Liverpool must be inspired by their performance against Manchester United earlier this month in order to pull off an incredible comeback against Real Madrid. That is the verdict of former Reds defender Neil Ruddock, who hasn’t ruled out a truly memorable night for his old club.
Liverpool head to the Bernabeu on Wednesday attempting to overturn a three-goal deficit from the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie. Real came back from two goals down to win 5-2 at Anfield last month.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came quickly out of the blocks and raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah. But the 14-time champions stormed back in astonishing fashion.
A brace apiece for Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema, and a header from Eder Militao, mean Carlo Ancelotti’s have one foot in the quarter-final draw. But Ruddock believes there is plenty to inspire Liverpool.
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He says they must look at the comeback win the club pulled off in the 2005 final against AC Milan. He also pointed to the semi-final victory over Barcelona in 2019, where Klopp’s team won 4-0 at home after losing 3-0 in the first leg at the Nou Camp.
Ruddock said on talkSPORT: “Well you’ve got have faith. Go back to 2005, Istanbul, 3-0 down at half-time.
“A few years ago, the semi-final they lost 3-0 away to Barcelona. I went to the return game, I only wanted to see [Lionel] Messi, I thought ‘well Liverpool aren’t going to win this’.
“So we went up there to see Lionel. But they won four there, Liverpool won four there. So you’ve got to keep the faith.”
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And Ruddock says Liverpool have already performed how they need to at the Bernabeu this season. He says a repeat of the second-half showing of the 7-0 win over United would give them a chance.
Ruddock also admitted Real may well have to play as badly as United did in the second 45 at Anfield. He added: “But the only chance Liverpool have got to win this game is to take chances like they did in the second half against Manchester United.
“And the only other chance they’ve got is Real Madrid have got to play like Man United in that second half! Anything can happen, you can have a sending off, the goalkeeper could get injured. Liverpool need everything to go their way if they’ve got a chance.”
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