On This Day: AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool

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Article by Lauren Black @LaurenBlack9

On This Day in 2005, the greatest comeback in history happened. What a game this was.

 

The game didn’t get off to the best of starts with Paolo Maldini scoring from a Pirlo free-kick in the first minute of the match. We were under pressure for most of the first half with Milan having multiple chances to put the ball in the back of the net. They took another chance in the 39thminute thanks to Hernan Crespo after a Milan breakaway punished Liverpool. The attack kept coming and proved too much for us as on the 44thminute Crespo made it 3-0 with a delightful chip over Jerzy Dudek.

 

Harry Kewell was subbed off early in the game due to a groin injury with Vladimir Smicer replacing him in the 23rdminute. Another injury for Steve Finnan meant that Didi Hamman was called upon to replace him meaning Steven Gerrard would probably be floating between right-back and midfield.

The change came in handy with Hamman adding more depth in midfield and more cover for the defence. Nine minutes later Liverpool had pulled one back through Captain Steven Gerrard after he latched on to John Arne Riise’s cross into the box and sent a header flying into the back of the net past Dida. Two minutes later Smicer was celebrating after a well built up attack allowed him to shoot from outside the area, inches away from hitting Baros, and into the back of the net. The comeback was fully on and Liverpool where well up for it, three minutes later the referee was putting to the penalty spot and Xabi Alonso was lining up to take it. Originally saved by Dida, Alonso scored the follow up and no one in world football could believe what was happening.

 

There were plenty of opportunities for either side to score again through the game and with a Jerzy Dudek double save in extra-time that no one could explain how he saved it. It looked like it was written in the stars for Liverpool to bring the trophy home.

The end of extra-time meant penalties would decide who would be winning the 2005 Champions League. Up first was Serginho who’s penalty ended up in row Z, next was Didi Hamman who calmly slotted past Dida, Andrea Pirlo penalty was then saved by Dudek, Djibril Cisse then smashed home his penalty to make it 2-0 to the Reds. Jon Dahl Tomasson then stepped up for Milan and managed to convert his spot kick, Risse was up next for the Reds but Dida made a great finger-tip save to shove it round the post. Kaka then stepped up and the Brazilian converted his penalty, Smicer was then up in what turned out to be his final game for the Reds and added to his goal tally for the game with a nice finish. Step up Andriy Shevchenko, you could see how nervous he was walking up to the penalty spot and Dudek dancing probably didn’t help with his penalty aimed right down the middle and Dudek left hand stopping it from ending up in the back of the net meaning Liverpool had done the impossible and won the Champions League for a fifth time.

Every Liverpool fan must remember where they were that night, whether you were in Istanbul to watch it live, in Liverpool city centre at a bar or a pub or just sitting at home with family and friends. No one will be able to forget this momentous occasion.

 

Article by Lauren Black @LaurenBlack9

 

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