Remember, remember, the 21st of November ... if you love Liverpool
November 21 2015 will go down as one of the most memorable days in Liverpool’s history, at least under German manager Jürgen Norbert Klopp.
This is the day the Reds army invaded enemy territory – the Etihad Stadium – and demolished Manchester City 4-1 in a clinical display that was reminiscent of the trademark style of play that Klopp had established at Borussia Dortmund in his motherland.
This was just a month into his tenure at Liverpool.
The result led to the club’s faithful singing along to Canadian jazz group Full Swing’s 1982 release The Good Times Are Back.
However, the result turned out to be the single swallow that did not make the summer, as the club has been blowing hot and cold ever since.
In fact, it is a miracle that they find themselves in the Capital One final today.
They come up against a City whose manager, Manuel Luis Pellegrini, must be feeling like a man on death row.
The Chilean would like to bow out in grand fashion after The Citizens announced that they would be coached by the decorated Spaniard Pep Guardiola at the end of this season.
Things have not lived up to the expectations that were created in 2013, when Pellegrini hit the ground running after joining City in June.
He led the club to a Premier League and League Cup (Capital One) double, but that’s when the silverware dried up despite a serious challenge for the title last season. His contract expires on June 30. The statistics will show that Liverpool have won 72 of the 153 meetings between the clubs since their first clash in the 1937/38 season. City have won only 41, with 40 matches ending in draws.
But the City of old is a far cry from the one whose fortunes changed dramatically since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan bought the club through the Abu Dhabi United Group for £210 million in 2008.
Since then, the club has become a serious contender, not only in England but in Europe.
With a cluster of top-class players, such as former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Sergio “Kun” Agüero and Yaya Touré in his arsenal – to mention just a few big stars – the Chilean has all the artillery he needs to demolish Liverpool.
Klopp, on the other hand, would be hoping that the likes of Dejan Lovren, Joe Allen and Adam Lallana, who missed the midweek Europa Cup clash against Augsburg, make it back to bolster the fit-again Daniel Sturridge and the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.
Cup finals, by their nature, are difficult to predict. They are wont to produce the unlikeliest of results.
So you may as well throw the stats book away and just watch.
Michael Oliver Assistant referees: Simon Bennett and Adrian Holmes Fourth official:
Bobby Madley Reserve assistant referee:
PRODIGAL SON Raheem Sterling of Manchester City with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp last year
KEY MEN Yaya Touré of Manchester City with Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool