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    Who Remembers? Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan – The Night That Shook the World

    Football remembers the 25th May 2005 – the Champions League final, the biggest game in European club football.
    Two of Europe’s biggest clubs. AC Milan and Liverpool. Both had great history in European football, Liverpool having four European Cups to their name whilst AC Milan honed six to theirs.
    Milan were the strong favourites going into the game and were expected to make it their seventh European title. However, it was going to be the night that Liverpool upset the odds and little did they know that they were going to produce the one of the greatest comebacks in football history.
    Half-time, the score is 3-0 to AC Milan. Paolo Maldini opened the scoring within one minute and later on in the half Hernan Crespo bags himself a brace to put Milan comfortably in the lead by three goals. Harry Kewell saw his game end early with injury and Vladimir Smicer – soon to be a hero, playing his final game for the club – replaced him.
    Milan were cruising and Liverpool had failed to make their chances count unlike AC Milan.

    They were getting obliterated.
    This wasn’t the Liverpool that had “wowed” the crowd throughout the competition, it was a gutless first-half performance… no pride, no passion, nothing. But, something, just something changed their fortunes.
    Second half, the game kicks off and Liverpool had brought on Dietmar Hamann and suddenly things began to go in the Reds’ favour. Hamann was the unsung hero of the night, he may not have scored but his presence in midfield had a great influence on the rest of the team as Liverpool’s dominance in the game continued to grow. And in the 54th minute, their dominance showed as skipper Steven Gerrard headed one in for Liverpool and suddenly the Reds were back in the game. Two minutes later, the super sub Smicer cracked one in from 20 yards out. And only minutes later, Gerrard gets tripped in the box and the chance for Liverpool to draw level. That chance lied in the hands of young Spanish midfielder, Xabi Alonso, a big responsibility from the penalty spot. He MISSES! But scores the rebound!
    How is it possible? A team that were 3-0 down, looking dead and buried, uninspired have now comeback against one of the greatest teams in world football. However, a few scares almost saw Milan take the lead again. A crucial goal-line clearance from Djimi Traore and a double-save from Dudek in extra-time proved to be pivotal.

    Then penalties…
    Penalties can be great to watch as a neutral but if you are a fan of either team involved then it’s probably the most nerve-racking and intense thing to watch. Even more so with the prestigious Champions League trophy on the line.
    The Reds just proved stronger on penalties just like in the second-half and Dudek’s “jelly legs” inspired by former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar who performed similar antics in the European Cup final in Rome 84’.
    A superb stop from Shevchenko’s penalty won the Champions League for the Reds’ and secured them the trophy for the fifth time – theirs for ‘keeps’.

    As a Reds’ fan myself, that night was the greatest night I have ever had watching football. The first-half was heart-dropping and I thought it was all over and so did most people watching however those fans out in Istanbul supporting Liverpool were heroes in their own right and despite us being 3-0 down at half-time, all you could hear was the famous “You’ll Never Walk Alone” roaring around the Ataturk Stadium. And, could it have been that this was what inspired the team to go on and win the final? Well, it certainly was an incentive for them to play better. Having the fans backing them to the hills despite a very poor first-half performance was always going to be helpful. But those six minutes changed history, those six minutes defined what Liverpool Football Club are all about, those six minutes were what won us our record fifth European Cup title.

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    Item Reviewed: Who Remembers? Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan – The Night That Shook the World Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Arun Gray
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