With Liverpool’s Europa League last-32 clash with Besiktas on Thursday looming large, we rewind eight years and look back at the night the Reds took apart the Turkish giants.
Liverpool 8-0 Besiktas
6th November 2007
Rafa Benitez’s side had been beaten by Besiktas 2-1 in Turkey in their Champions League group stage clash two weeks earlier, and revenge was on the minds of the Liverpool players.
They had accumulated just one point from their three group games prior to the showdown at Anfield, also drawing with Porto and losing to Marseille, and a win was absolutely imperative if the Reds were to qualify for the knockout stages.
Benitez’s men dominated from the start, with Andriy Voronin failing to convert twice early on. Although his time on Merseyside was extremely poor, this was one of the Ukrainian’s better nights in a Reds shirt.
The deadlock was broken after 19 minutes though. Peter Crouch scored at the second attempt, after Hakan Arikan had kept out his initial effort.
Roared on by a typically atmospheric Anfield crowd, it was 2-0 soon after. Vorinin produced a pinpoint cross for Yossi Benayoun, and the effective Israeli took the ball down and lashed his shot into the corner of the Anfield Road net.
The visitors rarely threatened at any point in the opening 45 minutes, and the second-half was about to get even worse for them.
Liverpool’s third arrived eight minutes after the interval, as Benayoun was on-hand to tap home after John Arne Riise’s shot was only parried by Arikan.
Benayoun, an extremely underrated member of the side during the late 2000s, completed his hat-trick shortly after, slotting home another close-range effort in front the Kop.
Steven Gerrard got in on the act midway through the second-half, thundering home a deflected effort after a flowing move involving the skipper and Voronin. It was 5-0, and damage limitation.
Substitute Ryan Babel scored a quickfire double in the latter stages of proceedings, the first of which was a sublime back-heeled finish and the second a freakish effort that ricochet off the Dutchman and over Arikan.
The finishing touches were delivered by Crouch, who headed home Benayoun’s cross to complete a sensational team performance by Liverpool. It remains their biggest ever Champions League victory to date.
Goals: Crouch 19 & 89, Benayoun 32, 53 & 56, Gerrard 69, Babel 79 & 81.
Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio (Babel 63), Hyypia, Carragher, Arbeloa, Riise, Mascherano, Gerrard (Lucas 72), Benayoun, Voronin (Kewell 72), Crouch.
Subs not used: Martin, Finnan, Torres, Kuyt.
Besiktas: Arikan, Uzulmez, Toraman, Diatta, Kurtulus (Higuain 62), Sedef (Ricardinho 78), Cisse, Avci, Ozcan (Tandogan 46), Delgado, Bobo.
Subs not used: Rustu, Yozgatli, Kas, Karadeniz.
What happened next?
Having dispatched of Besiktas, it was still essential that the Reds won their two remaining group games. They did it in style, beating Porto 4-1 in a tense encounter at Anfield before producing a superb performance in a 4-0 win away at Marseille.
Having qualified for the last-16, Benitez’s team beat Roberto Mancini’s much-fancied Inter Milan 3-0 on aggregate, before knocking Arsenal out in an epic quarter-final clash.
Liverpool’s run finally came to an end in the semi-finals, with Chelsea gaining revenge for their defeats against the Reds in 2005 and 2007.
The 4-4 draw in the second-leg at Stamford Bridge was one of the finest games of the last decade, but saw Liverpool fall just short of turning around the 3-1 first-leg deficit and reaching yet another European final.
What are your memories of that unforgettable 8-0 win against Besiktas? Let us know in the comments below.
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