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Remember how they nearly missed the Champions League?

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As Liverpool progressed to yet another Champions League final after defeating Villarreal, let’s remind ourselves how close they were to not even qualifying for the competition.

After an injury-plagued campaign last season, Liverpool were struggling to qualify for the Champions League until goalkeeper Alisson scored a stoppage-time header against West Brom.

Alisson’s header was Liverpool’s biggest moment of the season and the 2-1 win moved the Reds to within one point of fourth-placed Chelsea with two matches remaining. 

The Brazilian became the first Liverpool goalkeeper in history to score for the club and only the sixth ever in the Premier League.

Incredibly, following a 1-0 defeat to Fulham, Liverpool’s sixth consecutive loss at Anfield, the Reds were ten points off the top four and facing an injury crisis – centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez were all out for the season. 

Master coach Jurgen Klopp had to dig deep within his squad with unheralded youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams called into action. 

Remarkably, over the final 10 games of the season, Liverpool took 26 out of a possible 30 points to finish third in the league and qualify for the Champions League.

Fast-forward to this season and Liverpool have been absolutely dominating the Champions League, plus every other competition they have entered.

UEFA Champions League Final | Liverpool vs Real Madrid
Stade de France | 29 May, 5:00am AEST

In an amazing achievement, the Reds are in the running to win the ‘quadruple’ – the English Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup and the League Cup. 

In the Champions League, they are the first team to win all six away games during the competition – from the group stage to the final.

They overcame Inter Milan in the round of 16, defeated Benfica in the quarter-finals and beat Villarreal in the semi-finals.

In the final, Liverpool will take on Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid.

In the English Premier League, Liverpool trail Manchester City by a single point with four matches remaining in the season.

The FA Cup Final will see Liverpool battle Chelsea in mid-May at the famous Wembley Stadium.

Earlier this season, the two sides fought out the League Cup Final with Liverpool winning 11-10 on penalties after a scoreless draw to claim their first trophy of the campaign.

If Liverpool defeat Real Madrid in the upcoming Champions League Final, fans will look back at Alisson’s amazing header as the moment that helped them get to this season’s competition.

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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