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It’s five years since Liverpool’s last defeat at home in Europe... so how have the Reds become unbeatable at fortress Anfield?

The Reds haven't tasted defeat on Merseyside in continental combat since losing 3-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid in October 2014. Ahead of Tuesday's visit of Genk in the Champions League, BTSport.com takes a closer look at their impressive run.

As Jurgen Klopp’s men prepare to host Genk in the Champions League, an anniversary looms large for Liverpool.

Tuesday night’s clash with the Belgians marks five years since Liverpool last tasted defeat at home in European competition.

It spans 23 matches – 17 victories and six draws - that has seen Liverpool reach three European finals and win last season’s Champions League showpiece in Madrid.

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During that run Liverpool have racked up a 7-0 win, thrashed Manchester City 3-0 and recovered from a 3-0 first-leg deficit by demolishing Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield in the semis.

In 2015/16’s Europa League Liverpool scored three times in the final 35 minutes to defeat Borussia Dortmund 5-4 on aggregate and qualify for the semi-finals.

“The atmosphere was the best I have ever experienced,” Klopp said on the Dortmund match. “It should serve as an example to everyone about how supporters can influence a team and influence a game.”

Klopp’s presence has been key in reinvigorating the Anfield crowd. The German was ridiculed when leading his players in a lap of honour following a last-minute equaliser at home to West Brom in December 2015.

But his energy on the Anfield touchline has fed into the crowd and vice-versa. After a less formidable run under Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers with Liverpool only sporadically involved in European competition, the atmosphere has reignited.

The ‘Anfield on European nights’ cliché is once again, no longer just a cliché.
Indeed the last time the fortress was breached was when Real Madrid visited and outclassed Rodgers’ side in the group stages in October 2014.

During a week where Bayern Munich scored seven, Chelsea six, Atletico Madrid five and Dortmund four, Madrid bagged three without reply.

Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who had never scored at Anfield during his Manchester United career, exchanged passes with James Rodriguez before volleying the opener past Simon Mignolet.

The second came when Liverpool failed to clear their lines from a corner and Toni Kroos was on hand to cross for Karim Benzema. The third was again from a corner Liverpool failed to clear and again scored by Benzema.

Rodgers' team featured current captain Jordan Henderson, then-captain Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling.
The Liverpool coach was left furious after Mario Balotelli was seen swapping shifts with Pepe at the interval with his side trailing by three goals. He didn’t emerge for the second half, hooked for Adam Lallana.

It was a moment that encapsulated Liverpool’s night where the five times champions of Europe looked like novices against continental heavyweights.

At the time it was a predictable result. Real, the holders and would go on to win four of the next five Champions League titles.
Liverpool had not competed in the Champions League in the four seasons previous and their last taste of the competition was a group-stage exit in the 2009/10 campaign.

The man whose goals dragged them back to Europe’s top table in 2014/15, Luis Suarez, had left for Barcelona – one of the continent’s true big boys.

Liverpool were sleeping giants. Fast-forward five years and they’ve awakened.

Klopp replaced Rodgers in October 2015 and led Liverpool to the 2016 Europa League final where they lost to Sevilla.

After a season without European competition, Liverpool returned to the Champions League in 2017/18. Klopp’s men reached the final where they were undone by a calamitous goalkeeping display from Loris Karius.

Last season they went one better, winning their sixth European Cup in Madrid with home victories over Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Barcelona on the way.

When Liverpool needed a win in the final group-stage match against Napoli, having lost all three of their away matches, Klopp called on the Anfield crowd to “help” them. The fans responded and Mohamed Salah’s goal saw them through.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg and hosting Barcelona in the semis, they repeated the trick to qualify for the final.
In a weaker group and with six points from their opening three games, the need to conjure the Anfield crowd feels less acute at home to Group E’s bottom-placed side. Regardless they’ll be in full voice come Tuesday.

Of course, the crowd can only influence proceedings so much. The Liverpool of today come out the blocks fast and score early at home.

In the past two seasons and this campaign the front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have scored 49 times between them in Europe.

In Fabinho, Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum they have a midfield capable of controlling the flow of any game. And Alisson, Andy Robertson, Virgin van Dijk, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold – set for his 100th Liverpool appearance versus Genk – are one of the meanest defences in Europe.

Anything other than a comfortable win would be a surprise and that’s testament to how far Liverpool have come. Five years on from their inferiority complex against Real, Liverpool are back.

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