Real classics – 7 memorable matches between Real Madrid and British teams

Manchester City tackle the Spanish giants for a place in the Champions League final.

By Press Association Published: 25 April 2022 - 3.38pm

Manchester City resume their quest for a maiden Champions League title on Tuesday when they play Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final.

Pep Guardiola’s City beat Real 2-1 in both legs of their previous Champions League meeting in 2020 to reach the quarter-finals.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some memorable clashes between other British teams and the 13-time record-winning Spanish giants.

Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal, February 2006

Thierry Henry’s brilliant solo goal secured Arsenal’s biggest win in European football. The Gunners became the first English club to win at the Bernabeu and did so against the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham. A 0-0 draw at Highbury in the return sent the Gunners through to the Champions League’s last eight, but they went on to lose to Barcelona in the final.

Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid, May 1981

Liverpool's Alan Kennedy, right, scores the only goal in the 1981 European Cup final in Paris
Liverpool’s Alan Kennedy, right, scores the only goal in the 1981 European Cup final in Paris (PA)

The European Cup remained in England for a fifth successive season after Alan Kennedy’s solitary late goal in the final at the Parc des Princes in Paris ensured Liverpool became champions of Europe for a third time. Bob Paisley became the first manager to win a hat-trick of trophies in the competition with one club.

Liverpool 1-3 Real Madrid, May 2018

 Gareth Bale
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale scored one of the great Champions League goals (Peter Byrne/PA)

Real avenged that defeat 37 years later at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Gareth Bale scored one of the great Champions League final goals with a stunning overhead kick to put the Spaniards 2-1 up just minutes after stepping off the bench in the second half. Bale scored again to seal Real a record-extending 13th title, their third in a row and fourth in five seasons.

Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid, March 2009

Fernando Torres scored Liverpool's opening goal in their 4-0 win against Real in 2009
Fernando Torres scored Liverpool’s opening goal in their 4-0 win against Real in 2009 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Former Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres tormented his old rivals with a man-of-the-match display and Steven Gerrard scored twice as Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool ran riot against the Galacticos to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on a memorable night at Anfield. Madrid’s 5-0 aggregate defeat was one of their biggest in Europe, but Liverpool went on to lose to Chelsea in the next round.

Ipswich 1-0 Real Madrid, September 1973

Bobby Robson’s Ipswich ambushed the mighty Real in the first round of the UEFA Cup thanks to a deflected Mick Mills shot. The Tractor Boys were just the third English side to beat Los Blancos and they progressed after a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu in the return leg. Ipswich went on to lose on penalties to Lokomotiv Leipzig in the last eight.

Real Madrid 0-1 Celtic, June 1967

Two weeks after becoming the first British club to win the European Cup by defeating Inter Milan in Lisbon, Celtic travelled to the Bernabeu for one of Real’s all-time greats Alfredo Di Stefano’s testimonial match. Jimmy Johnstone stole the show with a superb display and Bobby Lennox’s second-half goal clinched Celtic victory.

Aberdeen 2-1 Real Madrid, May 1983

Aberdeen's players celebrate their Cup Winners' Cup win against Real Madrid in 1983
Aberdeen’s players celebrate their Cup Winners’ Cup win against Real Madrid in 1983 (PA)

Under Alex Ferguson, Aberdeen became the third Scottish club to win a European trophy when they upset Real in the Cup Winners’ Cup final in Gothenburg. John Hewitt struck the winner in extra time to seal one of the Dons’ greatest triumphs after John Black’s early opener had been cancelled out by Juanito’s penalty.

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