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Champions League

Milan 3, Liverpool 3 humiliation but showed never-say-die desperation in the second half. In a
Final, 2005, Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul dramatic six-minute spell, Steven Gerrard headed a goal to inspire Liverpool
Heroes: Steven Gerrard, Jerzy Dudek belief. Vladimir Smicer, in his final game for the Reds, delivered a rocket to
set up Liverpool as the only team likely to score again. So they did – Xabi

Was this the greatest comeback in Champions League history or the Alonso getting the rebound from a saved penalty, which summed up how
biggest capitulation of all time? For sure, it was Harry Kewell’s lowest the match was progressing. Milan, apparently with the best defence in the
moment, limping from the pitch after 23 minutes with his muscle torn from world, were overwhelmed, and as the game went to a penalty shoot-out
the bone, and disgracefully booed by Liverpool fans. It was definitely Rafael after a spectacular late-game double-save from Jerzy Dudek, Scouse
Benitez’s greatest triumph, returning Liverpool to its mythical heights confidence proved too much for the battered Italians. Today, Milan fans still
(for 120 minutes, at least). The first-half saw Liverpool totally shredded ask themselves, how did that happen? They are not alone. The secret?
as Hernan Crespo scored two of Milan’s three goals. Liverpool faced “They had incredible fans,” said Paolo Maldini. See. You do matter.

The 10 greatest

Manchester United 2, Bayern Munich 1
Final, 1999, Camp Nou, Barcelona
Heroes: Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

League battles
Five minutes gone and Mario Basler’s free kick put Bayern Munich ahead
early. Very early. United keeper Peter Schmeichel shouted (was he ever happy?)
at his defence in an attempt to awaken them but United seemed to be late risers
and 1-0 was how the score seemed destined stay. United seemed out of ideas
but Alex Ferguson rolled his dice throwing on Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar

world’s n
Solskjaer to partner Dwight Yorke in attack. The clock ticked down…. . . and down.
s th e
A itio But with 30 seconds of added time left in the match, a misplaced shot by Ryan

lu b c ompet out Giggs fell to veteran Sheringham, who found the net. Grown men from north-west
top c th
e knoc ll England hugged and kissed. With Bayern’s best players exhausted, United
in to Ha
surged forward. Solskjaer won a corner, Sheringham won the header,
M a t thew ard Solskjaer hit the net to write himself into United folklore and many terrace
stages than Pipp songs. Bayern’s Sammy Kuffour wept on his hands and knees and
na les
and Jo he best tuss so too did millions of Bavarians. “Football, bloody hell,” chirped
name e Ferguson, European champion.

r s e en in th
ev e

+ DECEMBER 2010 + 139
3 5
Barcelona 0, Milan 4 Manchester United 4, Real Madrid 3
Final, 1994, Olympic Stadium, Athens Quarter-final, second leg, 2003, Old Trafford, Manchester
Heroes: Dejan Savicevic Heroes: Ronaldo, David Beckham

Milan were expected to be blown away by a classic Barcelona side coached Regarded as one of the most remarkable matches in Champions League history,
by Johan Cruyff that starred Romario, Ronald Koeman, Jose Bakero and this quarter-final had drama, action and skill aplenty. Needing to score early to close
Pep Guardiola. Milan, meanwhile, were missing Marco Van Basten, Gianluigi the gap from the first leg, United pressed hard but were cut open on the break when
Lentini, Franco Baresi, Allesandro Costacurta, Jean-Pierre Papin and Michael Ronaldo (the Brazilian one) fired inside Fabien Barthez’s inside post to silence the home
Laudrup. May as well have stayed at home, boys. Except, of course, when crowd. Ruud van Nistelrooy responded just before half time following some determined
the Champions League is up for grabs. Fabio Capello’s Milan, playing in all work from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep the Red Devils in with a chance. But the attacking
white, didn’t seem to care about the absentees. Daniele Massaro gave Milan a class of Madrid came to the fore after the break, and when Luis Figo’s shot came back off
lead but it was Dejan Savicevic’s extraordinary long-range chip after a slip by the crossbar, the defending champions held possession and worked United all around the
Miguel Nadal (Rafael’s uncle) that effectively sealed the win. Marcel Desailly, box before setting Ronaldo up to tap in his second. United stayed in the match after
running from defence to attack, added a fourth to complete Barcelona’s Ivan Helguera turned Juan Sebastián Veron’s shot into his own net, but it was Ronaldo
destruction and sum up Milan’s total domination. who grabbed the headlines when he drove home from 25 yards to round off his
hat-trick and put the tie beyond United’s reach. An out-of-favour David Beckham
made a statement to his manager when he came off the bench to slot a trademark
freekick. He slid in for a second late on to give United the lead in the match, though
they trailed the tie 6-5 on aggregate. And that’s how it finished – a truly epic
matched awash with sparkling attacking football. Ronaldo received a
standing ovation from the home fans.

Deportivo La Coruna 4, AC Milan 0
Quarter-final, first leg, 2004, Riazor, La Coruna
Heroes: Albert Luque

After AC Milan dominated the first leg at the San Siro –

taking a 4-1 lead to the Riazor – this was one of the classic
second-leg fight backs. The humble Spaniards shocked the
world when they blew away mighty Milan with three in the

Juventus 2, Manchester United 3 opening 43 minutes. After Milan squandered some early
Semi-final, second leg, 1999, Stadio Delle Alpi, Turin chances, the opener came when Walter Pandiani swiveled on
Heroes: Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole the edge of the box and fired low into the corner. The second
was a gift, with keeper Dida horribly misjudging Albert Luque’s
United had never beaten an Italian side in a European tie over two matches. cross, allowing Juan Carlos Valeron to head home into an empty
History seemed likely to repeat with Juventus 2-0 up after 11 minutes in Turin in net. The Milan defence – boasting the likes of Cafu, Nesta
this classic semi-final. United’s hopes of making a European final looked dead for and Maldini – was a shambles, and Luque took full advantage
another year. Filippo Inzaghi’s early double meant that, under the away goals rule, minutes before half-time, stealing the ball and blasting his shot
United needed to score twice to stay alive. Roy Keane stepped up in the 24th minute into the roof of the net to put Depor ahead on the away goals
with a header and United dramatically drew level 10 minutes later with a Dwight rule. The icing on the cake came on 75 minutes when substitute
Yorke header. Keane’s midfield battle with Zinedine Zidane (Juventus also had Didier Gonzalez Fran’s deflected shot found the back of the net,
Deschamps and Edgar Davids in the middle) became a turning point for the match – securing an unlikely semi-final spot for his team.
the Irishman copped a yellow card for a foul on the Frenchman that eventually ruled
him out of the final. Needing to score, Carlo Ancelotti’s Juve turned the screw in the
second-half but it was the deadly counter-attacking combo of Yorke and Andy Cole,
rampant in the Premier League that season, which finally gave United the lead.
Yorke was brought down by Angelo Peruzzi in the middle of a solo run to goal,
but the referee played advantage, allowing Cole to tap into an empty net.
United’s chase for the Treble was still a possibility.

140 FOOTBALL+ + 141

Chelsea 4, Barcelona 2
Round of 16, second leg, 2005, Stamford Bridge, London
Heroes: John Terry, Petr Cech

Star-studded Barcelona shaded Chelsea 2-1 at Camp Nou in the first leg.
Needing a strong start at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans got a whole lot more than

they were hoping for as their team shot to a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes. The first Monaco 3, Real Madrid 1
came off a lightning break from the middle of the park, with Icelandic ace Eidur Quarter-final, second leg, 2004, Stade Louis II, Monaco
Gudjohnsen skillfully turning in the box before finishing off the move emphatically. Heroes: Ludovic Giuly, Fernando Morientes
Soon after Joe Cole cut in from the right and his deflected shot forced a fine save from
Victor Valdes, who could only watch helplessly as Frank Lampard smashed home the loose Nobody saw this result coming. After a 4-2 victory at the Bernabau in
ball. Two minutes later Damien Duff latched on to Cole’s pass and slid his shot home to send the first leg, Real Madrid arrived in France with all of their Galácticos
the crowd into raptures. Throughout, Chelsea manager Jose Mourniho remained almost bar David Beckham. When Raul put his team ahead with a 35th minute
eerily calm – maybe because he knew that a three-goal lead over Barca doesn’t always strike it seemed the tournament’s most celebrated team would be
guarantee victory. The Catalans kept their focus and eventually earned a penalty which making yet another semi-finals appearance. Down 5-2 on aggregate,
Ronaldinho calmly slotted. But it was in the 38th minute that the Brazilian showed his Ludovic Giuly volleyed home just before half time to give Monaco a
true class, shimmying away from a tackle and guiding in a gloriously placed shot from glimmer of hope. Just minutes after the break Fernando Morientes
20 yards which surprised everyone. The remainder of the match ebbed and flowed (on loan from Real Madrid after falling out of favour with the Spanish
with both teams searching for the vital goal to send them through. Barcelona had champions) got one over the club that spurned him when he headed
their chances (with Petr Cech pulling off some world class saves) but it was home to give Monaco the lead. The atmosphere in the 18,000 capacity
Chelsea captain John Terry who stood up, heading home the decider in the stadium reached fever-pitch as the home team surged on in search of
75th minute, prompting Mourinho to claim that he enjoyed this game more the all important third. It came on 66 minutes in the form of a sublime
than his victorious Champions League final with Porto the previous year. flick from Giuly through the legs of Roberto Carlos, sending the home
crowd into raptures. The final 20 minutes was frantic, with both sides
squandering chances. Madrid couldn’t find a response and the tie
ended 5-5 with Monaco going through on away goals.

Chelsea 4, Liverpool 4
Quarter-final, second leg, 2009, Stamford Bridge, London
Hero: Frank Lampard

Coached by the mercurial Guus Hiddink, Chelsea’s aim to win their first
ever Champions League title was nearly shut down early in this remarkable
quarter-final tie. With skippers John Terry and Steven Gerrard unavailable,
composure and control were never really present in a game where every
moment of brilliant skill seemed to be matched by a disastrous mistake.

Trailing 3-1 after the first leg, Liverpool leveled the tie inside half an hour; Manchester United 1, Porto 1
Fabio Aurelio’s free kick embarrassing Petr Cech at his near post before Round of 16, second leg, 2004, Old Trafford, Manchester
Xabi Alonso expertly slotted a spot kick. A blasting from Hiddink in the Heroes: Benni McCarthy, Costinha
sheds at half-time saw Chelsea come out firing after the break, with a
poacher’s goal from Didier Drogba, a stunning driven free-kick from Alex Not the greatest of games in theory, and one to argue about for sure,
and a calm finish from Frank Lampard giving the Londoners the lead in but this game is legendary for its turning point in history and consequences.
the tie. Refusing to die (even though manager Rafa Benitez had seemingly Had United won this match, we may never have heard too much more about
thrown in the towel by withdrawing star striker Fernando Torres) Liverpool Porto’s coach, Jose Mourinho. Instead, everything is now “special”. With
fought back with two goals in two minutes, setting up a thrilling finale. one minute to go, and 1-0 up and cruising into the next round, Phil Neville
It all proved too much though, as Lampard levelled up an astonishing gave away a foolish free kick close to United’s penalty area. Goalkeeper Tim
game in the 89th minute, sending Chelsea through 7-5 on aggregate. Howard could only parry Benni McCarthy’s brilliant free-kick to allow Porto
striker Costinha to equalise and eliminate Manchester United on aggregate.
Cue Mourinho’s now-famous trench coat sideline sprint into the history books.
Porto won the trophy that year, Mourinho was snapped up by big-spending
Chelsea (taking Ricardo Carvalho with him) while Neville and Howard
were soon on their way out of Old Trafford.

142 FOOTBALL+ + 143