Champions League draw 2021/22: How Liverpool have fared against Atletico, Porto and AC Milan

Liverpool will travel to Spain, Portugal, and Italy as they seek to win a seventh European Cup.

<p>Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lifts the Champions League trophy in 2019. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images</p>

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lifts the Champions League trophy in 2019. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

The draw for the group stages of the 2021/22 Champions League season was made in Istanbul on Thursday afternoon and pitted Liverpool against La Liga winners Atletico Madrid, FC Porto and AC Milan in Group B.

The Reds were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the competition last term and qualified for this season’s tournament with a third-placed finish in the Premier League.

The six-times European Champions were seeded in Pot 2 for the draw. Atletico are Group B’s top seed from Pot 1, while Porto and AC Milan came from Pot 3 and Pot 4 respectively.

Liverpool could not draw a club from the same country and therefore avoided a clash with Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City in the group phase.

But the Reds will certainly face some tricky clashes as they embark on their bid to add a seventh European Cup to the Anfield trophy cabinet.

Below, we take a look at how the Reds have fared against their group rivals in the past.

Atletico Madrid

Liverpool last faced Atletico in the 2019/20 Champions League when Diego Simeone’s men knocked Jurgen Klopp’s defending champions out in the last 16 of the competition.

Atletico won the first leg 1-0 at the Metropolitano Stadium in Spain and then secured a 3-2 extra-time victory at Anfield in the second leg.

The Colchoneros also knocked Liverpool out of Europe in 2010, when Quique Flores’ side won on away goals in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Of the six meetings between the clubs, Atletico have won three, drawn two and lost just once.

Porto

The Portuguese side have been familiar foes in recent years. The erstwhile Primeira Liga champions having faced, and lost, against Liverpool in the knockout stages of the 2018/19 and 2017/18 Champions League.

The Reds won 4-1 at the Estadio da Dragao in the last meeting, in April 2019, with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk scoring for Klopp’s side.

The teams have met eight times down the years, with Liverpool winning five and drawing three.

AC Milan

Liverpool have only ever played the Italian side twice before and both of those have been in Champions League finals.

No Kopite will ever forget ‘that night in Istanbul’ when a Steven Gerrard inspired Reds came from 3-0 down at half-time to win a penalty shootout and lift the trophy in 2005.

But let’s also not forget that Carlo Ancelotti’s Rossoneri got revenge two years later when Filippo Inzaghi scored both goals in a 2-1 win in Athens.

Although Milan finished second in Serie A last season, they are still a long way from the level of those aforementioned Ancelotti sides.

Klopp reaction

Following the draw, Reds boss Klopp said: “I laughed, to be honest, pretty loud because it is a tough group obviously.

“It’s Champions League, so that’s how it is, and you have to play the best teams in Europe, and obviously some of them are in our group!

He told the club’s official website: “We played, I don’t know how often, already against Porto, so they will be waiting for us. We have obviously a little bit of [an] open bill with Atletico, and AC Milan, a historical one obviously.

“So, I think our supporters should be looking forward to it – we do, for sure.”

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