Revisiting Liverpool’s UEFA Europa League triumph in 2000-01 season

The Reds have lifted 3 UEFA Cups (now UEL) in their history.

Almost a couple of decades ago, Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool went on an extraordinary run to lift the UEFA Cup (now Europa League). The 2000-01 UEFA Cup run, as it was known back then, was a rollercoaster ride of resilience, dramatic encounters, and also had the tradional spark of  the Anfield magic we all cherish in the current Pool side and the many other sides who have donned the red and white the past. Let us revisit this iconic season, where Liverpool end up emerging victorious at the end of a never ending tunnel after a nail-biting final that went down in  folklore of UEFA Cup history and is remembered by past and present football followers alike.

The most decorated English club almost went on an unbeaten run, if not for a single defeat, en-route to their final victory over Alaves. They did not put their foot down throughout the campaign and they certainly had the blessings of the footballing overlords. 

Revisiting Liverpool’s UEFA Europa League triumph in 2000-01 season
Credits - Liverpool Official

First round

The Merseyside based club started their campaign against Romanian side Rapid Bucuresti. A 1-0 victory in Romania, followed by a goalless draw at Anfield in the 2nd leg made sure that Liverpool marched on to the next round.

Second round

The second round saw Liverpool face a stiff resistance from the Czech Republic – FC Slovan Liberec. The Reds emerged as the winners the 1st leg at Anfield with a short 1-0 scoreline. However, in the 2nd leg, the Czech club were no pushovers for their opponents from the Merseyside. The match ended 3-2 in favour of Liverpool but it was surely anything but an easy ride.

Third round

The challenge went up a notch higher in the third round as Liverpool faced another established European name – Greek giants Olympiacos. A thrilling 2-2 draw between the two sides in Greece in the 1st leg had both clubs’ supporters had their hearts in their mouth. But the Reds quashed any rising heart beats and put any doubts to rest by wrapping up their qualification for the next round in style at home. Liverpool comfortably cruised to a  2-0 victory on the day in front of the Kop, breaking thousands of travelling fans’ hearts.

Fourth round

Roma were the only side in that competition  to  hand a defeat to Liverpool throughout that campaign but even that was not enough to stop  Liverpool from  marching on to the quarter final of the UEFA Cup. The 2-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico, in the 1st leg, helped Liverpool win the tie as they faltered to a nervy 1-0 loss in the reverse fixture. They survived the storm and managed to qualify for the last eight on an aggregate score of 2-1.


Credits - Liverpool Official

Liverpool’s quarter-final encounter against FC Porto was a much more timid affair compared to their other matches. A stalemate away in Portugal left the tie open for anyone to win, but Liverpool took charge at Anfield. Strikes from Danny Murphy and Michael Owen in the first half ensured a comfortable 2-0 victory and a convincing 2-0 aggregate win, propelling them towards the semi-finals and their eventual UEFA Cup triumph.


Liverpool faced off  against Louis van Gaal’s Barcelona in the semi-final. The initial encounter at Barcelona ended in a 0-0 draw. The game was more Liverpool showing off  their defensive side of their game.

However, returning to their home at Anfield for the second leg, the Reds grabbed the metaphorical bull by its horns. With a nerve-wracking penalty converted by Gary McAllister, Liverpool secured a slender 1-0 triumph, earning a hard-earned advancement and getting that much closer to the final of a grilling European Cup run.


2001 UEFA Cup final - Wikipedia
Credits - Wikipedia

The final against Deportivo Alaves was held at Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. And it was a match that is still talked about today ! After a high-scoring 4-4 draw in regular time, the golden goal rule came into effect in extra time. In a dramatic twist which was miraculous for Liverpool but a cruel twist in fate for Alaves, Delfi Geli of Alaves unfortunately deflected the ball into his own net, giving Liverpool a historic and unlikely 5-4 win and having their names etched in the history books.

Cover Credits - Liverpool Official

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