Istanbul

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Istanbul

Post by stevieg8 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:23 pm

So this morning at work I decided to watch the entire 2005 final again, start to finish. As a side note - this is one of two events I can watch over and over again, knowing the ending, without ever losing enthusiasm or excitement (alongside the last 4 games of the 2004 ALCS). The fact that this game can hold my attention despite knowing the scoreline, the timing of the goals, having watched the documentaries and the full match is pretty incredible.

Regardless, I'm starting this thread to ask those who supported the club at the time about the 2004-2005 season, since I was not yet around. Looking at the lineups to start the game, I feel somewhat underwhelmed with this Liverpool squad with the hindsight of a few years later. I know they finished out of the UCL spots that year, but the fact that they were able to reach the final starting Harry Kewell (out for injury up to that point), Steve Finnnan, Djimi Traore, and having Smicer and Djibril Cisse coming off the bench... These aren't world class names. Many of them moved on from the team that offseason or the following one, left behind in Rafa's new project and replaced by seemingly higher quality versions.

Coming into the game, was Liverpool considered an underdog? Did anyone expect them to challenge Milan at all? Simply based on the names involved, it feels like the 3-0 deficit would almost be expected - making the comeback all the more unbelievable. Or were players having one off seasons better than their surrounding years, and accepted as top-quality at the time, only to fall off later? Essentially, was the 2005 Champions League win one of those magical situations where the team becomes greater than its parts?
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Re: Istanbul

Post by stevieg8 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:27 pm

And just because this thread should also be fun - some other observations I had from watching the match.

1. 8 years on, hearing the commentators wonder whether this would be Stevie's last night in a Liverpool uniform is quite entertaining.

2. Speaking of commentators, having the two Englishmen outright cheering for Liverpool throughout the last 75 minutes/shootout was entertaining as well. 'The Impossibles', 'Brave Jamie Carragher', all the praise for Gerrard/Hyypia/Riise/Alonso... Not something you hear as often anymore for 'Pool, it was nice to listen to positivity.

3. The brilliant choice by the producers to leave the broadcast silent during the final YNWA, with only the sounds of Hyypia yelping or Traore bellowing to cover the crowd.

4. Jerzy Dudek's last save. Wow. Even after having seen it before, I still thought Shevshenko's penalty was going in.

5. With Carra retiring at the end of this year, seeing such an incredible performance brings a little tear to my eye. It's incredible, seeing how he and Hyypia played for the whole game, to realize at game's end that they conceded 3 times. Incredible.

Anyone else have stories/memories to share?
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Re: Istanbul

Post by Don't call me James on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:59 pm

I was 14 years old during that final living in Russia. I watched the match in a Sporting lounge in Moscow with around 300 other people. Around 100 or so of them were Russian Pool fans. My uncle and his two sons were with me as well and they were all cheering for Milan.

I remember we were ultimate underdogs (not because we were a small team but because MIlan was just filled with WC player). Everyone kept telling me to expect a trashing of Pool. They were saying how Gerrard and possibly Garcia were the only two players Milan had to worry about (I think that was more from ignorance, they had no idea of the quality of Hyypia, Carra, Alonso, Riise, Didi and Cisse). And like you mentioned almost everyone was of the mind that we would lose Gerrard after that final. He was the hottest prospect in Europe, and newly rich Chelsea were sniffing around. Especially since we lost Michael Owen to Madrid right before the start of that season.

Alonso yet hadn't established himself as a WC playmaker outside of England as that was his first season with us. The only reason people new Garcia's name was because he scored some beauties (Juve goal) and the ghost goal to knock out Chelsea. Hyypia and Carra were so underrated at that time it wasn't even funny. It wasn't until after that CL campaign that those two got the deserved recognition in world football. Cisse was a pretty famous name but he was injured all season with a broken leg and when he came back no one expected much from him. Baros our starting striker that night and well we all know he wasn't really that good.

On the other hand all 11 of Milan's starting XI was WC (Nesta, Maldini, Stam, Seedorf, Cafu, Dida, Pirlo, Seedorf, Kaka, Crespo, Shevchenko, Gattuso). And they had an amazing bench. (Rui Costa, Serginho, Castacurta, Dahl Tomasson etc).

The match itself was such an emotional rollercoaster I could write hundreds of pages on how I felt during each moment. So I won't bother with that, I'm sure we've all watched that match multiple times and all felt those emotions.

Milan were definitely the favorites going in to the match. However I wouldn't say it was a fairytale type situation or a surprise that we reached that far. Liverpool were still a big name in European football and people knew weren't push overs having beaten Bayer, Juventus, and Chelsea on the way.

We were known for our insanely tight defense (even though Hyypia and Carra were underrated individually). So having conceded 3 goals in the first half imagine how everyone felt.

I have some nostalgic tears in my eyes as I typed that up. Proud


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Re: Istanbul

Post by Don't call me James on Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:21 am

Full match with English commentary.




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