Live Blog: Liverpool vs. AC Milan, 2007 UEFA Champions League Final
Posted by Mike on May 23, 2007
Tonight in Athens, AC Milan plays Liverpool to decide the best club team in Europe. In a rematch of the 2005 Final, Milan is looking to avenge a sure win that slipped away. For an objective preview, go to That’s On Point. For a completely subjective preview, see mine.
2:11 pm: Let’s just get this out of the way: Heh heh, his name is Kaka.
2:31 pm: You have to love soccer commentators. They’re biased and they’re not afraid to admit it.
2:38 pm: Hard to believe that Paolo Maldini has played for AC Milan, at the world’s highest level, for each of the last 22 years. If AC Milan were to have its own Mount Rushmore, I’m guessing he would undoubtedly be included. Truly remarkable.
2:46 pm: 12 of the 22 players starting tonight started for these two teams in Istanbul.
2:47 pm: The game begins with Liverpool in possession of the ball. Crisp passing leads to an opportunity, but Gerrard overshoots Jermaine Pennant.
2:49 pm: 3rd miunte. Liverpool definitely seem to be the aggressors early in the match getting two decent opportunities.
2:53 pm: 8th minute. AC Milan finally gets in the box, but Clarence Seedorf can’t control the pass.
2:56 pm: 10th minute. It looked like Milan seemed to be controlling Liverpool’s offense after the early flurry. Just as I say that, Pennant gets another chance, and gets the first shot on goal, which Dida just manages to stop for Milan.
2:58 pm: 12th minute. Pennant is clearly the most aggressive player so far. He gets space in the zone and in perfect position for a pass, but Gerrard can’t control it. Milan needs to fix their defense-quickly.
3:00 pm: 14th minute. Inzhagi gets Milan’s first true opportunity, breaking away and avoiding the outside, all alone in front of Pepe Reina. But the pass is long, and he can’t get a foot on it.
3:02 pm: 16th minute. This is a very high-quality game. How do I know? It’s been a whopping 15 minutes and the Italians/Brazilians haven’t even tried to flop yet.
3:03 pm: 17 th minute. Kaka (heheh) gets the ball (HAHAHAHAAA) and takes a long shot down the middle (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!), but Reina is there to stop it.
3:04 pm: 18th minute. Midway through the first half, it looks like Milan are the aggressors now.
Gerrard is fouled, and Liverpool is awarded a free kick just left of the box.
3:05 pm: 19th minute. What a waste. The free kick goes through the box untouched, basically a throwaway.
3:07 pm: 22nd minute. Kaka is fouled by Agger. I was going to say “Milan;s first flop of the night”, but Agger fouled him. Side note: I think tonight’s ref is a tad bit, er, “affected”.
3:09 pm: 24th minute. Gerrard gets a pass in the box, but he gets a bit underneath the ball, and it sails harmlessly into the stands.
3:11 pm: 26th minute. Some great moves by Kaka, but Mascherano shadows his every move and takes the ball away.
3:13 pm: 28th minute. Liverpool gets another great opportunity thanks to Pennant, and Xabi Alonso takes a shot off a Milan deflection. It’s a bullet that goes about 3 inches too far to the left.
After nearly 30 minutes, we’re still scoreless.
3:15 pm: 30th minute. Milan gets a free, kick, but Andrea Pirlo hits it right to the keeper, who saves it easily.
3:16 pm: 31st minute. Milan’s defense falls asleep, and Liverpool gets the game’s first corner.
3:17 pm: 32nd minute. Milan clears the initial corner kick, and Pennant’s errant pass ends the possession.
3:19 pm: 33rd minute. Three midfielders, including Harry Kewell, are warming up on the Liverpool bench, presumably to come in for Zenden.
3:21 pm: 35th minute. Liverpool is clearly trying to pick up the pace of the game, while AC Milan is trying to slow it down.
3:22 pm: 36th minute. Pennant interepcts a pass, leading to another scoring opportunity. But again they can;t convert, as Dirk Kuyt’s shot is blocked.
3:27 pm: 41st minute. Gattuso is given a yellow card for tackling Xabi Alonso. No offensive opportunity becomes of it for Liverpool.
3:28 pm: 42nd minute. Zenden, who looks like some kind of bad guy from a movie, can;t take advantage of a great pass from Kuyt.
3:31 pm: 45th minute. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!! Milan scores off the free kick! Kaka is fouled in front of the box by Alonso (I’d say it’s the first flop of the game). Pirlo takes the free kick, and Inzaghi deflects it in for a goal.
3:33 pm: And that’s how the first half ends. Milan leads, 1-0. Based on the pace of the first 45 minutes of the game, Liverpool should be in front, having gotten so many opportunities, but hey haven’t been able to capitalize. They will probably need to to pull Zenden from the game (maybe put in a second striker?) to take better advantage of opportunities in the second half and come back.
That goal clearly hit Inzaghi in the arm. If that counts as a handball the goal should be disallowed. Still, I don’t think it was intentional.
If Liverpool plays in the second half like they did the first 44 minutes, they should be able to at least even the score.
3:50 pm: The second half begins. Zenden is still in the game for Liverpool.
3:51 pm: 48th minute. A Greek streaker makes it onto the pitch.
Liverpool gets another corner kick, but it doesn’t lead to anything resembling a scoring opportunity.
3:53 pm: 50th minute. Kuyt is just offside receiving the pass from Gerrard.
3:55 pm: 52nd minute. Milan seems to be controlling the pace of the second half so far.
Reina gets himself into some trouble trying to clear the ball.
3:57 pm: 54th minute. Jankulovski gets a yellow card for tackling Pennant. He’s been a step behind on that side of the field all night.
3:59 pm: 55th minute: There’s the flop! Courtesy of Jankulovski.
4:01 pm; 57th minute: Milan gets a nice opportunity, but Inzaghi is unable to convert.
It looks like Kewell is coming in for Liverpool.
4:03 pm: 59th minute. Liverpool gets two yellow cards in as many minutes, the last a tackle by Jamie Carragher to stop Kaka from a sure scoring opportunity. The ensuing free kick sails over the net.
Kewell is in.
4:05 pm: 62nd minute. Gerrard intercepts a Milan pass and breaks away for a great scoring opportunity, but his shot is stopped by Dida.
4:12 pm: 69th minute. AC Milan seems to be playing not to lose. We’ll see if it backfires.
4:16 pm: 72nd minute. Gerrard nearly puts it past Dida, but it goes just wide.
ESPN Commentators have been demanding Kewell’s entry into the game, but now that he’s in, they say he’s not being effective enough. There’s just no pleasing you, is there?
4:19 pm: 75th minute. Crouch is about to come in for Liverpool. What took so long?
Mascherano is the odd man out.
4:24 pm: 80th minute. Inzaghi completely misses the ball with a chance to put it away.
With 10 minutes, left, Liverpool ought to start attacking more. Playing too conservative does them no good at this point.
4:26 pm: 83rd minute. GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!! Inzaghi sneaks past the Liverpool defense and puts the game away with another goal. 2-0, Milan. Barring an Istanbul-like Miracle, Liverpool is done for.
4:28 pm: 85th minute. Why is everyone carrying an inflated banana in the stands?
4:29 pm: 86th minute. Peter Crouch gets a nice shot off, but it’s likely too little, too late.
4:32 pm: 89th minute. GOOOOOOOOOOOLLL!!! The Liverpool corner comes off two heads, and Kuyt finishes it off with his own header. 2-1, Milan. Liverpool may not be out of this yet, but they need to act quickly for any chance at the second goal.
4:34 pm: Liverpool gets three minutes of stoppage time.
4:35 pm: 90+ minutes. Milan is doing a great job of wasting time and keeping Liverpool from getting the ball.
4:36 pm: Alonso kicks away Liverpool’s likely last chance.
4:37 pm: I’ts over! AC Milan wins the UEFA Champions League, their seventh all time. They were lucky to get the goal in the first half, but they earned this win by outplaying Li9verpool in the second half. Inzaghi is obviously the man of the match, but the defense did a good job of clamping sdown in the second half. So congratulations to AC Milan for winning the world’s most prestigious club title in the world. Not that I’m too happy about it.