???️ Liverpool in Russia: A Brief History

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Plastic pitches, pyro and boring discussions about how the squad could be affected by travel. All things that we hear every time the reds make the trip to Russia to play a European fixture.  In this article, I look back at how the Reds have fared over the years in old mother Russia.

Liverpool have travelled to Russia on 6 separate occasions over the years for various European competitions. We have played tonight’s opponents, Spartak Moscow, twice (home and away) including our first game in Russia for the Cup Winners Cup last 16 in 1991. That tie we lost 6-2 on aggregate, with goals from McManaman and Wright in Moscow.

The next time we played a Russian team was when the reds played Spartak-Alania (at the time known as Spartak Vladikavakaz) in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. This game was the first time that Liverpool recorded a win in Russia when they came from behind to win 2-1. McManaman getting another goal in Russia and with Jamie Redknapp scoring the winner with what was a screamer of a goal from distance.

A return to Moscow to play Spartak for the second time was the next time the reds made the long trip to Russia. This time Liverpool came out of the tie the happier side. A 5-0 victory which included a brace from Heskey and goals from Cheyrou, Hyypia and even Salif Diao gave Liverpool the three points. Away from home though Liverpool had to come from behind again in Russia to win the game. A hat trick from Micheal Owen meant that they were able to take the three points home.

Benitez came in and because of our wonderful night in Turkey, we had to go and play CSKA Moscow in the Super Cup final in Monaco, Cisse and Luis Garcia ensured we took home our 2nd European trophy of the year as the Reds won 3-1 in extra time.

After that night Liverpool did not play a Russian team for 7 years until in the 12/13 season we played both the up and coming Anzhi Makhachkala and Zenit in the group stage and last 16 of the Europa League respectively. Samuel Eto’o and co came to Anfield first as Liverpool beat Anzhi thanks to a rare goal from Stewart Downing but in the reverse fixture in Russia, 6ft8 striker Lacina Traore scored so that Guus Hiddinks’ Anzhi won the game. Leaving Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying hang in the balance. Liverpool needed a victory in the final group game against Udinese to guarantee qualification.

They got that result, topped group A and got drawn against Zenit St Petersburg. Liverpool went to Russia, got beat 2-0 and even two free kicks from Suarez and a token Joe Allen goal in the home leg couldn’t get Liverpool though as Zenit progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League on away goals.

FC Rubin Kazan are the latest Russian team to beat the reds, Jurgen Klopp had to go and get a result in Russia in one of his first European games. Liverpool won one nil but the game is probably remembered more for Klopps big bear hug with Jordon Ibe and ???Ibbbeeeeeeyy!’ after the young winger scored the winning goal.

Hopefully tonight, Spartak play more like the team from 2002/3 season than the one we faced back in 1992 and Liverpool smash them 5-0. Bring Salif Diao with the team? Could be the good luck charm.


Article by Tom Culshaw

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