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10 of the Greatest European Nights at Anfield

Matt LadsonFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2013

10 of the Greatest European Nights at Anfield

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Anfield has seen some famous European nights and experienced some incredible atmospheres.

    The Kop in full voice: banners, flags and scarves aloft. 

    Fabio Capello once told the club website of the atmosphere that it "was like an electric shock for Liverpool's players."

    Here's 10 of the best Anfield European nights (in no particular order).

1977: Liverpool 3-1 St. Etienne

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    European Cup Quarter-Final, Second Leg

    Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Liverpool got off to a blistering start when Kevin Keegan scored from wide over the keeper's head after just two minutes.

    The French visitors, though, equalised, meaning Liverpool now needed two goals to progress.

    Ray Kennedy made it 2-1 on the hour, before David Fairclough—aka "Super Sub"—wrote his name into Liverpool history with five minutes remaining.

    It was one of the greatest Anfield atmospheres, according to those who were there.

    Bob Paisley's side went on to lift their first European Cup, defeating Borussia Monchengladbach in the final in Rome.

    Liverpool: Clemence, Neal, Jones, Smith, Kennedy, Hughes, Keegan, Case, Heighway, Toshack (Fairclough 74), Callaghan.

2004: Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos

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    Champions League Group Stage, Matchday 6

    The parallels with this night and the St. Etienne one are incredible.

    Liverpool went behind when Rivaldo's free-kick put the visitors ahead halfway through the first half—meaning Liverpool needed to score three to progress from the group.

    Reds boss Rafa Benitez, in his first season in charge, introduced Florent Sinama-Pongolle at half-time, and incredibly two minutes after his introduction, he scored the equaliser to give Liverpool belief they could pull off the miracle.

    With time running out, Neil Mellor was brought on to similar impact, scoring three minutes after his introduction.

    Cue pandemonium on The Kop.

    Mellor then provided the perfect set for Steven Gerrard to hit that volley into The Kop goal—oh you beauty.

    The Reds went on to win their fifth European Cup in even more dramatic fashion in Istanbul.

    Liverpool: Kirkland, Finnan (Josemi 85), Carragher, Hyypia, Traore (Sinama Pongolle 45), Nunez, Alonso, Gerrard, Riise, Kewell, Baros (Mellor 78).

1965: Liverpool 3-1 Inter Milan

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    European Cup Semi-Final, First Leg

    Bill Shankly's side had just won the club's first FA Cup and entertained the European Cup, Italian League and World Club Cup holders.

    Shankly sent Gerry Byrne around with the FA Cup trophy before kick-off to deliberately whip the home crowd into a frenzy. It worked.

    Tommy Smith told The Liverpool Echo later:

    The Italians thought they had heard noise in the San Siro I can tell you they had never experienced anything like the noise from the Anfield fans as the cup was carried round. When we heard the crowd I could understand how intimidating it was for the Italians. But it gave us a great lift. People talk about the atmosphere at the St Etienne game, when David Fairclough was the hero, and Istanbul, but that night against Inter Milan was something special.

    Roger Hunt, Ian St. John and Ian Callaghan scored the goals on the night, carried by The Kop.

    Alas, the Italians won the second leg 3-0 in extremely controversial circumstances and denied Shankly's side their first European Cup final.

    Liverpool: Lawrence, Lawler, Moran, Strong, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St. John, Smith, Thompson.

2002: Liverpool 2-0 Roma

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    Champions League Second Stage, Matchday 6

    Needing a two-goal victory to progress, this was a memorable night for the return of manager Gerard Houllier.

    The Frenchman had undergone heart surgery after being taken ill at half-time of a Premier League match against Leeds the previous October.

    The Reds got off the perfect start, with Jari Litmanen keeping his cool to slot home a penalty after just seven minutes before Emile Heskey made it 2-0 in the second half.

    Liverpool: Dudek, Xavier, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Smicer (McAllister 90), Gerrard, Murphy, Riise, Litmanen (Biscan 88), Heskey.

2001: Liverpool 1-0 Barcelona

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    UEFA Cup Semi-Final, Second Leg

    Having secured a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou in the away leg, Gerard Houllier's side overcame the Spanish giants to progress to the final—where they would win the third of their three cups that season.

    The only goal of the tie came courtesy of Gary McAllister's perfect spot-kick, placed into the top corner past a certain young goalkeeper named Pepe Reina.

    Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard (Murphy 78), Hamann, McAllister, Smicer (Fowler 80), Heskey, Owen (Berger 62).

1991: Liverpool 3-0 Auxerre

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    UEFA Cup Second Round, Second Leg

    Having lost the away leg 2-0, not many expected Liverpool to overturn the deficit in the return leg at Anfield.

    Only 23,000 turned up; after all, Liverpool had never recovered from a two-goal first-leg deficit in Europe before.

    Given the low crowd, the atmosphere created was incredible as tricky winger Mark Walters inspired the comeback.

    Jan Molby got the Reds off to a flying start with a penalty inside five minutes, Mike Marsh added a second, before Walters himself hit the crucial third with seven minutes remaining.

    Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Ablett, Burrows, Marsh, Molby, Tanner, McManaman, Houghton, Rush, Walters, McMahon.

2008: Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal

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    Champions League Quarter-Final, Second Leg

    A 1-1 draw in the away leg left this tie finely poised.

    Abou Diaby's early goal put the visitors in control before Sami Hyypia equalised and Fernando Torres put the home side ahead.

    This was a time when the Torres "bounce" was in full swing and those on The Kop that will tell you the stand was shaking.

    Arsenal sub Theo Walcott then went on a mazy run to set up Emmanuel Adebayor to make it 2-2 with just six minutes remaining. Liverpool were heading out on away goals.

    Another sub, Ryan Babel, then turned the game back in Liverpool's favour, winning a penalty that Steven Gerrard converted, and then finishing himself in the final minute.

    A pulsating match with a pulsating atmosphere.

    Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt (Arbeloa), Gerrard, Torres (Riise), Crouch (Babel).

2009: Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid

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    Champions League First Knockout Stage, Second Leg

    Quite simply, football doesn't get much better than this.

    Liverpool, having already won the away leg 1-0 courtesy of Yossi Benayoun's header in the Bernabeu, tore the Spaniards apart.

    This was Rafa Benitez's finest side and in their prime.

    Fernando Torres was like a man possessed, winning tackles on the halfway line, running at the Real defence and linking with Steven Gerrard.

    For me, this was the best display by any Liverpool side I have witnessed in the past 20 years.

    Torres got the scoring underway before Gerrard added two (one via the spot) and sub Andrea Dossena put the icing on the cake late on.

    An incredible and memorable night.

    Buoyed by this display, Benitez's side only went and won 4-1 at Old Trafford the next weekend.

    Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Alonso (Lucas 60), Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (Spearing 74), Babel, Torres (Dossena 83). 

2005: Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea

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    Champions League Semi-Final, Second Leg

    The night of legend. The greatest European night, and the greatest atmosphere.

    We all know what happened and it still amazes me that Jose Mourinho still brings up Luis Garcia's goal all these years later. Would he have preferred for the referee to have given the penalty and sent his keeper off after two minutes?

    Liverpool held on to their early goal and in doing so qualified for their first European Cup final in 20 years. We all know what happened next!

    Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Hamann (Kewell 72), Biscan, Luis Garcia (Nunez 84), Riise, Gerrard, Baros (Cisse 59).

2007: Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (4-1 on Penalties)

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    Champions League Semi-Final, Second Leg

    Daniel Agger's early goal cancelled out the 1-0 lead Chelsea held from the away leg as Rafa Benitez squared off against Jose Mourinho once again—and won.

    The match went to penalties, with Dirk Kuyt hitting the winning penalty after Pepe Reina had saved from Arjen Robben and Geremi.

    Liverpool reached the final in Athens, only to be defeated as AC Milan got revenge for Istanbul.

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Pennant (Alonso 78), Gerrard, Mascherano (Fowler 118), Zenden, Kuyt, Crouch (Bellamy 106).

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