Liverpool’s historic quest for a Quadruple continues when they host Watford in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime, but how have other sides fared in their own bids to win all four major trophies in a single season?
Liverpool are still in with a chance of an unprecedented Quadruple this campaign, as unlikely as that sounds, as we enter the final stretch of the season.
It is ‘squeaky-bum time,’ as Sir Alex Ferguson would say, with Jurgen Klopp’s side now just a point behind leaders Man City as we enter the final nine games of the season after an impressive nine-game winning run in the league saw the champions’ seemingly unsurmountable 14-point lead on January 15 evaporate away.
Meanwhile, Liverpool also take on Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals, the first leg of which is in Lisbon on Tuesday night, before an FA Cup semi-final clash with rivals City at Wembley on April 16.
In total, Liverpool could face a gruelling nine-match schedule in April – including a potential title decider at City live on Sky Sports on April 10 – were they to continue their bid for the Quadruple and progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League, followed by another seven games in May if they also make it through to the finals of both the FA and European Cups.
So, how have other English teams got on when faced with such a daunting challenge, while surely the trophy-laden Liverpool sides of the 80s must have gone close to achieving the feat? And what about some of the great European giants of years gone by?
The English Quad?
As is surely common knowledge by now, no English team has ever won the Quadruple.
The closest any top-flight side has ever got to winning all four major trophies in a single season was Chelsea in the 2006-07 campaign.
Heading into May 2007, Jose Mourinho’s back-to-back Premier League champions had already landed the League Cup after beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium, while they had an FA Cup final date to look forward to with Manchester United, who they were also going toe to toe with in the league.
However, the Blues’ challenge ended when they lost 4-1 on penalties to Liverpool at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, while they would also go on to lose their title to United.
Speaking of United, they also came close to making history in 2008-09, only to slip up in the semi-finals of the FA Cup when losing 4-2 on penalties to Everton, although they did then get beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in that season’s Champions League final in Rome.
And, of course, Pep Guardiola’s City side have had numerous Quadruple bids as well since the Catalan arrived at the Etihad, the closest being in 2018-19 and last season. However, the former challenge was ended by Tottenham in the Champions League last eight, while the latter after a defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Liverpool’s current quest, though, will last to at least April 13 when their Champions League last-eight clash against Benfica concludes with the second leg at Anfield.
And before you ask, United’s famous Treble-winning season of 1998-99 actually included a League Cup quarter-final loss at Spurs in the December of that campaign.
English Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||Champions League||Bid ended|
|Chelsea (2006-07)||Won||Won||Second||Semi-finals||May 1|
|Man Utd (2008-09)||Won||Semi-finals||Won||Runners-up||April 19|
|Man City (2018-19)||Won||Won||Won||Quarter-finals||April 17|
|Man City (2020-21)||Won||Semi-finals||Won||Runners-up||April 17|
|Liverpool (2021-22)||Won||Semi-final vs City||Currently second||Quarter-final vs Benfica||Wil last till at least April 13|
Past Reds efforts
Well, you would have thought so, but actually they did not, despite winning the League Cup four years in a row from 1981.
However, it was the FA Cup that ultimately proved to be Liverpool’s Achilles’ heel in each of those four campaigns, with the Reds never managing to make it past the fifth round, meaning the closest they came was in 1982-83, only for a shock 2-1 home defeat to second division Brighton to end their Quadruple dreams in February.
And it was Brighton again in the cup who scuppered the Reds’ chances of winning all four trophies in their Treble-winning campaign the following season.
Liverpool’s Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||European Cup||Bid ended|
|1982-83||Won||Fifth round||Won||Quarter-finals||Feb 20|
|1981-82||Won||Fifth round||Won||Quarter-finals||Feb 13|
|1983-84||Won||Fourth round||Won||Won||Jan 29|
|1980-81||Won||Fourth round||Fifth||Won||Jan 24|
Oddly enough, despite Klopp’s ‘Mentality Monsters’ barely losing a game between 2018 and 2020, they never actually came close to winning the Quadruple.
In fact, the nearest they came to achieving the feat was in their title-winning campaign of 2019-20, only for a youth side – selected because of a fixture clash with the Club World Cup – to lose 5-0 at Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-finals to put an end that dream.
Klopp’s Liverpool Quadruple attempts
|League Cup||FA Cup||League||Champions League||Bid ended|
|2021-22||Won||Semi-final vs City||Currently second||Quarter-final vs Benfica||Wil last till at least April 13|
|2019-20||Quarter-final||Fifth round||Won||Last 16||Dec 17|
|2020-21||Fourth round||Fourth round||Third||Quarter-final||Oct 1|
|2018-19||Third round||Third round||Second||Winners||Sept 26|
|2017-18||Third round||Fourth round||Fourth||Runners-up||Sept 19|
The British bids
Well Burnley did in 1960-61, the first season in England when four trophies were up for grabs, before losing to Hamburg in the last eight of the European Cup in March 1961.
However, Celtic did manage to accomplish the seemingly impossible in 1966-67 when Jock Stein’s ‘Lisbon Lions’ won it all – the Scottish First Division, League Cup and Scottish Cup, followed by the first-ever European Cup won by a British team after victory over Inter Milan.
Well, the first thing to point out here is that up until the 2019-20 season, France, as in England, was the only other country in Europe’s top-five major leagues to have an extra cup competition in the form of the League Cup, or Coupe de la Ligue.
So that explains why European giants like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus have all never previously won the Quadruple.
Paris Saint-Germain did, though, recently come within a whisker of pulling it off under Thomas Tuchel, only to fall agonisingly at the final hurdle.
The big-spending Parisians were awarded that season’s Ligue 1 title in April based on a points-per-game ratio after the campaign was prematurely curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, when the season did eventually resume, PSG beat St Etienne 1-0 in the Coupe de France final on July 24, before edging out Lyon 6-5 on penalties to claim the Coupe de la Ligue the following weekend.
Then, when the Champions League also returned in August, Tuchel’s team made it all the way to the final for the first time in the club’s history, before unluckily losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
All of which shows just what a mountain Klopp and Co still face in order to make history this season…
To be rearranged: Aston Villa (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
April 2 – Watford (H) Premier League
April 5 – Benfica (a) Champions League QF first leg
April 10 – Man City (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
April 13 – Benfica (H) Champions League QF second leg
April 16 – Man City (Wembley) FA Cup semi-final
April 19 – Man United (H) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
April 24 – Everton (H) Premier League, live on Sky Sports
April 26/27 – Villarreal/Bayern Munich Champions League SF first leg *
April 30 – Newcastle (a) Premier League
May 3/4 – Villarreal/Bayern Munich Champions League SF second leg *
May 7 – Tottenham (H) Premier League
May 14 – FA Cup final*
May 15 – Southampton (a) Premier League
May 22 – Wolves (H) Premier League
May 28 – Champions League final *
* Subject to progress