If you mull over some of the great Champions League comebacks in the competition’s storied history, sure, a case can be made for Manchester United, who secured their historic treble with two last-gasp goals in the 1999 final to pry the trophy from Bayern Munich’s grasp. Or Deportivo overturning a 4-1 deficit in the 2004 quarterfinals and blowing then-reigning champions AC Milan out of the water in a 4-0, second-leg victory.
But on this day in 2005, what became known as the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ still takes the breath away. Liverpool, 3-0 down at halftime, staged a three-goal rally in the second stanza before outshining the Rossoneri in penalty kicks to win their fifth title.
Article continues below ...
Andriy Shevchenko and Carlo Ancelotti still have no answer to what went wrong for Milan to this day.
Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo led the charge for Milan (man, that makes you feel old, doesn’t it?) in the opening 45 minutes before the Reds came storming back after the halftime interval. A Steven Gerrard header, long-range hit from Vladimír Šmicer and penalty kick from Xabi Alonso put Rafa Benitez’s side back on level terms on the hour mark, and what ensued in the penalty shootout … history.
All in all, it’s not a bad day to be a Liverpool supporter.