Liverpool moved a step closer to a historic Quadruple after beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final – with the Reds’ bid having now gone further into a season than any other English side before them.
Jurgen Klopp’s side once again beat Chelsea on penalties at Wembley, having secured their first trophy of the season with an 11-10 penalty win in the Carabao Cup final in February.
Saturday’s FA Cup final was an enthralling goalless draw that ended in another shootout, with Kostas Tsimikas scoring the winning spot kick as Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties.
Liverpool have surpassed the Chelsea side of 2006/07, whose own Quadruple challenge lasted all the way until May 1 of that campaign before losing to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.
The next leg of the Quadruple will comes in the race for the Premier League title, with Liverpool facing Southampton live on Sky Sports on Tuesday evening in their penultimate game.
Liverpool are three points behind City as we enter the final two games of the season after an impressive unbeaten run in the league saw the champions’ seemingly unsurmountable 14-point lead on January 15 evaporate.
In total, Liverpool will face a gruelling seven-match schedule in May, having also reached the Champions League final on May 28 when they face Real Madrid in a repeat of the 2018 showpiece event.
So, how have other English teams got on when faced with such a daunting challenge, while surely the trophy-laden Liverpool sides of the 80s must have gone close to achieving the feat? And what about some of the great European giants of years gone by?
The English Quad?
As is surely common knowledge by now, no English team has ever won the Quadruple.
Prior to this season, the closest any top-flight side had ever got to winning all four major trophies in a single campaign was Chelsea back in 2006/07.
Heading into May of that season, Jose Mourinho’s back-to-back Premier League champions had already landed the League Cup after beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium, while they had an FA Cup final date to look forward to with Manchester United, who they were also going toe to toe with in the league.
However, the Blues’ challenge ended when they lost on penalties to Liverpool at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, while they would also go on to lose their title to United.
Manchester United also came close to making history in 2008/09, only to slip up in the semi-finals of the FA Cup when losing 4-2 on penalties to Everton, although they did then get beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in that season’s Champions League final in Rome.
And, of course, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side have had numerous Quadruple bids as well since the Catalan arrived at the Etihad, the closest being in 2018/19 and last season. However, the former challenge was ended by Tottenham in the Champions League last eight and the latter after a defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Liverpool‘s current quest, though, will last at least until the FA Cup final with Chelsea on May 14, meaning their Quadruple campaign will have lasted longer than any other English team’s in history.
And before you ask, Manchester United‘s famous Treble-winning season of 1998/99 actually included a League Cup quarter-final loss at Spurs in the December of that campaign.
English Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||Champions League||Bid ended|
|Liverpool (2021-22)||Won||Final vs Chelsea (May 14)||Second||Final vs Real Madrid||Will last till at least May 14|
|Chelsea (2006-07)||Won||Won||Second||Semi-finals||May 1|
|Man Utd (2008-09)||Won||Semi-finals||Won||Runners-up||April 19|
|Man City (2018-19)||Won||Won||Won||Quarter-finals||April 17|
|Man City (2020-21)||Won||Semi-finals||Won||Runners-up||April 17|
Past Reds efforts
You would have thought Liverpool have come close before, but actually they have not, despite winning the League Cup four years in a row from 1981.
It was the FA Cup that ultimately proved to be Liverpool’s Achilles’ heel in each of those four campaigns, with the Reds never managing to make it past the fifth round, meaning the closest they came was in 1982/83, only for a shock 2-1 home defeat to second division Brighton to end their Quadruple dreams in February.
And it was Brighton again in the cup who scuppered the Reds’ chances of winning all four trophies in their Treble-winning campaign the following season.
Liverpool’s Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||European Cup||Bid ended|
|1982-83||Won||Fifth round||Won||Quarter-finals||Feb 20|
|1981-82||Won||Fifth round||Won||Quarter-finals||Feb 13|
|1983-84||Won||Fourth round||Won||Won||Jan 29|
|1980-81||Won||Fourth round||Fifth||Won||Jan 24|
Oddly enough, despite Klopp’s ‘Mentality Monsters’ barely losing a game between 2018 and 2020, they never actually came close to winning the Quadruple.
In fact, the nearest they came to achieving the feat was in their title-winning campaign of 2019/20, only for a youth side – selected because of a fixture clash with the Club World Cup – to lose 5-0 at Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-finals to put an end that dream.
Klopp’s Liverpool Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||Champions League||Bid ended|
|2021-22||Won||Final vs Chelsea||Currently second||Final vs Real Madrid||Wil last till at least May 14|
|2019-20||Quarter-final||Fifth round||Won||Last 16||Dec 17|
|2020-21||Fourth round||Fourth round||Third||Quarter-final||Oct 1|
|2018-19||Third round||Third round||Second||Winners||Sept 26|
|2017-18||Third round||Fourth round||Fourth||Runners-up||Sept 19|
The British bids
In the first season in England when four trophies were up for grabs in 1960/61, it was Burnley who came closest before losing to Hamburg in the last eight of the European Cup in March 1961.
However, Celtic did manage to accomplish the seemingly impossible in 1966-67 when Jock Stein’s ‘Lisbon Lions’ won it all – the Scottish First Division, League Cup and Scottish Cup, followed by the first European Cup won by a British team after victory over Inter Milan.
Well, the first thing to point out here is that up until the 2019-20 season, France, as in England, was the only other country in Europe’s top-five major leagues to have an extra cup competition in the form of the League Cup, or Coupe de la Ligue.
So that explains why European giants like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus have all never previously won the Quadruple.
Paris Saint-Germain did, though, recently come within a whisker of pulling it off under Thomas Tuchel, only to fall agonisingly at the final hurdle.
The big-spending Parisians were awarded that season’s Ligue 1 title in April based on a points-per-game ratio after the campaign was prematurely curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, when the season did eventually resume, PSG beat St Etienne 1-0 in the Coupe de France final on July 24, before edging out Lyon 6-5 on penalties to claim the Coupe de la Ligue the following weekend.
Then, when the Champions League also returned in August, Tuchel’s team made it all the way to the final for the first time in the club’s history, before unluckily losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
All of which shows just what a mountain Klopp and Co still face in order to make history this season…
Liverpool’s fixture schedule:
May 15 – Southampton (A) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
May 22 – Wolves (H) Premier League
May 28 – Real Madrid Champions League final
Source : Sky Sports