The Tournament of Legends

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Best of British: Liverpool's Worthy Record

Defeated by AC Milan in Athens in May, 2007, Liverpool still have an impressive record in the European Cup/Champions League competition with five victories - the best in British football

The game in Athens against AC Milan was their seventh final, by far the best record of any British team. They have won five of those finals, again the best record in English football and a record across Europe bettered only by their successful opponents this season and Real Madrid. AC Milan have now won the trophy on seven occasions from eleven finals while Real have been victorious on nine occasions from twelve finals.




Liverpool became a power in English football under their legendary manager Bill Shankly but surprisingly they failed to lift the European Cup during his time in charge. It was his successor, Bob Paisley who brought the first European Cup triumph to Anfield.

1977: Liverpool 3 Borussia Monchengladbach 1
in Rome

Goals from Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and a late Phil Neal penalty secured victory over the Germans.

1978: Liverpool 1 Club Brugge 0
at Wembley

In a very close final, a Kenny Dalglish goal enabled Liverpool to become the first British club to retain the European Cup.

1981: Liverpool 1 Real Madrid 0
in Paris

A goal by defender Alan Kennedy brought Liverpool’s third success over past European Cup masters Real Madrid who had already won the trophy an impressive six times. Bob Paisley became the first manager to win the trophy on three occasions.

1984: Liverpool 1 Roma 1
in Rome

Now with Joe Fagin as manager, Phil Neal had given Liverpool an early lead but following Roma equalising, the game went to extra time and then penalties and Liverpool’s first major penalty shoot-out triumph. The shoot-out will be remembered for Liverpool goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar’s wobby legs as he waited for the penalty kicks to be taken against him. Liverpool’s fourth European Cup success.

1985: Liverpool 0 Juventus 1
in Brussels

A game not remembered for the football but for the terrible scenes and disaster that occurred in the Heysel Stadium and led to the death of 39 fans. Liverpool were unable to repeat their feat of 1978 and retain the trophy but that was of no significance when set beside the loss of life. Following this tragedy, English clubs were banned from Europe for a number of years.

2005: Liverpool 3 AC Milan 3
in Istanbul

Changes to the European competitions now allowed Liverpool entry to the Champions League even though they hadn’t won the Premiership. Finding themselves three goals down at the interval, Rafa Benitez inspired a tremendous second half comeback led by Steven Gerrard. Liverpool scored three goals in seven minutes early in the second half. Gerrard scored the first, two minutes later Vladimir Smicer scored and then Gerrard won the penalty from which Xabi Alonso scored. Into extra time and penalties, Liverpool were always in the ascendance and won as goalkeeper Jerez Dudek became the instant hero by saving Andrily Shevchenko’s penalty.

2007: Liverpool 1 AC Milan 2
in Athens

AC Milan avenged the defeat of two years earlier. Having controlled the first half, Liverpool went behind when Milan scored from a free kick that was deflected into the goal off Inzaghi. In the second half Liverpool never showed the same assurance or belief and went two behind with only six minutes remaining when Inzaghi finished from a lovely through ball from Kaka. Dirk Kuyt’s goal was only a late consolation.

Liverpool’s record in the top European competition is way beyond anything achieved by any English club. Even Manchester United with all their history and worldwide acclaim have only won the trophy three times. First in 1968 under Matt Busby against Benfica and then thirty one years later, when Alex Ferguson’s team caused an unexpected turn around by scoring twice in the final moments to deny Bayern Munich, while they finally added to the tally this year.

While Liverpool may have failed to add to their honours in Athens in 2007, the club’s record as the best British team in the European Cup/Champions League competition is worthy of acclaim and one that will not be easily taken away from them.


3 comments:

kofi said...

Can you please write an article on Real Madrids recent loss to Juventus in the CL both HOME and away. And Somthing about there past encounters though history. I noticed hter wasn't anything being posted in the last 2 months.

p.s. what do you think is wrong with Real in the past 4 season?

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Heart said...

I noticed here wasn't anything being posted in the last 2 months. Bye...
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