Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal
Tuesday 8th April 2008
The first-leg of this Champions League quarter-final clash ended 1-1 at the Emirates, with Dirk Kuyt’s close-range effort cancelling out Emmanuel Adebayor’s header.
It was all to play for in the return fixture at Anfield, and what followed was one of the greatest European nights ever at Anfield.
Arsenal made a magnificent start to the game, and their crisp passing and impressive possession football culminated in Abou Diaby firing the visitors in front.
Sami Hyypia rose highest to head home an equaliser for Liverpool after 30 minutes, levelling the tie on aggregate. At half-time the contest could not have been more finely poised.
The second-half was sensational, and Fernando Torres, arguably the world’s best striker at the time, scored a stunning effort in front of the Kop to send Anfield wild. This was the night that those on the Kop swore the stand shook as they bounced to the Torres song.
With just six minutes remaining, and Rafa Benitez’s side on course for another Champions League semi-final, disaster struck. An unbelievable run by Theo Walcott eventually saw the young Englishman find Adebayor, and the striker finished calmly to put the Gunners in the driving seat.
Just when it looked as though Liverpool were heading out, Ryan Babel was brought down in the box by future Red Kolo Toure, and Steven Gerrard converted the penalty with just four minutes left.
A tense finale saw the Reds clinging onto their lead, and Babel’s last-gasp strike on the break sealed a magnificent win for Liverpool, and progression to the last four of Europe’s best club competition for the third time in four seasons.
Goals: Hyypia (30), Torres (69), Gerrard pen (86) Babel (90); Diaby (13), Adebayor (84)
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard, Kuyt (Arbeloa ’90), Torres (Riise ’87), Crouch (Babel ’78)
Subs not used: Itandje, Voronin, Benayoun, Lucas
Arsenal: Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott ’72), Flamini (Silva ’42), Fabregas, Diaby (Van Persie ’72), Hleb, Adebayor
Subs not used: Lehmann, Song, Bendtner, Hoyte
Attendance: 41, 985
Referee: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden)