The 2005 Champions League final was one of the most exciting in history.
In the first half, AC Milan cruised into a 3-0 advantage over Liverpool – but a miracle comeback and ultimate penalty victory gave Liverpool a surprise, but well-earned, Champions League title.
Two years later, on this day in 2007, the two sides clashed yet again in the final – with the Italian outfit desperate for revenge after having the trophy snatched away the last time they met.
It was another close encounter in Athens as Milan were desperate to put the disappointment behind them in order to claim their seventh European title.
Liverpool started the game well but Filippo Inzaghi scored a freak opener in first-half injury time, unwittingly deflecting Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick past a wrong-footed Pepe Reina.
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s main man, missed a glorious chance to equalise before Inzaghi slid home a second eight minutes from time, securing European glory for the Italian side.
🔴⚫️ 20 years since two-time winner Filippo Inzaghi scored his first goal for AC Milan!
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 9, 2021
Dirk Kuyt pulled one back with a minute left, but this time there was no script in place for another miracle.
Taking it back to modern day, both clubs endured some disappointing periods after 2007 – as the two giants went years without silverware – but both are now firmly back at the top of the game.
AC Milan clinched their first Serie A title in 11 years yesterday after a 3-0 final-day victory at Sassuolo, with a double from Olivier Giroud and one from Franck Kessie claiming the Scudetto in style.
Liverpool, under Jurgen Klopp, have risen from the ashes to become one of the all-time great sides.
They may have narrowly missed out on the Premier League title yesterday, but the Reds are one win away from a seventh Champions League title as they face Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday.
The Reds will hope to conjure the magic of 2005 rather than the disappointment of 2007.