Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Greatest. Final. Ever.

Hell - greatest GAME ever, period. Liverpool's heroism in rallying from a 0-3 halftime deficit to win on penalties will live infamously as a "miracle on the pitch", after a night where, truly, no superlative or sporting cliche is out of place.

"Hands up, those who thought Liverpool would comeback," laughed the announcer after Gerrard's header, Smicer's booming shot from outside the penalty area, and Alonso's penalty rebound tied the game just 15 minutes into a glorious 2nd half. The talk before the game may have been of dreams, but no Liverpool supporter would have dared contemplate so perfect a fantasy. Surreal. Hometown boy Gerrard was absolutely immense, especially toward the end when he filled in superbly at left defensive back when called upon near the end. And the unlikeliest hero of all is the much-maligned keeper Jerzy Dudek, who made the most unbelievable double-save from 1 (one!) yard out with extra time running down, then won the penalty shoot-out with the most ridiculous dancing on the line to shake Milan's players.

I doubt I will ever have the privilege of watching as excellent and exciting a football match. This year has been filled with many wonderous moments, from seeing Mandela at Trafalgar Square, to Shakespeare's Memorial Birthday Service in Stratford, to the annual May Day celebrations under Magdalan Tower. Tonight ranks right up there with the very best of them.

Dreams, and yes miracles, are possible. Liverpool proved it tonight.

I cannot wait to read the English press coverage in the morning.


Blogger Tim R. A. Cooper said...

'Twas an incredible game, indeed. The highlight for me was Dudek's incredible praying-mantis-like bobbing and weaving, which clearly psyched out the Milanos. (Apparently such movement is not allowed in English soccer leagues, which only enhances last night's genius.)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

In my estimation I though Dudek's penalty strategy was brilliant, and apparently what he was doing is legal in the Premier League as they fall under the FIFA laws of the game, whereby during a penalty kick "the goalkeeper remains on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until the ball has been kicked." The keeper only needs to remain on the line - it doesn't say that he can't "Do The Dudek" as I think it can now be called.

Although, looking at the replay he was guilty of the old sneaky sneaky when he was about a foot off of his line for the Pirlo save, but it was an amazing read all the same.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Siscoe said...

God bless Liverpool - being a Reds fan since 1987, this one is very sweet.

11:58 AM  

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