Wembley stages a meeting of clubs celebrating memorable nights in this week’s Champions League. Liverpool’s 7-0 win at Maribor was the largest ever away win for an English team in over six decades of involvement in European competition, while Tottenham were good value for their 1-1 draw with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Harry Kane added Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt to his collection, and the Tottenham striker’s performance in Madrid filled the Spanish gossip pages over whether he might one day play alongside the great man. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane called Kane a “complete player” in the buildup.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s previous gloom was likely lifted by the barnstorming outing in Slovenia. His team had won just one of their previous eight matches. Striker Roberto Firmino grabbed two goals, his first strikes in a month, on a night that should swell confidence. Liverpool’s players looked glad to have been set free from the torpor that enveloped last week’s boring 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Back on home soil, Liverpool have some catching up to do, with Tottenham four points ahead in third place as Liverpool languish in eighth, with both Burnley (seventh) and Watford (fourth) ahead in the table.
To start climbing upward, Liverpool will need to register victory at a place where happy memories are scarce. They have not won a competitive game at Wembley since 2012’s League Cup final. Klopp suffered the biggest heartbreak of his career at England’s national stadium when Borussia Dortmund were edged out of the 2013 Champions League final in Bayern Munich’s late 2-1 victory. Two seasons ago, in Klopp’s first visit in charge of Liverpool, the League Cup was lost on penalties to Manchester City.
A tough place to visit for Liverpool, though the same might have been said of Tottenham until Saturday, when a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth finally broke, for now, a Premier League hoodoo at Spurs’ temporary home. Though both clubs might have misgivings, Wembley is the hottest ticket in town, with Tottenham officials having to take steps to prevent travelling Reds fans taking up seats in the home end.