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Jurgen Klopp's greatest games as Liverpool manager

Sports Mole looks back on Jurgen Klopp's greatest games as Liverpool manager as the German prepares to end his nine-year Anfield stay.

By the time Jurgen Klopp vacates the Liverpool hotseat after nine golden years, he would have taken charge of a mammoth 491 games for the Merseyside giants, with whom he has overseen some truly outstanding scorelines - both being on the right and wrong end of them.

Only the great Bill Shankly, Tom Watson and Bob Paisley have manned the touchline for Liverpool on more occasions than Klopp, whose farewell will not be restricted to his final home game in charge of the club; the goodbye parade has been in full swing since his stunning resignation announcement in January.

Nine years have brought eight trophies to Merseyside since Klopp ceded control of the Borussia Dortmund reins in 2015, including Champions League title number six and Premier League title number one, as well as chapters among chapters of unforgettable moments.

The octet of trophy lifts are certainly among them, as are Klopp's impassioned dugout antics, iconic trio of fist pumps and wisecracks with the media - some curt, some chucklesome - but what about the essence of football; the 90 minutes on the field?

Our list would not be complete without a few honourable mentions; the 5-2 beating of Roma and 7-1 Rangers triumph in the Champions League are certainly up there, as is the 4-3 Premier League beating of Arsenal in 2016, but those thrillers have been pipped to the post this time around.

Here, Sports Mole picks out Klopp's greatest matches during his glittering time at the Liverpool helm.


10. Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) - April 30, 2023

Kicking off with one of the seven-goal spectaculars that Klopp oversaw at Anfield, Liverpool's home meeting with Tottenham in the Premier League last year was packed with both early and late drama, as the Reds surged into a three-goal lead inside the opening 15 minutes.

Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah's efforts meant that the tie was ostensibly a foregone conclusion, but Ryan Mason's Tottenham did not give up the ghost and miraculously fought back through Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison - the latter's strike felt particularly sweet due to his Everton connections.

Richarlison stripped shirtless amid the unrestrained celebrations of his first Premier League goal for Spurs - one that had been a long time coming indeed - but the South American had Merseyside egg on his face just one moment later, as Diogo Jota found the far corner to settle an astonishing 4-3 win.

As Mason was left to rant and rave about the officials' failure to dismiss Jota for a high challenge on Oliver Skipp, Klopp and co rejoiced in the victory that took Liverpool above their North London counterparts in the table, one that took an unholy amount of determination and grit.


9. Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (EFL Cup final) - February 25, 2024

Bidding to move the quadruple progress bar to 25%, Liverpool arrived at Wembley for this year's EFL Cup final with a threadbare squad ravaged by the injury bug, one that claimed all of Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai among others.

Even though Klopp was able to field a relatively strong starting XI, the German had to take his pick of unproven academy products to fill his bench, but the Reds more than matched Mauricio Pochettino's unpredictable Chelsea, albeit while counting their lucky stars that Nicolas Jackson was offside when slipping in Raheem Sterling to score against his old team.

Liverpool celebrations would be cut short in the second half too, as Virgil van Dijk's header was chalked off for a Wataru Endo blocking offence from an offside position, but in an extra-time period where Klopp's team had a particularly juvenile feel to it, the Dutchman had the last laugh.

Another aerial effort from Van Dijk - this time from a Kostas Tsimikas corner - was given the thumbs-up as Liverpool had their name engraved onto the EFL Cup trophy for the 10th time, although that would be the only additional winners' medal for Klopp to store in his brimming cabinet.


8. Liverpool(p) 0-0 Chelsea (FA Cup final) - May 14, 2022

None of Klopp's first six seasons at Anfield saw the German come up trumps in the FA Cup, as the Reds struggled to make waves in the world's oldest football tournament since their dramatic beating of West Ham United in the 2006 trophy match.

That all changed in 2022, when Liverpool were rewarded for their exhilarating beating of Manchester City with another Wembley date with Chelsea, whom they had coincidentally already inflicted heartbreak on in an EFL Cup final penalty shootout a few months beforehand.

The 12-yard hoodoo would bedevil Thomas Tuchel's side again, as after no goals were to be had in two hours at the home of English football, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount were the guilty parties from the spot for Chelsea, allowing Tsimikas to conjure up another wonderful Wembley moment with the trophy-clinching penalty.

As well as ending Liverpool's barren 16-year sequence without another FA Cup success to their name, Klopp became the first and currently the only German-born manager to win the tournament, further cementing his name into the annals of English football.


7. Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City (Premier League) - January 14, 2018

Many a mesmerising contest has been fought between Klopp's Liverpool and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City during their frequent battles for domestic and continental supremacy, arguably none more so than a multiple-goal Premier League extravaganza in January 2018.

The Citizens' juggernaut appeared unconquerable - underscored by their 18-point advantage over the Reds as they arrived at Anfield - but the Sky Blues were fighting an uphill battle just nine minutes in thanks to a rare strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Leroy Sane pegged the Reds back before the break, but Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino - stepping up in the absence of the recently-departed Philippe Coutinho - propelled Liverpool into a seemingly unassailable 4-1 lead during an exceptional eight-minute flurry.

Nails were being bitten all over the city in added time after Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan reduced the deficit to one, but Liverpool held out to inflict Man City's first defeat of the Premier League season upon them. After the game, Klopp said that Liverpool's absorbing victory would be spoken about for 20 years; I reckon he is right.



6. Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool (Premier League) - January 23, 2016

Adam Lallana celebrates with team mates and manager Jurgen Klopp after scoring the fifth goal for Liverpool on May 7, 2024© Reuters

Speaking of matches that ought to be remembered for decades to come, Klopp's Liverpool crop of 2015-16 were just beginning to find their feet under the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach by the time that a trip to Norwich City's Carrow Road came around in January.

Alex Neil's Canaries may have been scrapping at the foot of the division, but they would ostensibly render an early Firmino strike meaningless, as Dieumerci Mbokani, Steven Naismith and Wes Hoolahan put Norwich firmly in the ascendancy inside the second half.

Jordan Henderson instantaneously cut the arrears back down to 3-2, before Firmino's second of the match and a James Milner strike appeared to complete a famous East Anglian comeback for the men in red, but Sebastien Bassong's injury-time strike added another twist to the chaotic tale.

The back doors remained open until closing time, though, and Adam Lallana triggered Reds bedlam as his last-gasp volley bounced once, rippled the top corner and inflicted an excruciating defeat on Norwich, although the biggest loss of the day was Klopp's glasses.

The German had his bifocal lenses knocked off his face during the unbridled touchline delirium, and even though he had a spare pair lying around somewhere, he humorously quipped that looking for glasses is difficult without... glasses.


5. Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool (Premier League) - October 24, 2021

Keeping with the theme of five-goal Premier League away wins, Klopp and his trusty glasses became history makers at Manchester United's Old Trafford home in October 2021, hammering another huge nail into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's managerial coffin.

The disgruntled Red Devils fans had resigned their beleaguered team to defeat within the opening 13 minutes, as the injury-riddled Naby Keita and Jota carved the hosts' rearguard wide open, and another pair of strikes arrived from the boots of the irrepressible Salah.

The Egyptian wing wizard completed an unrivalled hat-trick just five minutes into the second 45, and salt was rubbed into Man United's open wounds when Paul Pogba - on as a half-time substitute - saw red on the hour mark, capping off a miserable Man United outing and a magnificent day for the Merseysiders.

That 5-0 slaughter remains Liverpool's biggest away win at Old Trafford in the Premier League, while Salah became the first visiting player to score a hat-trick at the Theatre of Dreams in the competition and the first Reds man to do so since Fred Howe 85 years before.



4. Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund (Europa League quarter-finals) - April 14, 2016

Just six months after letting go of the Dortmund reins to try his hand at Premier League football, Klopp emotionally reunited with his former team in the quarter-finals of the 2015-16 Europa League, where a 1-1 first-leg draw left the tie on a knife-edge before the Anfield rematch.

Two future Arsenal men in Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were on target inside the opening 10 minutes at Anfield, and even though the inevitable Divock Origi halved the deficit, the die appeared to be cast courtesy of Marco Reus's 57th-minute effort.

However, 11 years on from the miracle of Istanbul, Liverpool's affinity for exhilarating European comebacks had not disappeared, as Coutinho's drive and a pair of headers from Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren - the latter coming in the first minute of added time - completed a barely believable turnaround.

While there can be no questioning Klopp's love and respect for BVB, no-one could blame the Liverpool boss for letting loose as his current club eliminated his ertswhile employers, but thanks to their loss to Sevilla in the final, his Reds tenure will end without a Europa League triumph to his name.



3. Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool (Champions League final) - June 1, 2019

Europa League stardom may be the one thing missing from Klopp's Liverpool checklist, but with the 56-year-old at the helm, the Reds conquered the continent for the sixth time at the highest level in 2018-19, going one better than their Real Madrid-inflicted suffering the previous year.

In what was just the second-ever all-English Champions League final after Manchester United and Chelsea's 2008 blockbuster, Liverpool had a firm grip on the trophy handles inside the opening two minutes courtesy of Salah's spot kick; some Spurs fans may still be lambasting the decision to penalise Moussa Sissoko for a questionable handball.

The scoreless period that followed was by no means uneventful - largely thanks to leotard-clad pitch invader - but after already making himself a Champions League hero in the Barcelona remontada, Origi's low drive in the 87th minute confirmed Liverpool's status as Europe's top dogs.

In addition to a sixth Champions League/European Cup crown, mastery in Madrid saw Klopp win trophy number one as Liverpool manager, and barring perhaps the Premier League title triumph of 2020, none should feel more sweet.


2. Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United (Premier League) - March 5, 2023

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Manchester United on March 5, 2023© Reuters

Having avoided a second straight Old Trafford trouncing at the hands of their Liverpudlian counterparts, prevailing 2-1 in August 2022, some Man United fans may have arrived at Anfield in March 2023 with cautious optimism of another slice of vengeance against Klopp's crop.

After all, the Red Devils had just ended their six-year trophy drought with EFL Cup supremacy, but their shiny winners' medals meant nothing on Merseyside, where Liverpool hit Erik ten Hag's shoddy side for a sensational seven.

Haunting the nightmares of Red Devils fans once again, Salah was one of three Liverpool men to notch a brace on the night - alongside Nunez and Cody Gakpo - while Firmino also got in on the act before his own fond farewell at the end of the season.

Even though the tie took a while to get going, Salah's 43rd-minute strike burst open the floodgates for a second-half obliteration, one that condemned Man United to their joint-heaviest league defeat in history and one that ought to be regarded as Klopp's greatest-ever 90 minutes in the Premier League.



1. Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (Champions League semi-finals) - May 7, 2019

Not a shred of hope should have been lost by Liverpool supporters before the second leg of their 2018-19 Champions League semi-final with Barcelona, who made light work of Klopp's troops in a 3-0 Camp Nou victory during their opening battle but were not in the dark about the Reds' penchant for outrageous fightbacks.

Klopp's pre-game motivational speeches ranged from "just try or fail in the most beautiful way" to "show some f*cking balls", both of which evidently had the desired effect on May 7, where cult hero Origi appropriately needed just seven minutes to put the wheels in motion.

Barcelona were still on course to reach Madrid at half time, but Georginio Wijnaldum had a thing - or two, to be more precise - to say about that, before the La Liga giants learned the harshest set-piece lesson from a 20-year-old local lad.

The Blaugrana may have been caught napping from a corner, but there would have been sleepless nights in Liverpool and indeed Catalonia when Origi finished off Alexander-Arnold's ingenious corner, leaving Lionel Messi dumbstruck, Milner in tears and Klopp in European euphoria.


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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of lifting the Premier League trophy on July 22, 2020
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