Sportco's Champions League Flashback: Liverpool vs AC Milan Final 2005

AC Milan and Liverpool have been tied in the same group in the 2021-22 Champions League, and the clash brings back old memories of the Istanbul Final of 2005. 

The last time both the club shared soil was back in 2007 where AC Milan emerged victoriously. But nothing beats the 3-3 game between both the clubs, one of the most famous games in UCL history. 

Liverpool vs AC Milan Champions League final 2005 is still fresh in many fans’ memories; a total of 69 000 fans witnessed one of the high-voltage games between Liverpool and AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final. 

Both the managers deployed their start-studded squad.      

AC Milan: Dida; Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini; Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf; Kaka; Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko.

Liverpool: Jerzy Dudek; Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Djimi Traore; Luis Garcia, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, John Arne Riise; Harry Kewell; Milan Baros.

AC Milan boasted a legends XI squad at that time, and it looked like it would be an easy game for Milan; the likes of Kaka, Pirlo, Crespo, and Maldini were in top form. 

Liverpool vs AC Milan Champions League Final 2005: Match Highlights

1 minute: The game started with AC Milan finding an early breakthrough, with Paolo Maldini scoring a 12-yard volley through a crowd of players in the box. Pirlo’s immaculate free-kick found Maldini, who broke the deadlock, and Milan went up within 50 seconds.

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool, Champions League Final, May 25, 2005 - Irish Mirror  Online
source- Irish mirror  

38 minutes: Hernan Crespo doubled AC Milan's lead with a tap-in from six yards mere seconds after Liverpool’s penalty was ruled out when the ball touched Nesta’s hand in the box.

44 minutes: The game looked to be slipping away from Liverpool’s hand as AC Milan scored the third goal, and the lead was Liverpool 0-3 AC Milan. Hernan Crespo scored another after latching on to a defense-splitting pass from Kaka, exposing the Liverpool backline. It was a sublime finish from Hernan Crespo.

Hernan Crespo, Milan vs Liverpool (Istanbul, 2005) | The 20 best goals in  European Cup & Champions League finals - Football
source- telegraph

Half-time: Liverpool dressing room looked vulnerable, as AC Milan were 3-0 up before half-time. The Merseysiders looked predictable during the first-half as AC Milan exploited Liverpool from every angle. As a result, they were being questioned, will Liverpool be able to make a Comeback? 

The second half begins, with Liverpool players looking to pull off an impossible comeback. Didi Hamann comes on as a sub, with Steve Finnan making way. What followed was nothing short of a miraculous 15 second-half minutes for Liverpool. 

54 minutes: Steven Gerrard finally breaks the deadlock with a fine header; the precise cross from John Arne Riise inside the penalty box met the head of Gerrard, who looped it into the top right-hand corner with his head.

56 minutes: Vladimir Smicer doubles Liverpool lead, with a sumptuous long-range goal, the entire stadium is in ecstasy Liverpool fans are jumping in jubilation. The comeback is on; Liverpool has again ignited the hopes of their fans.

59 Minutes: Penalty for Liverpool, after Gattuso brought down Gerrard. Xabi Alonso steps up to take the penalty.

60 minutes: Xabi Alonso misses the penalty, however, he slots the ball home after following up the rebound from a tight angle. The comeback is complete in Istanbul, and you will never witness this moment in your life; players and their fans are exulted. Liverpool leveled up, and the score is 3-3.

Xabi Alonso Wasn't Allowed to Participate in Penalty Shootout Against Milan  Despite Scoring Earlier | 90min
source- 90 min

90 minutes: Full-time whistle. 

The game went into extra time; after both teams were leveled 3-3 at the full-time whistle.

AET 120 minutes: Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan 

The penalty shootout as it happened

1 Serginho misses for Milan

2 Hamann scores for Liverpool

3 Pirlo misses for Milan

4 Cisse scores for Liverpool

5 Tomasson scores for Milan

6 Riise misses for Liverpool

7 Kaka scores for Milan

8 Smicer scores for Liverpool

9 Shevchenko misses for Milan

Liverpool vs. Milan and 6 minutes of insanity - The 2005 Champions League  final | Transfermarkt
source- transfermarket

Liverpool became champions of Europe for the fifth time; there were some incredible scenes in Istanbul. An unbelievable result after a wonderful game of football, Liverpool fought back, from 3-0 down to win the game in penalty shootouts. 

The Liverpool vs AC Milan Champions League 2005 final will go down as one of the best games in football history.  

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