Rewind: Liverpool’s Europa League/UEFA Cup finals

Liverpool will take on Sevilla in Basel on Wednesday night in the final of the Europa League. The Reds have lifted the trophy on three occasions and have never lost at this stage of the competition.

We travel back in time to relive some of those moments from Liverpool’s previous finals in the UEFA Cup, as the competition previously known.

1973 Liverpool 3-2 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach

In the early days of the competition, the final was held over two legs. In the 1974 finale, Liverpool got themselves into a commanding position when they thumped Gladbach 3-0 in the home leg at Anfield.

Kevin Keegan missed a first-half penalty but scored a brace to put the Reds 2-0 up going into the half-time break. Larry Lloyd scored Bill Shankly’s side’s third on the night, although Gladbach missed a glorious chance to get back into the game when star striker Jupp Heynckes missed a late penalty after Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence guessed the right way.

Liverpool were given an almighty scare in the return leg two weeks later, losing 2-0 on the night, with the visitors perhaps being somewhat complacent after their impressive win in the first leg.

Jupp Heynckes scored a first-half double to bring the German side back into the match, but ultimately the likes of Tommy Smith, Emlyn Hughes and Ian Callaghan were enough to see Liverpool through for their first European trophy.

Shankly, of course, knew that the trophy would kick-start Liverpool’s love affair with European competition.

“The people on the continent are beginning to get frightened of Liverpool,” he said after the second leg.

“It is our first European triumph. We’ve had some near misses but there could be more success to come.”

1976 Liverpool 4-3 Club Brugge KV

Liverpool found themselves with a mountain to climb when Brugge raced 2-0 lead at Anfield after just 15 minutes.

However, with the Kop in full flow, Bob Paisley’s team staged a dramatic comeback in the second half.

Ray Kennedy pulled one back for the Reds on the hour mark, before Jimmy Case brought the sides level two minutes later.

Three minutes later, Keegan put them ahead in the tie for the first time with a penalty to complete what was a remarkable turnaround.

In the second leg, the Belgian side got their noses in front through Roul Lambert’s 11th-minute penalty, but once again the Reds responded well to going behind.

Four minutes later, Keegan was once again the man of the moment for the Merseysiders when the England front man found the back of the net with a low finish after being played in by Hughes.

The Reds then saw out the remainder of the match without further incident.

“We won it because we’re the best side in England, the best in the UEFA Cup and probably the best in the whole of Europe!” Liverpool skipper Hughes said after the match.

2001: Liverpool 5-4 Alaves

The Reds were the favourites going into the match after already winning the FA Cup and the League Cup under Gerrard Houllier’s tutelage.

Markus Babbel and Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool a 2-0 lead after 16 minutes, but there were still many twists and turns to come in this one.

Ivan Alonso pulled one back for the Basque outfit before veteran midfielder Gary McAllister restored Liverpool’s two-goal lead before the half-time break.

After the break, Javi Moreno shocked Liverpool with two quick goals to bring Alaves level.

Substitute Robbie Fowler thought he had scored the winner when he netted in the 72nd minute, but Alaves had other ideas and forced extra time thanks to Jordi Cruyff’s strike two minutes from time.

The extra 30 minutes proved to be just as frantic as the previous 90 were, and after both teams had goals disallowed for offside, Alaves were reduced to nine men when Magno Mocelin and Antonio Karmona received second yellow cards.

With four minutes remaining before penalties would be required and the Golden Goal rule in play, Delfi Geli put the ball into his own net from McAllister’s free-kick.

“When you play in a European final, you are looking for immortality,” Houllier said after the game.

“People remember who was playing and when you look at programmes from finals you just recall the facts of the game.

“These boys have produced a game which will be remembered for a long time – and that is thanks to Alaves too.”