No. 22 – Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos
It was Wednesday, 8th of December 2004 when Steven Gerrard scored a stunning late goal as Liverpool came from behind to beat Olympiakos and go into the next stage of the Champions League. Olympiakos had gone ahead early on when Rivaldo was brought down after a mazy run and scored from the resulting free-kick. It left Liverpool needing three to go through, but the inconceivable comeback began on the 47th minute when Florent Sinama Pongolle converted Harry Kewell’s cross before Neil Mellor stabbed in from six yards on the 81st minute…..
It was Gerrard once again who came to Liverpools rescue with only four minutes remaining on the clock…. Mellor’s nod down gave Gerrard the chance to send a blistering 20-yard effort past the Olympiakos goalkeeper which sent Anfield wild and his beloved Liverpool into the last 16 of the Champions League in a game that will go down as one of the greatest European night’s in Anfields history….
After the game, speaking to Liverpool official website Gerrard described his goal “I was delighted to get the winner. As the ball dropped it was spinning and I thought the shot was going to end up in the stands, but I caught it sweetly and it flew in. It’s definitely one of the best goals I have ever scored. ”
TIA columnist Ste Speed recently described his memories from Gerrards unbelievable strike….
“I was waiting for my flight back to Liverpool, having spent the previous two years globe trotting around Australasia and Thailand. I was sitting in the airport bar nursing the one drink I could afford and a plate of fries a generous fellow passenger had bought me. I was in my Liverpool shirt surrounded by American businessmen just watching ESPN with no sound. I couldn’t believe my luck when the Liverpool VS Olympiakos game came on the T.V, as I had arrived at the airport several hours early for my flight due to lack of funds. I asked for the volume to be turned up and sat back to watch an incredible match.
I remember my loud, boisterous enthusiasm throughout the game began to attract the attention of the American businessmen who began to watch it with me. Just like all Reds fans around the world my chest was full of butterflies when the clock was ticking down and the score stood at 2’“1, which wasn’t enough to qualify for the knockout stages. When Gerrard’s belter flew in, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I jumped out of my seat and ran around the bar like a lunatic before exchanging high fives with the American’s. They ended up buying me drinks afterwards because they’d been so entertained by my antics during the game. I’m not the biggest fan of Andy Gray’s commentary but his scream of; ‘œYou beauty, what a hit son’, will go down as one of the best ever for any Liverpool goal.”
TIA Forum member Kenism also retold his memories of the night….
“We needed to win by two which didn’t seem unrealistic at the start of the night but when Rivaldo scored the free kick we all started worrying. What I love about it is the two lesser known heroes that night, Mellor and Pongolle both scored a crucial goal each and only were squad players, makes you think Nemeth or Pacheco could do it too. Will we ever forget Andy Gray that night? Istanbul is always talked about as the greatest night in LFC history, but where would we be now without that ”lovely cusioned header for Gerrard”. Every Liverpool fan knows where they were for that moment and will never forget it.”
Liverpools Team : Chris Kirkland, Jamie Carragher, Steve Finnan, Sami Hyypia, John Arne Riise, Djimi Traore, Harry Kewell, Steven Gerrard , Antonio Nunez, Xabi Alonso, Milan Baros.