Friday 23 August 2019

'Last season counts for nothing now' - Souness confident on old club's chances but issues warning from history

Liverpool celebrate winning the European Cup (Peter Robinson/EMPICS)
Liverpool celebrate winning the European Cup (Peter Robinson/EMPICS)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Graeme Souness has issued a warning to Liverpool ahead of their Champions League quarter-final against FC Porto, with memories of a painful defeat during his time at Anfield at the forefront of his mind.

A Liverpool side led by Souness hammered CSKA Sofia 6-1 en-route to European Cup glory back in 1981, but the tide was turned when they faced the same side a year later and saw their reign as champions of Europe ended in a shock upset.

Now Liverpool’s class of 2019 will take on a Porto team they beat 5-0 on aggregate in last season’s Champions League, with Souness telling Independent.ie that Jurgen Klopp’s Reds need to be wary of complacency at Anfield.

"This game takes me back to my days as a player and our two matches against CSKA Sofia and they serve as a warning for Liverpool now," Virgin Media Sport pundit Souness told us.

"We hammered them 5-0 at home and went through so easily, but we drew then the following years and they knocked us out. It just shows you what can happen.

"Were we complacent? Maybe, but that may be natural when you have such a convincing victory and Liverpool have to treat this as a completely new challenge now.

"No two games are the same and Liverpool have to remember that in this tie against Porto. yes they beat this team easily last season, but that counts for nothing now. Football is mad sometimes, anything can happen."

Souness is convinced Liverpool will end up with a trophy this season, as he believes they have come through a bad run of form and will end the season on a high.

"They have got lucky in a few games recently, especially against Tottenham, but they are also showing a real desire to win football matches and that is what teams that win trophies can do," he added.

"I think they will end up with a trophy and I could easily see them winning the Premier League and the Champions League, of course they can.

"With Virgil van Dijk and Alisson in their team now, they are tough to beat an no one will enjoy playing them, including Manchester City.

"The progress they have made over the last couple of years leads me to believe they will finish this season with a trophy because it will be very tough for Manchester City to go through these final six weeks of the season without slipping up."

Virgin Media Sport will host the UEFA Champions League matches on Wednesdays and the UEFA Europa League on Thursdays.

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