Category: Champion’s League

On This Day Steven Gerrard Scored This Screamer Against Olympiakos

From ThisIsAnfield.com:

Champions League Group A; December 8th, 2004

The Reds went into their final Champions League group game in the 2004/05 season knowing they would either have to beat Olympiakos or, if the Greek side scored, beat them by at least two clear goals.

With Rafa Benitez‘s side faltering in the Premier League, they knew that staying in the competition was absolutely paramount. Little did they know that the game would become one of the most important, unforgettable matches in the history of the club.

After Jamie Carragher had a penalty appeal turned down, Sinama Pongolle’s cross was met by Nunez. Although the Spaniard’s header was saved by Antonios Nikopolidis, Mellor was on hand to rifled to ball home with 10 minutes remaining. The comeback was well and truly on.

A frantic finale saw further Liverpool penalty appeals waved away, before Gerrard produced one of his career-defining moments in the dying minutes.

Carragher’s intelligent ball found Mellor, who guided an equally thoughtful header towards Gerrard 25 yards out. The skipper caught his half-volley to perfection, and the ball flew into the corner to send Anfield into delirium. Gerrard virtually ran into the Kop crowd to celebrate.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND- WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 8th 2004: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard scores the winning goal, and his side's third, against Olympiakos during the UEFA Champions League Group A match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Proparganda)
“Oh You Beauty” – Pic: David Rawcliffe/Propagana

Liverpool saw out a few last nervy moments to book their place in the knockout stages, reigniting their season in the process. Little did they know that, against all odds, they would go on to win the Champions League that season.

It remains one of the most famous night in the history of Anfield

An unforgettable night in Anfield and in Steven Gerrard lore. What a ridiculous strike. It’s a shame he never got a Premier League title but he earned his Champions League title. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go watch this strike at least 50 times in the next hour.

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This Season’s Top 10 UEFA Champions League Goals

Unfortunately UEFA won’t let websites embed the video so go here to watch the goals

There’s not much I can add to this. It was a great Champions League season (as usual) and it is great to be able to relieve these moments. Like every top ten list they missed a few I thought should have made it but all in all I think it is a very good compilation. Only a few more months till Champions League begins again!

Boy Wakes Up From Four Week Coma And First Thing He Does When He Wakes Up Is Ask If Juventus Is Still In The UCL

From Bleacher Report:

A 14-year-old boy has survived an extraordinary ordeal, which saw him spend more than 40 minutes trapped underwater and a month in an induced coma—and top of his priority list upon waking was to find out if Juventus were still in the Champions League.

Italy’s Milan Chronicle (via Victoria Richards of the Independent) reports that he and five friends jumped off a bridge into a canal near Milan. Stuck in the canal, his heart stopped. Remarkably, he showed no signs of brain damage and not only woke up but wanted to know what was happening in football.

“After four weeks in hospital in San Raffaele, he is said to have woken, spoken to his parents and asked whether his favourite football team, Juventus, was still in the Champions League.”

Now this kid is a true soccer fan. An entire month in a coma and he could care less about anything else except the status of his favorite soccer team. You know what? This kid’s devotion has inspired me. I was on the fence on who to root for this Saturday. I don’t want Barcelona because I despise Suarez but I also have no affinity for Juventus. Until I read about this kid I was just going to root for a “good game” but screw that I’m a Juventus fan this Saturday. Both for this kid and the more I think about it the more I think I like Carlos Tevez.

Suarez Says he “had to nutmeg” David Luiz

There is something to be said about incredible footballers. Vision, pace, savviness, lethal instincts; all qualities necessary to be a successful forward. Suarez showed all of these in Wednesday’s Champions League tie with PSG. I quote, “A striker is always looking for goals and the two moves came off for me. I had to nutmeg Luiz twice because there was nothing else I could do.”  Check exhibit A and B below:

Suarez’s absurd nutmegs makes me wonder if David Luiz was paid to stand there sulking like his lollipop was just stolen by the family dog. Either way, Luis Suarez’s brace puts Barcelona in an ideal spot heading into the return leg at Camp Nou.

UEFA Considering NBA-Style ‘All-Star Game’ As Part Of Champions League

From The Mirror:

Uefa are considering the introduction of an NBA-style All-Star weekend as part of an ongoing consultation into the future of the Champions League and Europa League.

The competitions committee of Europe’s leading footballing body are currently looking at how to improve continental tournaments and are analysing a number of possibilities.

And sources with knowledge of the discussions have confirmed to MirrorSport that an All-Star game, to be played between two teams voted for by fans, is one proposal “on the table” but only “one of many under consideration.”

The idea could see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo line up on the same side for the first time in their careers, with the initial idea and most likely configuration pitching North vs South. The Northern European side would be made up of players plying their trade in England, Germany, Holland and Russia among others, while the South team would boast La Liga’s biggest stars as well as the best footballers in Serie A, France’s Ligue 1 and other Mediterranean nations.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of “All Star games.” Most of the players are so afraid of getting hurt that they play zero defense and it just becomes an offensive showcase. However, I also see the appeal of that. We as fans so rarely get to see certain players play together that an All Star game is the only way players like Ronaldo and Messi will ever be on the same team (as far as we know). It might seem cheesy but I know I would pay good money to see this and I’m sure other fans would. After seeing the Liverpool Charity match hosted a few weeks ago I know that this game has the potential to be both entertaining and highly desired. Get it done UEFA

Heineken Soccer- Would You Drop Everything to Go To A UCL Match In Barcelona? (You Also Have to Convince Your Boss)

Would you drop everything to fly to a Champions League Match in Barcelona? What if you had to convince your boss to go with you? See if these soccer fans can come away with a victory.
See more of the trip: www.Heineken.com/soccer

I would easily drop everything to go to a Champions League match in Barcelona. The tough part though would be convincing my boss and there’s NO WAY my boss would be up for it. The proposition is just too ridiculous of a question to ask, especially when you are as far down the totem pole as I am. I would even be afraid to risk asking the question for fear of any reprisals from my boss after the cameras turned off.

However, I would still ask because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The only thing preventing me from going to a Champions League now is how expensive it is so if I had the opportunity to go for free I would be remiss if I didn’t at least try. Assuming my boss did say no it would be hard to forgive him. Every time I’d see him in the hallway I’d think of him as the guy who cost me an opportunity to go see a Champions League match in Barcelona. That would not foster a great working relationship.