May 25th holds a special place at Liverpool football club as a historic anniversary. We have a look back at two of the greatest moments in the club’s history.
Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
We’re going all the way back to the 25th of May 1977 for this one. Liverpool’s first appearance in a European Cup final.
Bob Paisley’s men took on Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome having just won the league title. They finished a solitary point ahead of Manchester City.
But dreams of a Treble ended four days earlier as Liverpool lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United 2-1. Still, they were looking to become only the second English side to be champions of Europe, as well as the first to win both the league and European Cup in the same season.
They did it, too, with a 3-1 win over Gladbach. Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal wrapped it all up. This was a huge night for Liverpool – the game that confirmed their status as a great European club.
The Reds would win it the next season, of course, as well as in 1981 under Paisley and 1984 under Joe Fagan. The first one, however, was the all-important triumph.
Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan
It’s been 16 years, somehow. The 25th of May 2005 is arguably the finest night in the history of Liverpool Football Club and with good reason.
The Reds hadn’t been champions of Europe in 21 years and, quite honestly, weren’t supposed to come close in 2005. They scraped out of the group stage, thumped Bayer Leverkusen, squeezed past Juventus, and saw off Chelsea with a definite goal to get into the final.
But there they met Milan. Dida, Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seefdorf, Kaka, Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko. It was quite an XI.
Being 3-0 down at half-time didn’t make things easy, either. But then – and we’re still not sure how – Liverpool mounted a comeback. Steven Gerrard scored a sensational header, Vladimir Smicer found the net from range, then Xabi Alonso scored the rebound from a missed penalty.
Extra time saw the Reds hold on after a truly incredible double save from Jerzy Dudek. The pole then became the hero in the penalty shoot-out, saving two and waving Pirlo’s over the bar.
Against all imaginable odds, Liverpool were champions of Europe again. Rafa Benitez guided them there out of nowhere, putting the Reds back where they belong.
The greatest night in Liverpool’s history? We’d say so. We’re not sure it can possible be topped.