In this article Adrian talks about Liverpool’s famous Istanbul win and can they reach Champions League fame again?
Istanbul 2005 will be no doubt Liverpool’s best highlight in their Champions League history when they fought back from a 3-0 depthesis against AC Milian to level it 3-3 and to win it on penalties. So let’s recap what happened on the night of the final.
Within the 1st minute of kick-off, AC Milan had already had the ball in the back of Liverpool’s net with a goal from Maldini. Things got worse for the Reds. Harry Kewell had a knock to his leg and was subbed off for Šmicer.
38 minutes later,Crespo had striked AC Milan with a second goal putting them 2-0 up in 39 minutes. Surely it wasn’t over for the Reds and the fans that have travelled all the way to come watch?
5 minutes later it got even worse for the Reds and their fans watching as Crespo had scored himself a self a second and AC Milan were 3-0 up in 44 minutes. Was it over for the Reds or could they fight back for a famous comeback? The referee’s whistle had struck for half time and everyone watching could tell by the devastated impressions of the faces of the Reds that they weren’t happy with their first half performance.Rafa had some talking to do during the half-time break to uplift their spirits to make them fight for a famous comeback. The second half would tell.
The second half started and Rafa was eager to make changes to his team. Rafa subbed off Steve Finnan for Didi Hamann a minute straight into the second half. Could Didi be the change to the Reds famous comeback? Time would tell for the Reds. 54 minutes into the game Steven Gerrard headed in a cross to make it 3-1! The impressions of the Reds faces lit up with eagerness hoping they could pull up this famous comeback. Was their a glimpse of hope?
2 minutes later… The Reds had struck again! Šmicer had scored a second for the Reds! 3-2 in the 56th minute with more then half of the 45 minutes remaining of the second half. 4 minutes later… The Reds had a PENALTY. The Reds had the chance to level it 3-3 on the night!
Alonso stepped up for the Reds…Dida saved the penalty for AC Milan but it wasn’t over yet. The ball rebounded back to Alonso and he placed right pass Dida making it 3-3. Unbelievable! The Reds had comeback for 3 goals down to make it 3-3 on the night. No fan in the stadium could of thought the Reds could have come back from 3 goals down!
The impressions of the AC Milan players looked distraught, even they had thoughts in their minds,Liverpool wouldn’t of brought this back to 3-3. Miracles do happen! In the 85 minute Rafa made his final change subbing Milan Baroš off for Djibril Cissé. The Reds were going all out for this now! AC Milan also brought Crespo off for Jon Dahl Tomasson and Clarence Seedorf off for Serginho. The referee had blown the whistle for final it was going to extra time.
Extra time began, the Reds had all the thoughts they could all the way and take it for the win!. It was end to end football for most of the half. AC Milan had made their final change of the game bringing Rui Costa on for Gennaro Gattuso.
The referee had blown his whistle for full time. It had gone all the way to penalties , the Reds had a good knowledge for taking penalties with the likes of Gerrard and Alonso. Liverpool scored their first penalty. Then Serginho skied his penalty putting the Reds 1-0 up on penalties. Hamann stepped taking advantage of Serginho’s miss putting the Reds 2-0 up. AC Milan missed their next penalty keeping it 2-0. Next was Risse , he stepped up to take his penalty and his penalty was saved by Dida. AC Milan took full advantage scored their next penalty of the night making it 2-1 on penalties. Šmicer stepped up and scored his penalty making it match point for the Reds on the night.
Up stepped Andriy Shevchenko, if he missed, the Reds would won have won the cup! YES! Andriy Shevchenko with a weak penalty placing it down the middle with a easy save for Dudek. The fans went wild! The Reds jumped all over Dudek with Joy. He was the hero of the night!
After the game the skipper said “We were massive underdogs at the start of the competition and I hold my hands up, I didn’t think we were going to go all the way. At half-time, I also thought it was impossible and that I’d be in tears at the end. We had a mountain to climb but we kept fighting to the end.”
GOALKEEPER JERZY DUDEK ON HIS BRILLIANT DOUBLE SAVE FROM ANDREI SHEVCHENKO
“I don’t know how I did it. It was fortunate for myself that I did it. Fantastic for me. I was waiting for this moment. I had difficult moments in this game but this is fantastic.”
So can Liverpool do well as they did in the Champions League in 2005?
The Reds now have to avoid defeat to Hoffenhiem to guarantee them selves a Champions League group stage. Liverpool have a good history going far into the Champions League so time will tell if the Reds of 2017/18 have the courage to do well.