Season 2004-05


The qualifying round for 2004/05 saw many former winners trying to make it through to the group stage. Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester United, Internazionale and Real Madrid all won their ties, but Benfica, despite beating Anderlecht 1-0 in Lisbon, were beaten 3-0 in Brussels and were knocked out. One tie involved two former winners with Red Star Belgrade taking on PSV Eindhoven. Red Star won the first leg 3-2, but PSV stormed back to win the return 5-0 for a 7-3 aggregate win.

PSV Eindhoven v Red Star Belgrade

Group A featured two teams who had lit up the 2004 Champions League, finalists Monaco and semi-finalists Deportivo La Coruna. Sadly Deportivo were unable to approach the standards they had set in 2003/04 as they failed to win a single game and finished well behind the other three sides. Monaco recovered from an opening day defeat to win four of their next five and top the group. This left Liverpool and Olympiakos fighting it out for second place. Liverpool had begun with a 2-0 win at home to Monaco, but had only won one more game before their final group match at home to the Greeks. Thanks to three 1-0 home wins, Olympiakos had only to avoid losing by two goals or more at Anfield to qualify for the next stage. When Rivaldo gave the Greek side a half-time lead they looked on their way through, but an equaliser just after the interval followed by two goals in the last ten minutes gave Liverpool a dramatic victory and saw them through to the knockout stages.

Monaco v Olympiakos/Liverpool v Olympiakos

Following his triumph in leading Porto to their Champions League win, manager Jose Mourinho immediately left for Chelsea who were now owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Chelsea had spent huge amounts of money on players, including several of Porto's European title winning team. It was inevitable, therefore, that Chelsea and Porto would be drawn together in the group stage. Porto started badly, failing to win any of their first four games, including a 3-1 defeat away to Mourinho's Chelsea and only one point from two games against Paris Saint Germain. But a 1-0 win away to CSKA Moscow gave them hope, and in their final game they came from behind to beat any already qualified Chelsea 2-1 and sneak into second place in the group.

Chelsea v Porto/CSKA Moscow v Porto

Roma's campaign was a disaster from the start. Trailing 1-0 at home to Dynamo Kiev in their opening game, they saw referee Anders Frisk hit by an object thrown from the crowd. The game was abandoned and subsequently awarded to Kiev 3-0 and Roma only won one point in the rest of the group. Real Madrid began badly with a 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. The group was decided on the final matchday when Leverkusen's 3-0 win over Kiev saw them top the group and a 3-0 win for Real in Rome saw them scrape into second place.

Roma v Dynamo Kiev/Bayer Leverkusen v Real Madrid

Juventus and Bayern Munich both won their opening two games against Ajax and Maccabi Tel-Aviv and subsequently went on to qualify with ease.

Bayern Munich v Juventus/Ajax v Juventus

Group D opened with a 2-2 draw between Lyon and Manchester United. These two teams went on to dominate the group. Lyon finished top with four wins including a 5-0 victory over Sparta Prague and United, who beat Fenerbahce 6-2, qualified with a game to spare.

Manchester United v Fenerbahce/Fenerbahce v Lyon

PSV Eindhoven lost their opening tie 1-0 away to Arsenal but then won their next three matches and qualified when they drew their return match 1-1 with the Gunners. Arsenal had followed their opening victory with four draws which meant they needed a 5-1 over Rosenborg on the final day to qualify ahead of Panathinaikos

PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal/Arsenal v Rosenborg

Barcelona and Milan both began their group with wins over Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic. When these two giants met each other a single Shevchenko goal gave Milan victory in Italy while a late Ronaldinho winner sealed the return for Barca. Both teams qualified comfortably for the knockout phase.

Milan v Barcelona/Barcelona v Milan

Internazionale went through the group stage unbeaten and subsequently topped Group G. After an opening day defeat to Inter, Werder Bremen then beat both Valencia and Anderlecht home and away to take the runners-up spot.

Internazionale v Werder Bremen/Valencia v Werder Bremen

In the first knockout round there were plenty of big names exiting the competition. Barcelona lost a dramatic tie with Chelsea. Having recovered from 1-0 down to win the first leg 2-1, Barcelona again recovered from 3-0 in the second leg to be 3-2 behind at the interval in London and ahead on away goals. But John Terry's 76th minute header made it 4-2 on the night and 5-4 to Chelsea on aggregate. And Barca were not the only Spanish giant to go out. Real Madrid beat Juventus 1-0 in their home leg and Juve led 1-0 after 90 minutes in the return, but with less than 5 minutes of extra time remaining Zalayeta scored to send Juventus through.

Chelsea v Barcelona/Juventus v Real Madrid

Two big English clubs were also eliminated. Arsenal were well beaten by Bayern 3-1 in Germany and their 1-0 win in the return was not enough to save them. Manchester United also went out as they lost both legs against Milan by one goal to nil.

Bayern Munich v Arsenal/Manchester United v Milan

Both finalists from the previous year went out. Holders Porto drew their first leg at home to Internazionale, but were beaten 3-1 in the return. Monaco lost both games to PSV and were knocked out 3-0 on aggregate.

Monaco v PSV Eindhoven

The other two ties saw comfortable wins for Liverpool, who beat Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 on aggregate, and for Lyon who thumped Werder Bremen 10-2 including a 7-2 second leg thrashing.

Bayer Leverkusen v Liverpool/Lyon v Werder Bremen

The quarter-final draw threw the two Milan giants together. Milan beat Inter 2-0 in the first leg and took a 1-0 lead in the second. During the second half, with Milan well on the way to the semi-final, their goalkeeper Dida was hit by a flare thrown from the crowd and the match was eventually abandoned. UEFA subsequently awarded Milan a 3-0 victory which gave them a 5-0 aggregate win.

Milan v Internazionale

Lyon and PSV Eindhoven fought out two 1-1 draws which meant that the tie was decided by a penalty shootout in Holland. PSV won the penalties 4-2 to reach the semi-finals.

PSV Eindhoven v Lyon

Two English teams also made it through to the last four. Liverpool beat Juventus 2-1 at home and then kept the Italians at bay in a goalless second match. Chelsea beat Bayern 4-2 in London and led the Germans 2-1 late in the game in Munich before two very late goals for Bayern made the scoreline more respectable for the German side, but Chelsea still won 6-5 on aggregate.

Liverpool v Juventus/Chelsea v Bayern Munich

Milan were favourites to reach the final after a 2-0 win over PSV in the San Siro, but PSV led 2-0 in the return before Ambrosini headed home in injury time for the Italians. Even then PSV had time to pull one goal back, but Milan still went through on the away goals rule.

Milan v PSV Eindhoven/PSV Eindhoven v Milan

In the all English semi-final there were few goals but much drama. After a goalless first game in London, Liverpool took an early controversial lead in their home game as Luis Garcia was awarded a goal despite there being some doubt as to whether his shot had crossed the line. Chelsea manager angrily dubbed it the 'Ghost Goal' but as Chelsea were unable to reply it was Liverpool who qualified for the final.

Liverpool v Chelsea

Liverpool had beaten some of Europe's most in form teams to reach the Champions League Final, but their domestic form had been much less impressive, finishing 5th in the Premier League some 37 points behind Chelsea, so winning the final was the only way that they could qualify for the competition again the next season. Milan were overwhelming favourites and looked well on the way to victory when Maldini gave them the lead in the opening minute. When Crespo scored twice before half-time, Milan had what appeared to be an unassailable 3-0 lead at the interval. Between the 54th and the 60th minute however, Liverpool scored three times in an amazing six minute spell thanks to goals from Gerrard, Smicer and Xabi Alonso. There were no more goals in the match and Liverpool completed the most remarkable of comebacks when they won the penalty shootout 3-2. And so, against all the odds, Liverpool won the European Cup for the fifth time.

2005 European Cup Final (Istanbul)
Liverpool 3 Milan 3 (3-2 penalties)
Bayern Munich:
Dudek, Finnan (Hamann), Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Kewell (Smicer), Xabi Alonso, Gerrard, Riise, Luis Garcia, Baros (Cisse)
Scorers: Gerrard, Smicer, Xabi Alonso (penalty scorers: Hamann, Cisse, Smicer)
Milan: Dida, Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini, Seedorf (Serginho), Gattuso (Rui Costa), Pirlo, Kaka, Crespo (Tomasson), Shevchenko
Scorers: Maldini, Crespo (2) (penalty scorers: Tomasson, Kaka)

You can find details of all the results, dates and scorers on the RSSSF website here.

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