2018/19 was a superb season for Liverpool, who returned with the Champions League title
to their name. It was the first time since their dramatic title win over the mighty AC Milan on
penalties in 2005, in Istanbul. This year they faced Spurs, who had defied the odds to reach
the final. A 2-0 win for the Reds made a glorious night in Madrid for Liverpool and their
supporters. Now we look back at their last three Champions League Finals before June
1 June 2005: AC Milan 3–3 Liverpool (Liverpool win 2–3 on penalties) —Istanbul
It looked like it could be a bad night for Liverpool when veteran defender Paolo Maldini gave
Milan the lead in the first minute. When Hernan Crespo put two more past the keeper — one
with shocking ease — AC Milan looked as if they already had their hands on the title.
Steven Gerrard, however, had other ideas. Six minutes into the second half, the captain
headed one into the back of the net and triggered the team’s fightback. In the following 10
minute onslaught, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso both scored — despite Alonso missing a
penalty — to put Liverpool on level pegging and push the game to the wire. The Reds kept
the coolest heads and won the final 2–3 on penalties.
25 May 2007: AC Milan 2–1 Liverpool — Athens
Two years on and AC Milan were out for revenge. Pippo Inzaghi was the star of the show for
the Italians, scoring both goals in this happier outing against Liverpool. He scored a bizarre
opener to put them ahead in injury time of the first half. Eight minutes from full time, he
scored again. Dirk Kuyt scored a consolation goal in the 89th minute, but it came too late. AC
Milan’s opener may have stunned Liverpool, who had been playing well and looked
threatening in the first half. Gerrard failed to put away an equaliser, which he regretted later
in the game.
23 May 2018 Real Madrid 3–1 Liverpool — Kiev
Fast forward to 2018’s final and it was Real Madrid’s turn to give Liverpool a miserable final.
Mo Salah had to exit the game after sustaining a shoulder injury in the first half. Keeper
Lorius Karius, meanwhile, must have wished he could have left early. A gaffe by the keeper
give Real Madrid their first goal, although Sadio Mane cancelled it out with an equaliser.
Then things got worse: Gareth Bale came on and scored a memorable goal from an
overhead kick in the 64th minute. Not content with that, he scored again in the 83rd minute and it was all over for Liverpool.
If you’re thinking of betting on Liverpool to win any silverware this season, you may wish to
consider their current form. They won the last Champions League Final — beating
Barcelona to get there — and have opened their pre-season schedule in blistering form with
a 6–0 win over Tranmere Rovers. They’ve also got the players to make a third consecutive
Champions League Final appearance happen. Shot-stopper Alisson has been able to bask
in further glory following the Champions League final after Brazil won the Copa America.
There’ll be some firm contention from Manchester City, though.