Steven Gerrard vs AC Milan In 2005 Is One Of The All-Time Great Individual Performances

Liverpool have reached more European Cup finals than Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea combined, and perhaps their biggest win to date happened on 'that' historic night in Istanbul.

When two goals from Hernan Crespo and a rare finish from Paolo Maldini put Milan 3-0 ahead at half-time, many thought that it was game, set and match.

But as we all know, Steven Gerrard's bullet header clawed the scoreline to 3-1 and six minutes later, the game was tied when Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso sent Liverpool fans into a frenzy.

Gerrard's performance that night was legendary. He rallied the troops when all hope was lost, heading in that vital header in the second half to start what would become the greatest comeback in Champions League history.

But it was his half-time team talk in that final that gave those players on the pitch hope.

Liverpool were 3-0 down at the time. but the midfielder was far from finished. He asked all the coaching staff to leave the dressing room.

Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse can tell you the rest:

"I will never forget Steven Gerrard's team-talk at half-time during the 2005 Champions' League final. Benitez comes into the dressing room, he does his coach speech, that we must not give up and that we need to score quickly." he told RMC Sport,

"Steven gets up and asks all the coaching staff to leave the dressing room, because he wanted to be alone with just the players. All the staff left, even the physios who were giving treatment to the players."

"Stevie gets up and says that Liverpool is all he has, it is his club, all he has ever known and he does not want to be the laughing stock of the history of the Champions' League.

"He says that if we respect him and love him as a captain, then we need to dust ourselves off and get back in the match.

"He scores the first goal, he gets the penalty. He has an extraordinary second half, finishing the game as a right-back. He has a crazy match - but that half-time speech will remain imprinted in my mind forever."

Shortly after his goal, Gerrard raised his hands to try and get the travelling support on board, this was the epitome of what Gerrard was all about as a player.

He wore his heart on his sleeve in every single game, but this final was something else. You could see it in his eyes.

The miracle of Istanbul was complete when Rafael Benitez's side won on penalties. It was a day like no other and Steven Gerrard was absolutely pivotal behind the victory.

An all-time great.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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