Is Klopp the new ‘Special One’?

Jurgen Klopp will pit his wits against Jose Mourinho once again next week when Liverpool host Manchester United. Their previous meetings suggest the German has the upper hand against his opposite number.

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Real Madrid – October 2012

Marcel Schmelzer

The first competitive meeting between sides coached by Klopp and Mourinho took place in the group stages of the Champions League four years ago.

Klopp’s Dortmund hosted Mourinho’s Real as reigning German champions and certainly left an impression on the Portuguese, who declared the victors among the favourites for competition after leaving the Westfalenstadion empty-handed.

Robert Lewandowski put Dortmund ahead in the first half, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to equalise two minutes later. However, Marcel Schmelzer became an unlikely hero as the left-back’s second half strike secured Dortmund’s maiden win over Los Blancos.


Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund – November 2012

mesut ozil

In a season in which the two clubs faced each other four times in the Champions League, Dortmund once more caught the eye against their more illustrious opponents.

After goals from Marco Reus and Kevin Grosskreutz, sandwiched either side of a Pepe header, had given BVB a 2-1 lead in the first half, Mourinho was forced into making two changes at the interval.

Jose Callejon and Michael Essien entered the fray, but Madrid were not saved until Mesut Ozil rescued a point with a free-kick one minute from time.

“I’m sure we will still remember this game in 10 years’ time,” reflected Klopp afterwards.


Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid – April 2013

Robert Lewandowski

A defining result in the careers of both managers, Dortmund’s demolition of Real confirmed Klopp’s place among the world’s elite, while it also signalled Mourinho’s Madrid dream was coming to an end.

On a night which saw Lewandowski also cement his world-class status with all for of his side’s goals, Dortmund blew the Spanish giants away in a breathtaking display of explosive energy and dynamism.

Madrid’s only respite came via Ronaldo’s consolation goal, as the Bundesliga outfit placed one foot in the Champions League final.


Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund – April 2013

Karim Benzema

Mourinho secured his first and – to date – only victory over Klopp, as Real gave Dortmund an almighty scare in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Lewandowski had threatened to haunt the Spaniards once more when hitting the bar in the first half, but Real struck twice in the last ten minutes through Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos to force a frantic finish.

Dortmund hang on to triumph 4-3 on aggregate and set up a clash with Bayern Munich in the final.


Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool – October 2015

Jurgen Klopp

The last meeting between the two managers and Klopp’s first Premier League win in charge of Liverpool, a result which increased the pressure on Mourinho as Chelsea’s terrible title defence continued.

Mourinho made a big call in dropping Cesc Fabregas, and it was the Blues who took the lead when Ramires headed home early on. However, in the first example of the tactic which has proved so effective this term, Klopp’s deployment of Roberto Firmino as a false nine transformed the Reds’ frontline. Philippe Coutinho struck twice before substitute Christian Benteke secured the victory with a late third.

Less than two months later, Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea.