by Chris Bertram on May 25, 2005

One of the best comebacks ever, dead and buried at half-time, “Champions of Europe….”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4573159.stm



des von bladet 05.25.05 at 5:05 pm

I tuned in at half-time. I want double what Gerrard gets, for which I’ll follow the ‘Pool with no little diligence.

Other than that, even their absence from the starting line-up for the next year’s League of Champions will not adequately console me for this.


shwe 05.25.05 at 5:12 pm

the fifth and the best. Worth every one of those twenty one years. Let no one question Stevie G’s commitment from hereon.


dmm 05.25.05 at 5:30 pm

Dudek has got to be the most aggravating player ever. He’ll flap at the simplest cross one minute and then come back and stop Sheva from point-blank range the next. Amazing game, and a great result.


P O'Neill 05.25.05 at 5:54 pm

Compares nicely with some other team who won it a few years ago because their German opponents stopped playing in the 89th minute.


ab 05.25.05 at 6:23 pm

Congrats, ‘Pool.

I’m thinking of poor Michael Owen now, who must be one of the world’s saddest persons today — he left the club he loves to win big trophies like the Champions League with Real Madrid, and now Liverpool win it in their first season without him (and Real of course still trophyless in the last two years). Cruel, but somehow just.


tom s 05.25.05 at 8:38 pm

Only a casual football fan, but caught this game on ESPN. Wonderful game.


bigd504 05.25.05 at 11:13 pm

And a bookie,last week, said that red uniforms don’t confer any advantage-refering to a study on uniform colour for athletes. What a comeback!


Nick 05.26.05 at 2:07 am

In the early 80s, when the north was having a lousy time economically & socially under an unsympathetic government, Liverpool FC were a source of deep pleasure. You can’t argue that this is happening in any kind of similar context, but the pleasure’s all the greater for the way it happened . . .


Mrs Tilton 05.26.05 at 6:39 am

P. O’Neill:

a point well taken, and a justified one. Nevertheless, as I am a Bayern Munich supporter and inveterate hater of MUplc, your reminder was most unwelcome and I must now thrust this pointed stick into your eye (in the nicest possible way, of course).

As for the more recent matter: well done the Reds. An amazing match; and though I have no love for AC Milan, they have nothing to be ashamed of (bar the losing bit). A starker contrast to Milan-Juve in 2003 would not be possible; after that match both clubs would have been shot and boiled down for glue were there any justice in the world.


Joey 05.26.05 at 7:34 am

Wow! That sounds like a great game! Unfortunately, I was unable to watch it. Would anyone have a copy of it (or know where I could get one). I would certainly appreciate it.



stostosto 05.26.05 at 7:54 am

A truly fantastic match, and well done by Liverpool!


An interesting thing is how internationalised these national champion teams have become.

Liverpool’s starting line-up included all of two Englishmen to go with two Czechs, two Spaniards, a Frenchman, an Australian, an Irishman, a Finn, and a Norwegian. Of their seven substitutes, only one was English, the rest comprised two Spaniards, a Frenchman, a German, a Croatian, and a Czech. Of course, the team’s coach is Spanish.

Milan featured three Brazilians, two Dutchmen, an Argentinian and a Ukrainian in their starting line-up, making for a total of only four Italians. Among their seven subs, only two were Italians to go with a Portuguese, a Frenchman, a Georgian, a Brazilian and a Dane.

In sum, of the Italian team’s total 18 players, six were Italian, and out of the English team’s total just three were actually English.

It’s really quite amazing.


stostosto 05.26.05 at 8:04 am

A pedantic correction: I just learned that Liverpool’s goalie Jerzy Dudek isn’t Czech as I thought, but actually Polish. Which of course further internationalises the starting line-up.


gnat 05.26.05 at 8:15 am

Even more startling was the sudden transformation I witnessed where a Soho pubfull of braying Mockney Meedja Muffins suddenly turned into Passionate Kop-til-I-Die Insta-Scousers. If the first ten minutes of the second half can turn Southerners into Northerners, what are the implications for governmental regional funding, or genomal speciation? Is UEFA implicated in punctuated equilibrium? Somewhere, there’s a plot, and it’s thickening…


Simstim 05.26.05 at 8:32 am

Gnat: isn’t it just the desire to always be on the winning side that’s going on?


Dave 05.26.05 at 8:38 am

At the risk of being linched, is it just me who thinks Dudek’s behaviour in the shootout was outrageous? The keeper is meant to stay on the line until the ball is struck, not charge down the ball. Perhaps he suddenly thought he was in a game of rugby.

Amazing comeback though.


gnat 05.26.05 at 8:44 am

Simstim, that’s what they WANT you to think.

It was an extraordinary match. I wonder how many Liverpool fans left the stadium at half time. And is there a technical term for being present at a crucial event without actually witnessing it?


radek 05.26.05 at 9:18 am

I went to an Italian cafe this morning and the owner was engaged in a heated (though friendly) discussion with an older English gentleman. After the Briton had left, the owner stared off into space for a few moments, then said “Liverpool!” and banged his fist on the counter. Then stared off again for several seconds and followed with “Dudek!” (which sounds particularly funny when said with an Italian accent), banging his fist again.


Dominic Murphy 05.26.05 at 10:35 am

Ah but, what are the odds that the FA will let them defend the title next year, since they finished out of the top 4?

And Mrs Tilton forgets FC Bayern’s truly historic achievement in 1999, which was to make people feel sorry for a German football team.


stostosto 05.26.05 at 10:36 am

>FC Bayern’s truly historic achievement in 1999, which was to make people feel sorry for a German football team.

Ha! And one featuring Lothar Matthäus to boot.


Mrs Tilton 05.26.05 at 10:38 am


Dudek’s nervous little dance was irritating, but (mostly) effective. However, it looked to me like he was on the line when he was supposed to be. Except the once; and even then he was barely off it. Presumably the ref called ’em as he saw ’em, and didn’t see that. In any event, Dudek’s behaviour didn’t really rise to the level of ‘outrage’, unless perhaps in an aesthetic sense.


Mrs Tilton 05.26.05 at 10:43 am


I’m well aware of the achievement you describe; you will understand if I tell you it was scant comfort. In any event it pales before an even more astonishing achievement: FCB managed to make even those Germans who despise FCB (and that’s a lot of ’em) feel sorry for FCB.


radek 05.26.05 at 4:20 pm

Dave, Dudek claims to have been inspired by Bruce Grobbelaar from twenty years hence.


foo 05.27.05 at 7:52 am

Am I the only one who thought that maybe Gerrard took a bit of a dive in the box?

Still…. what a great comeback.


Caz 05.30.05 at 7:56 am

Amazing there was no protest by Milan against Dudek’s antics. Sorry, but from my point of view and all the Liverpool supporters I saw the match with, he was clearly off the line – at one stage it looked like 4 yards. Up til that point Liverpool had played fair and done very well for it. It was a shame.

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