The steaks are the highest, the tension is tangible, the whole world is watching. This is why the Champions League is so exhilarating to watch.
When it comes to the finals, anything can happen. Top-tier players are put in a life-or-death situation (at least from their perspective), which leads to extraordinary performances.
During the quarantine, we suggest you recall one of the most dramatic Champions League Finals.
Liverpool vs Milan (2005)
Things started to fall apart for Liverpool from the get-go. Legendary Paolo Maldini scored the first goal… 50 seconds after the whistle! At minute 18, Liverpool’s left attacking midfielder, Harry Kewell, got injured and had to leave the game.
By the end of the first half, Hernan Crespo had scored the double, leaving Liverpool’s players in despair. Although 0-3 might seem like a hopeless scenario to break out of, Liverpool’s fans were strong in their belief.
Steven Gerrard, the captain of The Reds at the time, recalls hearing the fans singing “You’ll never walk alone”, the Liverpool’s hymn, during that break. To say that it lifted up the team’s spirit is to say nothing. They couldn’t give up.
In the first 15 minutes of the second half, Liverpool scored twice. Gerrard started the march towards the comeback, and a great goal by Smicer followed.
Then, at the 59-minute mark, the captain earned a penalty for The Reds. Shortly after, the score became 3-3. The impossible was achieved in 15 minutes.
What followed was an intense battle between the two legendary clubs. The main time had ended in a tie, so the match went into the overtime – but there weren’t any goals either.
The amazing final was destined to be resolved in a penalty series.
The Penalty Series
The first two players from Milan missed, while Liverpool’s Hamann and Cisse didn’t waste their opportunities, making the score 2-0.
Milan’s Tomasson took the next shot and scored, while Riise missed for Liverpool. After three rounds, the score was 2-1 in Liverpool’s favor.
It was time for the fourth round. Milan’s Kaka and Liverpool’s Smicer were both successful: 3-2.
As the last round came, Milan desperately needed Liverpool to miss – but before that, the team had to tie the score.
Milan’s Shevchenko, the Ukrainian superstar, could not afford to waste his chance. As he came to the ball, all eyes were on him. He took the shot, but Dudek saved it.
It was over. Liverpool became the best club in Europe, reversing everyone’s expectations.
It is impossible to convey the full scope of emotion that was experienced during that extraordinary Champions League Final. The rebirth of Liverpool’s spirit was a surprise for everyone.
The match was dramatic, sensational, and crazy – just like the epic hockey games that we covered before.