Liverpool's Anfield a fortress but not for Real Madrid

The Reds played 26 matches at home in 2023

December 24, 2023
Real Madrid players celebrate after scoring a goal against Liverpool at Anfield. — AFP

Anfield is widely regarded as one of the greatest stadiums in the world, where numerous formidable teams have succumbed to the intimidating atmosphere.

Liverpool at Anfield is a formidable force as over the years the Reds have dominated against some of the top teams, including FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and others.

Under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp, his team played a total of 26 matches at their home ground in 2023, maintaining an unbeaten record in 25 of them, with 19 victories and six draws.

Teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal played at Anfield twice in the year and failed to beat the Merseyside club. Among all, there is one surprising name that played at the Reds’ home only once and managed to beat the mighty Liverpool.

Liverpool met Real Madrid in the Round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 and they were hammered by Los Blancos in all aspects of the game.

Madrid, coached by Carlo Ancelotti, handed Liverpool their biggest defeat in the Champions League era, as they battered the Reds 5-2 courtesy of an all-round display by the Whites.

Even though Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave a bright start to the home side by finding Thibaut Courtois’ net in the 4th and 14th minute respectively, they couldn’t carry the momentum and soon found themselves trailing as soon as Vinicius Junior started the comeback in the 21st minute and eventually levelled the game in 36th minute.

A goal from Eder Militao and a brace from Karim Benzema cemented Los Blancos’ name in history as they netted five past Alisson Becker, becoming the only visiting side to score five at Anfield.

Madrid played at Anfield for a total of four times, and their only loss came in 2008 when they were beaten 4-0. In 2014, the two sides faced one another in a group stage match in UCL and Ancelotti, who was Madrid's coach at that time as well, led them to a 3-0 win.

Ajax defeated Liverpool 5-1 in 1966 in Amsterdam but that counts in the European Cup era as the format was changed in 1992-93, so was the name.

It is worth noting that one of Liverpool’s most memorable comebacks in the Champions League history came against FC Barcelona in the semi-final of the 2018/19 season.

Barca headed to Anfield with a three-goal lead but crumbled unbelievably as they conceded four and were out of the tournament. Liverpool went on to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the final and became the champions

Wasay Qayyum is a sports journalist at Geo Super.