Liverpool’s shocking UCL victory awakens memories of the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’

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Last night at Anfield, one of the greatest and most shocking events in Club football occurred; Liverpool beat Barcelona, one of the greatest football teams ever, 4-0 and qualified for the final after an initial 3-0 defeat in the first leg.

After a humiliating 3-0 defeat in which Argentine maestro, Lionel Messi took Liverpool apart, the English side did not lose hope but made a dramatic comeback, undermining Messi and Barcelona’s seeming invincibility. Liverpool are now in the final of the Champions League.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he can’t remember watching a game quite like this

Liverpool did the unthinkable as doubles from Divock Origi and Giorginio Wijnaldum gave them a 4-3 aggregate victory at Anfield, becoming only the third side in the competition’s history to overcome a three-goal deficit in the semi-final.

Klopp was almost lost for words as he tried to express his feelings after the game, admitting we may never see such a game again.

He told BT Sport “The whole game, the whole performance was too much. It was overwhelming. I watched in my life so many football games but I can’t remember many like this.

“Winning is already difficult but winning with a clean sheet – I don’t know how the boys did it. I saw James Milner crying after the game on the pitch, it means so much to all of us.

“There are more important things in the world but creating this kind of atmosphere is so special.

“Winning against Barcelona is obviously one of the most difficult things in world football. We had to score four goals and not concede and that made it more difficult.

“We didn’t think about [winning] it, if I am honest. We tried to think about the good things we did in Barcelona and go step by step.

“The mix of big heart and football skills was unbelievable. I said it so often now, the thing that made it so possible.

“I will remember it forever 100 per cent. I don’t know if it can happen again and I don’t know if it happened before.”

But Liverpool has a history of making dramatic comebacks in very big matches and with this victory, many are looking in the past and remembering another great Champions League match Liverpool won against huge odds; The 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, now dubbed ‘Miracle of Istanbul’

The match took place at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005.

Liverpool, who had won the competition four times, were appearing in their sixth final, and their first since 1985. Milan, who had won the competition six times, were appearing in their second final in three years and tenth overall.

Milan were regarded as favourites before the match and took the lead within the first minute through captain Paolo Maldini. Milan striker Hernán Crespo added two more goals before half-time to make it 3–0.

In the second half Liverpool launched a comeback and scored three goals in a dramatic six-minute spell to level the scores at 3–3, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso. The scores remained the same during extra time, and a penalty shoot-out was required to decide the champions. The score was 3–2 to Liverpool when Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

Thus Liverpool won their fifth European Cup, were awarded the trophy permanently, and claimed a multiple-winner badge.

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