Liverpool, Klopp one step towards copying Man Utd, Arsenal with underwhelming trophy haul repeat

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool trophy
Jurgen Klopp may be set for an underwhelming trophy haul.

Sorry, Liverpool fans. You won’t win the Premier League this season but Jurgen Klopp’s side have overcome one hurdle en route to securing an underwhelming trophy haul.

Still coming around from their Carabao Cup-induced hangover, Liverpool supporters will be full of hope on this bright Monday morning and expecting their team to add more trophies to their cabinet before Klopp’s farewell campaign is over.

While Liverpool are at the Premier League summit, they (and Arsenal) must deep down know what’s coming and Klopp will not be able to prevent the inevitable (Manchester City winning the title) from happening again.

Klopp’s farewell season has emerged as an obstacle in the way of Man City completing *another* treble, but Liverpool are far more likely to impact Guardiola’s hopes via the FA Cup than the Premier League.

Another respectable second-placed Premier League finish may be on its way for Liverpool, but it’s not all bad. As things stand, they have beaten Chelsea as expected (and didn’t defy the odds) to win the Carabao Cup, while the FA Cup and Europa Cup are up for grabs so the Reds could repeat their go-to trick of securing a double or treble.

And with that, here are the seven occasions when English clubs went down the unconventional route of winning two or three trophies in a single season (i.e. When the Premier League and Champions League/European Cup were not secured along the way)…

 

Liverpool (21/22) – FA Cup, League Cup
The Reds have grown accustomed to accepting underwhelming trophy hauls as they were made to settle for the FA Cup and League Cup despite challenging for an unprecedented quadruple in 2021/22.

After making a poor defence of their Premier League title during the Covid-impacted behind-closed-doors season in 20/21, Liverpool were truly back to their best in 21/22.

Their penalty practice paid off as they beat Chelsea on spot-kicks in both domestic finals after the Big Six rivals failed to find the net in 240+ minutes across their two dates at Wembley.

As for the bigger competitions, Liverpool came unstuck against familiar foes…

Man City recreated that chaotic Sergio Aguero moment by beating Aston Villa on the final day despite being 2-0 down to clinch the Premier League title by a single point before Liverpool succumbed to a 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

 

Man Utd (16/17) – Europa League, League Cup
It says a lot about how the Red Devils have fared post-Sir Alex Ferguson that this season is still probably their best since their iconic former manager retired in 2013.

Jose Mourinho is back on the market and apparently feels he has ‘unfinished business’ at Old Trafford, but the serial winner lifted two trophies (three if you count the Community Shield, but we don’t) in his debut season at Man Utd.

After the failed David Moyes and Louis van Gaal experiments, Mourinho was tasked with getting Man Utd past their post-Ferguson misery.

Mourinho’s presence was not positively felt long term, but he – as he often does – enjoyed some short-term success and did an unfashionable double. They beat Ajax and Southampton to win the Europa League and League Cup respectively.

 

Chelsea (06/07) – FA Cup, League Cup
Time for some more Mourinho goodness. In his final full season during his first stint in charge of Chelsea, he lifted his second League Cup and first FA Cup.

‘The Special One’ was coming off two straight Premier League title wins and while they were narrowly edged out by Man Utd that season, the Blues still had the FA Cup and League Cup consolation prizes.

Chelsea laid out the quadruple-challenging formula for Liverpool to follow in 21/22 as 15 years earlier, the London outfit contested for four trophies. As aforementioned, they were beaten to the Premier League by Man Utd and also came up short in the Champions League by losing to Rafael Benitez’s Reds at the semi-final stage.

READ: Where Quadruple bids failed: Spurs stumbles, dagger from Agger, Wigan woes, Nathan Jones?

 

Liverpool (00/01) – UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup
And now it’s time for the Plastic Treble.

In Liverpool’s best season since their 1980s golden era, Gerard Houllier’s side finished 11 points adrift of Premier League champions Man Utd but ended up in third ahead of Leeds United and Ipswich Town.

Liverpool fared much better in cup competitions as they went all the way in the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup to end the season with three trophies.

After years of misery, this trophy haul provided welcome respite for Liverpool and preceded more success under Benitez and Klopp. That ‘Triple Decker Tour Bus’ was a bit over the top, mind.

READ MORE: Five ways Xabi Alonso is far from the ‘perfect’ Liverpool appointment Carragher reckons he is

 

Chelsea (97/98) – Cup Winners’ Cup, League Cup
Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003 saw Chelsea gatecrash the elite and win a boatload of trophies in the process. But before the Russian’s arrival, the club only won trophies sparingly and their 1997/98 double was the first in their history. 

During the Abramovich era, Chelsea supporters may have turned their noses up at a season in which they only won the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup (the precursor to the UEFA Cup), but in 1998 they would have snatched your hands and feet off for this haul.

With player-manager Gianluca Vialli at the helm, the Blues earned a respectable fourth-placed finish in the Premier League but beat Middlesbrough and VfB Stuttgart to claim the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.

 

Arsenal (92/93) – FA Cup, League Cup
After being made to feed off scraps for a painful period, Arsenal supporters were gifted a purple patch of success during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Towards the end of this spell, George Graham’s team disappointed in the league by finishing 10th, but they somewhat made up for that in cup competitions.

With the help of 30-goal top scorer Ian Wright, the Gunners beat Sheffield Wednesday in both domestic cup finals to lift the League Cup and FA Cup.

 

Leeds United (67/68) – Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, League Cup
Upon researching for this piece, I – like some of our younger readers presumably would too – asked: ‘What the f*** is the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup?’

It turns out it was UEFA Cup-esque and was abolished in 1971. You live and learn.

Leeds United dominated the competition before it was binned off as they won it three times in five years. Also in 67/68, the Yorkshire side beat Arsenal 1-0 at the old Wembley in front of over 97,000 fans to win the League Cup.