Astonishing, unbelievable, bewildering, sensational. Liverpool FC's superlative victory against AC Milan has caught the imagination of the European media, with one German paper calling it the greatest ever UEFA Champions League final, and others in agreement that this was a throwback to the golden days of the European Champion Clubs' Cup.
Trounced by half-time, triumphant by the end, Liverpool celebrated their fifth European Cup all the more joyously because of the astonishing manner of victory. Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish had said that success against AC Milan would surpass any of their achievements and, in coming back from three goals down last night, Steven Gerrard and his team-mates can be sure they have earned their place in Anfield's hall of fame. (The Times, England)
It took someone with the vision of HG Wells to construct this stadium amid the pylons and rubble on the extreme margins of Istanbul. It would have required a storyteller with the equivalent imagination to foretell this night of football. In the space of six minutes early in the second half a formality warped into an epic. It was as if an Andy Pandy tale had been twisted into the Godfather. And at the end of it and with the clock showing half past midnight, sure enough, we had a shoot-out. (Guardian, England)
"We're gonna win 4-3!" they said at half-time. They might have got the method of victory incorrect, but otherwise no wonder they say Liverpool supporters are the most knowledgeable in football. Not content with having played a part in the finest UEFA Cup final of all time four years previous, Liverpool contrived to manufacture the most amazing European Cup showpiece since the days of Puskas, Di Stefano and all the other greats of a black-and-white age. (Liverpool Daily Post, England)
Unbelievable. Milan lost on penalties a trophy they had already won. They lost it in painful - extremely painful - fashion. Because a team that scores three goals in the first 45 minutes, outclasses the opposition, tears them apart with superb moves, cannot concede three goals in six minutes. Those fatal six minutes after the interval wiped out everything. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)
It was not a question of Milan being tired because they dominated extra time. However, six minutes of madness at the start of the second half were enough. This was sufficient for Liverpool, humiliated in the first half, to pull of a success that was, frankly, unbelievable. (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)
Liverpool have been pronounced brilliant winners of the Champions League following a commanding penalty shoot-out performance against Milan. The encounter ended unresolved in 3-3 draw thanks to the overwhelming pride shown by Rafael Benítez's team in the first 15 minutes of the second half, with three goals in six minutes. (Marca, Spain)
Liverpool's renaissance, then, has no limit. Cruising from the third qualifying round to deal knockout blows to Juventus, Chelsea and Milan, the Reds gave Europe a bewildering final which ended in tears of joy for them. Perhaps an even greater upset than Manchester United's last-gasp victory against Bayern in the 1999 final. (L'Equipe, France)
It was gigantic. It was sensational. It was out of this world. Thank you, Milan. Thank you, Liverpool. For the best Champions League final in history. Milan were 3-0 up at half-time and Liverpool looked down and out. But then the wonder of Istanbul happened. The English side only needed six minutes to equalise and went on to win on penalties. The gigantic final had two heroes. Liverpool keeper Dudek, who saved two penalties, and then Didi Hamann. Our international came on as a substitute in the second half, took control in the engine room and sunk Liverpool's first penalty. (Bild, Germany)
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