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On this day: Milan fumble in Istanbul


On this day in 2005, Milan botched a 3-0 lead against Liverpool and ended up losing the Champions League Final on penalties.

Carlo Ancelotti recently claimed the Milan team who lined up in Istanbul were superior to those he led to victory in 2003 and 2007.

Nevertheless, today is the 15th anniversary of that match, when the Rossoneri were up 3-0 at half-time yet self-destructed in six minutes, eventually losing the Final on penalties.

Paolo Maldini scored after just 40 seconds to send the favourites ahead, before Hernan Crespo made it three through a brace before the break.

The Rossoneri seemed to be cruising to their seventh European Cup, until Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso all scored in a six-minute, second-half salvo to draw Liverpool level.

The fixture is also remembered for an incredible double save from Jerzy Dudek, when Andriy Shevchenko had the opportunity to kill the game off in extra-time.

The Polish goalkeeper went on to dance between his posts during the penalty shootout, claiming he ‘put pressure’ on Milan’s takers by doing so.

It worked and Maldini admitted ‘it took me years to watch that Final again’ in an interview with DAZN last year.

“We were 3-0 up, I scored after 40 seconds, we dominated for 110 minutes out of 120, but were still unable to win. It reminds me of how strange football can be,” the former captain said.

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