Anfield has hosted some special Champions League fights over the years. They’ve had plenty of success, too, having won the prestigious title on six occasions. But those special European nights at Anfield are also about the famous stadium. With the floodlights on, Anfield showcases its unique atmosphere, with the opposition often crumbling under pressure.
Let’s not forget the fans here. The reds have some truly devoted supporters who have been there since the days of Joe Fagan and Bob Paisley, while younger fans have enjoyed more recent successes. Those successes have been encouraging, not just for pure fans, but also for those who enjoy betting on their team, claiming the sign-up offer from Virgin Bet
in the process. But then they've long been a club that's hard to bet against in Europe. Let's keep an eye on the past as we look at some of the greatest Liverpool nights in the UEFA Champions League.
2004 Group Stage, 3-1 vs Olympiakos
It was almost a Greek tragedy for the reds in the 2004/05 Champions’ League group stage. Fortunately, Steven Gerrard
scored the winner, paving the way for the miracle in Istanbul. Olympiakos was ahead at the half, thanks to a free kick from Rivaldo, meaning Liverpool needed to score three in the second half to finish as qualifiers in their group.
Substitute Florent Sinama Pongolle struck first to offer the reds some hope, yet they still needed two goals with just 10 minutes to go. In the 81st minute, Neil Mellor fired in a ball from close range, leaving a goal to go. Suddenly, Anfield were believers once more. Mellor played a part in the third and final goal, with Steven Gerrard scoring the winner.
Note: It may not have been at Anfield, but Liverpool's memorable final against AC Milan was truly one of the greatest nights in Liverpool's Champions League history. Down 3-0 at half-time, the reds staged one hell of a second-half comeback, led by captain Steven Gerrard, with Liverpool winning a penalty shoot-out.
2002 Group stage, 2-0 vs AS Roma
The mission was clear: score two clear goals and get through to the knockout rounds. However, this occasion was about more than the result. Manager Gerard Houllier had fallen ill part way through a Premier League match with Leeds in October 2001. After he underwent emergency heart surgery, there was uncertainty as to whether he’d ever manage a football team again. Eventually, he was given the all-clear, with this being his first game back on the job.
The crowd let the Frenchman know just how pleased they were to see him. Even opposing manager Fabio Capello gave Houllier a hug before kick-off. It seemed the players were in the spirit of things too. Jari Litmanen scored a penalty in the sixth minute to ease the nerves inside the stadium before Emile Heskey scored in the second half, heading in Danny Murphy’s free kick.
2005 Semi-Final Second Leg, 1-0 vs Chelsea
After their dramatic win against Olympiakos, Liverpool saw off Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus to reach the Champions League semi-final for the first time in two decades. The club standing in the way of glory was fellow premiership side, Chelsea. Jose Mourinho had just won the Premier League title with the Londoners and had already defeated Liverpool in the League Cup final
The first leg, played at Stamford Bridge, ended in a 0-0 draw. The return fixture started quickly, with the deadlock broken in just the fourth minute. Chelsea keeper Petr Cech looked to have taken out Milan Baros, resulting in the referee awarding a penalty to Liverpool. Garcia responded with a score to drive the ball, and the tournament, home.
Written by Alan Spencer