Gerrard (73) and Phil Neal (57) as the only English players to reach 50 matches for the Reds in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
- Real Madrid have five different players in their squad with over 100 UEFA Champions League appearances (Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and David Alaba) – they could become the first team to name a starting XI for a final four or more. various players who have made a century of appearances in the competition. The most current is three, which was also by Real Madrid in the 2018 final (Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos).
- Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals under Jürgen Klopp in the UEFA Champions League; only three players have scored more while playing under one manager in the competition’s history – Lionel Messi under Pep Guardiola (43), Ruud van Nistelrooy under Sir Alex Ferguson (35) and Thierry Henry under Arsene Wenger (35).
- Liverpool have allowed fewer streaks of more than 10 uninterrupted passes per game than any other UEFA Champions League team this season (4.1). Moreover, only Ajax (7.4) – who have been eliminated in the last 16 games – have allowed fewer opposition passes per defensive action than Liverpool (8.5) this season.
- Carlo Ancelotti is looking to win the UEFA Champions League for the fourth time; the most by any manager in the competition’s history (after 2002-03 and 2006-07 with AC Milan, and 2013-14 with current club Real Madrid). Ancelotti has won the trophy in three of his previous four UEFA Champions League finals, only failing against Liverpool in 2004-05 with AC Milan (losing 2-3 on penalties).
- Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has faced Real Madrid more times than any other opponent in the UEFA Champions League (9), winning just three of those matches (D2 L4). Of the teams he has faced at least three times in the competition, against no other opponent, Klopp has a lower winning percentage (33%).
- Real Madrid are aiming to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the 14th time, twice as many as any other team (7, AC Milan). Los Blancos have lifted the trophy on each of the last seven occasions they have appeared in the final, with their last showpiece loss to Liverpool in 1981 – a game which was also played in Paris thanks to an Alan Kennedy winner.
- Liverpool are looking to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the seventh time in their history – a win in Paris would put them level with AC Milan (7) and only leave them behind their opponents in the Real Madrid (13) for the most overall. victories in both competitions.
- Liverpool and Real Madrid will meet for the third time in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League final, the most between two clubs in the history of the two competitions. Liverpool won the first final in 1981 (1-0), before Real Madrid beat Jürgen Klopp’s side 3-1 in 2018.
- This will be the ninth meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League – having won the first three between 1981 and 2009, the Reds are winless in the last five (D1 L4), including a defeat in final in 2018.
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