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As Liverpool prepare to shock Real Madrid once more at Anfield in the Champions League last 16, Jurgen Klopp and co can draw inspiration from Rafael Benitez’s side which tore the Spanish giants apart in March of 2008. Fernando Torres’ opener with 16 minutes on the clock, followed by Steven Gerrard’s brace either side of half-time left Real Madrid shell-shocked, before Andrea Dossena’s 88th minute strike sent Juande Ramos’ side packing.

That night remains one of the best that Anfield has seen in the Champions League, as Gerrard, in particular, stole the show against the likes of Raul and Fabio Cannavaro.

A 5-0 aggregate score meant that Liverpool cruised through to the quarter-finals. Jurgen Klopp and his Reds will be looking to do the same 14 years on. Back on form after victories in the Merseyside derby and away at Newcastle United, Liverpool are perfectly poised to make it three wins from three in all competitions.

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One difference that Klopp will be hoping for is what comes after the Round of 16 should the Reds progress past Real Madrid. 14 years ago, Anfield erupted as Liverpool progressed, only to see Benitez’s side exit in the next round, despite a valiant effort against a strong Chelsea side.

This time around, years later, those on Merseyside will be desperately hoping to see their side not only place one foot in the quarter-finals, but earn enough momentum to return to Istanbul – a place forever cemented in the Liverpool history books – and lift their seventh Champions League trophy.

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May 2024