Liverpool is no stranger to some of the greatest heartstopping, sweat-inducing moments in Champions League’s history. The Merseyside squad’s road to its five titles (‘77, ‘78, ‘81, ‘84, and ‘05) and deep-runs at the UEFA’s marquee tournament have depended largely on good fortune smiling at just the right time.
In honour of the Reds returning to the Round of 16 this year, we take a look back at our favourite Liverpool Champions League wins since 2004.
Just Enough at Just the Right Time – Liverpool vs. Olympiakos, 2004
Sometimes making the push beyond the group stage is the most difficult part. This was the story on December 8th, 2004 when the Reds met Olympiakos at Anfield for a chance to make the Champions League final 16.
It was a must-win match for Liverpool after dropping the first leg away to the Greek side. Olympiakos drew first blood with a freekick from Rivaldo. The nails appeared to be in the coffin for Liverpool who needed a 1-0 or two-goal margin to advance.
But the Champions League is one place you never count out the Reds.
Neil Mellor and Florent Sinama-Pongolle netted scores late in the second half to give Liverpool a 2-1 edge. Steven Gerrard then delivered the knockout punch on a swerving goal that sent the English squad to the 2004-05 Champions League Round of 16, which, of course, set the table for…
The Stunning Comeback – Liverpool vs. Milan, 2005
Perhaps the most beloved Liverpool victory in continental competition is the amazing come-from-behind win over Milan for the 2004-05 Champions League title on 25 May 2005.
The Reds entered the final as the underdogs who became heroes against a then six-time champion powerhouse Milan squad at Istanbul’s Atatürk Stadium. The 69,000 strong in attendance witnessed Milan gain the early advantage on two first-half goals from Milan captain Paolo Maldini and one by striker Hernán Crespo.
Trailing 3-0 at halftime, Liverpool came out with a vengeance in the second half and scored three times in a six-minute span with Steven Gerrard, Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso each finding the net. The contest remained 3-3 at the end of regulation and extra time forcing a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Liverpool took a 3-2 edge in the shoot-out into the final Milan attempt. Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko’ delivered a straight-on ball that was slapped away by goaltender Jerzy Dudek, earning Liverpool its fifth and most-recent Champions League title.
This championship match deservedly earned the nickname the Miracle of Istanbul and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Champions League finales ever.
The Shoot-Out Thriller – Liverpool vs. Chelsea, 2007
In a match that was the gate to the Champions League final, Liverpool squared off against Chelsea on 1 May 2007 for the semi-final second leg between the two sides. The Blues rode into Anfield with a one-goal advantage and high hopes of polishing off the Reds.
Liverpool struck in the 22nd minute when Daniel Agger booted a square pass from Steven Gerrard into the net. Regulation and extra time expired on the contest with Liverpool clinging to the 1-0 lead, forcing a penalty shoot-out to determine the two-legged victor.
Bolo Zenden, Xabi Alonso, Gerrard, and Dirk Kuyt nailed goals in the shootout, besting Chelsea’s lone score from Frank Lampard. The late heroics were enough to send Liverpool through to the final where they eventually lost to Milan.
The Biggest Blowout – Liverpool at Maribor, 2017
Liverpool notched what would be one of the biggest one-sided victories in Champions League history on 17 October 2017 when the club pulled into Stadion Ljudski VRT to take on Maribor. The Reds trounced the Slovenian PrvaLiga in an epic 7-0 group stage showing.
The win was the largest away victory margin by any English team in the history of European Cup competition. It also tied the Champions League record for the most lopsided score (Marseille defeated MSK Zilina 7-0 in 2010 and Shakhtar Donetsk beat BATE Borisov by the same score in the 2014 series).
Liverpool was dominant early and often throughout the contest, securing a 4-0 lead by halftime on goals from Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, and two strikes by Mohamed Salah. Firmino struck again in the second half along with and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold to complete the rout.
Liverpool advanced to the 2017-18 Champions League final where the squad was dropped 3-1 by Real Madrid.