Liverpool Football Club has built its foundations upon European Glory. The Reds’ five European triumphs and three Europa League titles are both comfortably the best haul by an English side. Although it is cliche at this point, there is just something special about European Nights at Anfield™.
One of the downfalls of Brendan Rodgers was his inability to recreate that magic on the continental stage. He went winless in 4 of his 9 Anfield matches in Europe, including successive home matches in 2014/15, a humiliating 3-0 capitulation to Real Madrid and a 1-1 draw to Basel, that saw the Reds eliminated from the Champions League until this season.
In Jürgen Klopp’s first home match in Europe, the 2015/16 Europa League tie to Rubin Kazan, the Reds could only manage a 1-1 draw to the Russian side. Since then, he has won 8 of 9, the only other blemish coming in the 2-2 draw to Sevilla earlier this season.
The wins include the 2-0 dispatching of Manchester United, the 3-0 win over Villarreal to clinch a spot in the Europa League final, and—of course—the epic 4-3 come-from-behind win against his former side, Dortmund.
Other than the 2-2 to Sevilla, Klopp’s Reds managed to win by a combined scoreline of 10-0 over Maribor and Spartak Moscow at home this season.
Klopp has indicated another strong side tonight, despite the big showdown with United at Old Trafford on Saturday. This surely has little to do with his home record in Europe, and everything to do with the continued cultivation of a winning habit. Hopefully Klopp & Co. can easily see off Porto, en route to making it 9 of 11 at home under the German manager.