Liverpool’s pursuit of a fifth European Cup looked to be over by half-time in Istanbul, but AC Milan were to lớn feel the tide of history turn against them.

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Carlo Ancelotti’s immensely experienced side were billed as favourites, although the six-time European champions were bristling at having missed out on the Serie A title – and struggled against PSV Eindhoven in their semi-final. By contrast, Liverpool were in their first decider in trăng tròn years, not that manager Rafael Benítez doubted their ability, saying: "Maybe Milan are favourites, but we have confidence & we can win."

Key players

Andriy Shevchenko: tác giả of the winning penalty in the 2003 final shoot-out against Juventus, the 2004 European Footballer of the Year had scored six times en route to Istanbul & felt buoyant: "We are waiting khổng lồ play the match we have wanted lớn play all season."

Steven Gerrard: Five sầu days shy of his 25th birthday, the Merseyside-born Reds captain was Shevchenko"s favourite Liverpool player: "I lượt thích his vision of the game. He always plays direct football and makes everything much easier for the Liverpool forwards."



Jerzy Dudek: The Polish keeper made his presence felt throughout the final, but came into lớn his own in its decisive phase. The "wobbly legs" technique cribbed from Liverpool predecessor Bruce Grobbelaar may have been a key addition to his armoury.

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What happened

Paolo Maldini"s first-minute volley was the earliest goal in a European Cup final, và Milan appeared to lớn have secured their seventh European Cup by half-time, Shevchenko & Kaká both laying on goals for Herrốn Crespo. However, Liverpool rallied in an astonishing seven-minute spell between 54 & 60 minutes, Gerrard và midfield partner Xabi Alonso striking either side of Vladimír Šmicer’s finish.

Milan fought back. Djingươi Traoré cleared a Shevchenko shot off the line và the Italian side looked sharper in extra time, Dudek pulling off an astonishing double stop from the Ukrainian in the closing minutes. The Pole shone again in the shoot-out: Serginho missed for Milan, while Dudek kept out Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko khổng lồ 3D for John Arne Riise’s saved effort. Final score: 3-2 Liverpool.

Reaction


Steven Gerrard, Liverpool captain: "Milan outplayed us first half but ours was a terrific second-half performance. Three-nil down at half-time and I thought I was going lớn be in tears at the final whistle but every one of us deserved this. We were all gone in extra time, cramping up, but we kept going and I"m just on top of the world. This is the best feeling of my life."

Jamie Carragher, Liverpool defender: "That must be one of the greathử nghiệm cup finals. We were all deflated at half-time, but we knew we had khổng lồ score the first goal và we did so và built on that. People will be talking about that game in đôi mươi or 30 years" time."

Jerzy Dudek, Liverpool goalkeeper: "I don"t really know how we did it. With that last save in the last three minutes , someone up there saved us. All the people that came lớn tư vấn us were fantastic. Before the penalties Carragher came up khổng lồ me và said, "Remember Grobbelaar, just put them off all the time". We are in heaven now."

Aftermath


Liverpool"s fifth success meant they were given the trophy khổng lồ keep, a new version being made for the following year, when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the decider. Benítez"s Liverpool faced Ancelotti’s Milan again in the 2007 final in Athens, và this time there was no miracle. Filippo Inzaghi struông chồng twice for Milan, with Dirk Kuyt"s late reply failing lớn spark a comebachồng.

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Subsequent seasons have proved less kind lớn Milan, while Liverpool won the 2019 thethaodulich.com Champions League after losing the 2018 showpiece lớn Real Madrid. Some of the key players from 2005 are now coaches themselves, with Shevchenko in charge of Ukraine since năm 2016 và Gerrard well established as manager of Scottish club Rangers.


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