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

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

On this day in 2005, Liverpool recorded one of the biggest wins in their history as Steven Gerrard rallied his teammates to an unforgettable victory in Istanbul.

It was a nightmare start for Rafael Benitez's side, as a brace from Hernan Crespo and a rare Paolo Maldini goal gave AC Milan a three-goal advantage at half-time.

Many thought 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.

Image credit: PA
Image credit: PA
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Liverpool went on to win the game on penalties and, while the result will go down in the record books, it was Gerrard's performance against the Italians that was the real difference-maker.

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. I mean, just check out his individual highlights below.

What many people don't know is Gerrard's half-time team talk in that final that gave his teammates hope.

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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.

I'll let former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse tell you the rest.

"I will never forget Steven Gerrard's team-talk at half-time during the 2005 Champions' League final," he told RMC Sport.

"Benitez comes into the dressing room, he does his coach speech, that we must not give up and that we need to score quickly.

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"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."

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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.

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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.

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Liverpool, AC Milan, Champions League, Steven Gerrard

Jack Kenmare
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