The group stages of the UEFA Champions league is almost here and most football fans cannot wait to get a glimpse of the best clubs in Europe taking on one another. While Manchester United are back in the premier European competition, their city neighbours Manchester City have again been put into a tough draw. Arsenal as well have gotten a decent draw but have to play Bayern Munich in the group stages.
The Champions League has had a great number of amazing finals, especially with nail-biting finishes and we look at some of the most recent Champions League finals victories with English clubs edging out their opponents.
Istanbul 2005: Liverpool 3 – AC Milan 3 (Liverpool win after penalty shootouts)
The day that Liverpool rose from the ashes and proved their European pedigree once again, no one expected the English club to do much against a powerhouse AC Milan team which featured Dida, Cafu, Pirlo, Gattuso, Shevchenko, Kaka, Maldini and Crespo, to name a few. It got even worse for Liverpool who ended the first half 3-0 down but Rafa Benitez pulled off a master stroke by bringing in Didi Hamann and that led to a six minute madness as Liverpool scored thrice to level the game in the second half.
The game went to extra time and it was the Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who somehow kept Shevchenko out at point blank range. The Polish goalkeeper then did his bit by saving crucial penalties in the penalty shootout and gave Liverpool their fifth European crown and also led to Steven Gerrard staying at the club, after he rejected advances from Chelsea back then. This is called as the greatest final ever to have taken place in the Champions League era, certainly a match worth seeing again and again, especially if you are a Liverpool fan.