Supporting Liverpool Football Club has proved to be an emotional rollercoaster, jam-packed with memorable nights from one of Europe’s greatest stadiums. In this article, we explore the best six in no particular order..
6: Liverpool 1-0 Barcelona, UEFA Cup 2001
At number 6 is the UEFA Cup semi-final, second leg at Anfield from April 2001. Liverpool fans will usually remember the UEFA Cup from the treble-winning season in 2000/2001. This game led to that magical night against Alaves, and it was against one of the world’s best.
Barcelona’s metronomic passing game was undermined by a brilliant Liverpool regard marshalled by Jamie Carragher & Sami Hyypia. Gary Macca (McAllister) scored the decisive goal, which was a penalty past Pepe Reina, former Reds goalkeeper from 2005-2013.
5: Liverpool 3-1 Olympiacos, UEFA Champions League Group Stage 2004
It was 8 December 2004, Anfield. Liverpool were trailing 1-0 at half-time but needed to win by two clear goals to qualify for the knockout stage. An impact from somebody on the pitch was needed. Rafa brought on Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Neil Mellor, and they both went on the pitch to score a goal each to galvanise the atmosphere in the stadium as well as the team.
With not long left, it seemed that Liverpool were destined for the UEFA Cup and their hopes of European glory in this competition, surely gone. It needed a strike or somebody to step up to the podium to deliver a moment that grankids would be talking about for decades. And it came – it had to be Steven Gerrard. He sent a sweet curling effort from 25 yards past Nikopolidis.
Or in words of Andy Gray: “OH, YOU BEAUTY! WHAT A HIT SON, WHAT A HIT!!!”. Not only did this win secure qualification, but it led to the miracle of Istanbul, and of course, the UEFA Champions League returning to Liverpool for the 5th time.
4: Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea, UEFA Champions League semi-final 2005
An incredible evening at Anfield which led to Istanbul 2005 can’t be overlooked. After a goal-less 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Jose Mourinho was at his deluded antics once more, playing mind-games with Liverpool. However, we showed Mourinho how to defend resiliently for 90 minutes in a European Cup semi-final. The Portugese was crying over Luis Garcia’s 3rd minute goal – he complained it wasn’t over the line. He can be grateful that they weren’t reduced to 10 men and Liverpool didn’t have a penalty.
The Reds were defending for their lives, as Chelsea’s attempts to set carnage failed. It remains one of the greatest Anfield nights, which served up a memorable atmosphere at the expense of our greatest rivals.
3: Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League round of 16 2009
Even though the 2008/2009 UEFA Champions League campaign for Liverpool ended in a aggregate defeat to Chelsea in the quarters, the Real Madrid match at Anfield in March 2009 cannot be forgotten.
One of Liverpool’s most decorated and complete teams in the 21st century faced another side who were deemed as one of the world’s greatest. We had a 1-0 lead from the first leg after Yossi Benayoun’s goal at the Bernabeu. The atmosphere was incredible, coupled with Liverpool’s dominance of the game. Only a brilliant individual performance from Iker Casillas kept it at 4-0 as the Reds set utter carnage to the Real defence. We were viewed as serious contenders for a 6th European Cup, and you’d understand why after that performance.
2: Liverpool 2-0 Man Utd
Nothing’s better than beating your hated rivals from Manchester. The team that you hated and couldn’t stand from when you were a kid. When a rivalry in the league materalises, the atmosphere, passion, blood, sweat & tears is immeasurable. In Europe, you get the feel that there’s a lot more to play for. Liverpool gave Man United a taste of their own medicine when they came to Anfield in March 2016.
A typically dominant performance, and once again, it took heroics from David De Gea to spare Manchester United from humiliation. The You’ll Never Walk Alone at the start of the game showcased what passion is all about from supporters.
1: Liverpool 4-3 Dortmund
Doesn’t even need explaining, does it? Another case of Anfield-Istanbul was in progress, as Liverpool came from two goals behind late on to secure a dramatic late win at Anfield. Dejan Lovren’s late header capped all the drama that Anfield has witnessed over the years, and what a brilliant place it was. The team spirit too, was incredible.
The atmosphere, though, was what galvanised the Reds and made the game extra-special. The Dortmund ultras and Liverpool’s signing (even when behind) made it impossible for the team to ignore. They created a game our grandkids will never forget, and boy did they do that. The ongoing support from Liverpool fans proved to be the catalyst. One word to describe – BOOM!
Written by Stephen Lindell (@SteLindellLFC)