There is no doubt that the disappointment being felt by Liverpool fans at this moment is palpable but, and although I write this the game still has five minutes to go, I cannot see any way back for Liverpool. Irrespective of the possession and the number of scoring chances Liverpool have had, Milan has had the luck. Yes, the gods have smiled on AC Milan, but wait… a goal by Kuyt, surely not another comeback!
I don’t think so!
Throughout this game I have only felt there would be one winner, why? I have no idea but football sometimes sends one feelings inexplicable. It will be a night of great pain for Liverpool fans, celebration for Milan, the memory of Istanbul erased and for simply one reason, it was never meant to be for the mighty reds of Anfield. Yes, destiny has beckoned for AC Milan this evening and sometimes one must bow to higher forces.
They are an ageing side but they are resilient! After scoring the first goal just seconds before half time Milan settled into a second half of containment and counter attack which proved fruitful. Despite their best efforts Liverpool looked stunned by the Milan opening goal not only because it came so late in the first half but because of the cruel deflection it took on the way to the back of the net. Having played so well, so confidently, so assuredly, the punishing impact of a goal so against the run of play knocked them for six – they really struggled to expunge it from their minds second half. The mountain was insurmountable – not physically, but psychologically. This is a team famed for their comebacks and perhaps this weighed them down rather than raised them up to the heights of two years ago in Turkey.
As a fan of Liverpool I am obviously disappointed but I must pay compliment to AC Milan and especially the thirty-nine year old Paolo Maldini, for there are few who will ever scale that man’s heights and for that reason alone, they deserve their night, their triumph, and their victory.
For Liverpool it is a night of what might have been, but they can take comfort in the consolation of progress and look forward to many more years of success. Investment is needed but in Rafa Benitez they have a special manager, a master tactician and a brutal realist. Liverpool will go on to bigger and better things, have far better nights than this, and perhaps most importantly learn from experiences that are both painful and frustrating.
Submitted by Carl Power