Both Liverpool and Everton are enjoying footballing success beyond the domestic parameter this season, leading to an inevitable surge in bookings for football supporters coach travel, as a renewed sense of optimism and vigour echoes around Anfield and Goodison Park.
It has become quite the novelty for both the red and blue halves of the city to be playing in Europe at the same time. However, this season is a very welcome exception, as Liverpool are vying in the UEFA Champions League group stages and Everton are currently battling in the group stages of the Europa League.
The Reds’ last taste of continental success came in 2005 when they were able to reverse their fortunes and overturn a 3-0 first-half deficit in Istanbul to beat AC Milan in a penalty shoot-out and claim their fifth European Cup. This meant that they were the first British team to win the trophy five times, a truly formidable feat and one they have no intention of surrendering. They followed on from this success with a victory in the Super Cup, beating CSKA Moscow 3-1 in Monaco. Liverpool also won the UEFA Cup in 2001 by beating Alaves 5-4 in Dortmund. Incidentally, this led to another Super Cup crown when they ran out 3-2 victors over Bayern Munich in Monaco. The Reds have been mainstays in Europe and will be hoping to bring another cup back to the Anfield trophy room.
The Blues have not really enjoyed much success on that front in recent times. Their last victory came twenty years earlier back in 1985 when they won the European Cup-Winners’ Cup. They toppled Rapid Vienna in Rotterdam to win 3-1. To date, this is their first trophy in Europe. Silverware has been missing from Goodison since 1995 when they won the FA Cup so they will be eager to rectify this and add a much-needed cup to their cabinet. They last competed in the Europa League during 2014/2015, and eventually bowed out in the last 16, losing 6-4 on aggregate to Dynamo Kiev.
Both sets of supporters will be cheering their respective teams on in Europe, and be wishing for successful campaigns, hoping to emulate earlier conquests driven by pride and passion. Liverpool is a city steeped in rich footballing tradition and success and has rightfully earned its place as one of the best cities for showcasing the beautiful game