Istanbul heartbreak sees AC Milan runner-up call for “revenge” at Liverpool

For the first time in their shared history, Liverpool and AC Milan will meet outside of a European final, with Anfield playing host to a game where “revenge” is on the mind.

With 13 European Cups between them, AC Milan and Liverpool are two of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history, with one trophy apiece in final meetings.

And they will meet for the first time since the 2007 final on September 15, with Anfield playing host to the first game of the Champions League group stage this season.

But it is the events of Istanbul that have not have been forgotten in a hurry for either club, with the famous comeback on May 25, 2005 having forever been etched into Liverpool folklore.

There’s a different feeling for those on the Italian side of the encounter, including Hernan Crespo who scored a double at the Ataturk Stadium that many thought spelled game over for the Reds.

And having not been part of the 2007 Champions League-winning side, with just one season spent at the club, he has urged Milan to get “revenge” for that night in Istanbul that is still very much an “open wound.”

“It’s still an open wound for me, Liverpool-Milan is the first game Champions League game this season, and you already know what it means to me,” Crespo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th, 2005: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard lifts the European Cup after beating AC Milan on penalties during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I had scored a brace in the first half, I have never forgotten that night and even though Milan already beat Liverpool in the 2007 final, I’m asking Pioli’s men to beat them at Anfield, get the revenge for me and show who Milan are.”

It will be a night where fans make their return for a European clash, with the last time coming in March 2020 in the final pre-pandemic game against Atletico Madrid.

It will make for a raucous full house at Anfield in what is an important game to take three points from, with games against Atletico Madrid and Porto to follow.

This will be the first time Milan have appeared in the Champions League since the 2013/14 season, making it a much-anticipated clash.

But Jurgen Klopp‘s side will look to ensure it is memorable for all the wrong reasons and in turn deny Crespo the revenge he longs for.