No. 25 – The 1965 Inter Milan Semi Final
Just two days after the 1965 FA Cup Final Success, Liverpool entertained Inter Milan in the European Cup Semi Final at Anfield.
The arrival of the World Club Champions was eagerly anticipated, with lengthy queues snaking around Anfield many hours before kick off. The Kop was packed to the rafters, the gates had closed long before the start, the atmosphere was electric ‘“ and the opposition were in for the shock of their lives! As the Italian players made their way onto the pitch first, Shankly sent out Gerry Byrne, another hero of Wembley after playing on with a broken collarbone, and Gordon Milne, who had missed the final with injury, to parade the FA Cup around the ground in front of the 54,082 capacity crowd. Anfield had rarely seen such high emotion.
Tommy Smith speaking to the Liverpool echo commented ‘œIf the Italians thought they had heard noise in the San Siro I can tell you they had never experienced anything like the noise from the Anfield fans as the cup was carried round. When we heard the crowd I could understand how intimidating it was for the Italians. But it gave us a great lift. People talk about the atmosphere at the St Etienne game, when David Fairclough was the hero, and Istanbul, but that night against Inter Milan was something special.’
With the Kop in full song, the singing, the chanting, the swaying, Liverpool were magnificent on the pitch, from Peter Thompson and Callaghan on the wings, the Saint and Sir Roger Hunt upfront, the midfield of Geoff Strong and Willie Stevenson, while the formidable defence of Ronnie Moran, Ron Yeats and Tommy Smith, who, at the tender age of 20, was already making his mark on the team while we also had the ever reliable full back Chris Lawler. Inter started with no fewer than 10 of the players who had won the European Cup in Vienna the previous May, with Milani’s place being taken by Piero.
With the Italian players still only adjusting to the Anfield atmosphere, Sir Roger opened the scoring in just the fourth minute. Inter did pull a goal back against the run of play minutes later, a mistake from Moran allowed Mazzola through on goal to equalise for the Italians. By half-time the Reds were 2-1 ahead with Cally scoring a fabulous goal from a free kick move to which a new song was heard on the Kop, ‘Go back to Italy’ to the tune of ‘Santa Lucia’.
Five minutes before half time, Chris Lawler shot home from the edge of the box, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside much to the disapproval of the Kop, however, Liverpool did make it the impossible 3-1 in the 75th minute, Tommy Smith put Sir Roger through to drive a shot against the keeper and there was Ian St John to poke the rebound into the open net.
That Tuesday, 4th May 1965 was a night the world found out about the Kop, a night we’ll never ever forget as Liverpool recorded a 3-1 win. Anfield had never seen anything like it before . . .
Liverpools Team : Tommy Lawrence, Chris Lawler , Ronnie Moran, Geoff Strong, Ron Yeats , Willie Stevenson, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Tommy Smith, Peter Thompson
Liverpool Goals :
Roger Hunt (4)
Ian Callaghan (34)
Ian St John (75)