It’s the 25th of May 2005. Istanbul is about to stand witness to one of the craziest roller coaster rides in the history of European football. By the end of the first half, Liverpool find themselves 3-0 down. They thought it was all over. But it wasn’t. If there’s one thing Liverpool are known for, it’s hope.
Courtesy of a man of the match performance by Liverpool’s Man Friday, Steven Gerrard, Liverpool clawed their way back into the game. A fifth European title, which seemed like a distant possibility in the first half now seems anything but.
The match went into extra time, then penalties. Liverpool and AC Milan had both won their last European cups after winning penalty shoot-outs. It’s anyone’s game now. But as Andriy Shevchenko squares up to Jerzy Dudek, there is a sparkle in the eyes of the Polish keeper. Shevchenko shoots straight down the middle, Dudek dives down to his right. Everything stops. Time slows down. Shevchenko thinks he’s won it. But Dudek saves with his left hand. Liverpool have now won their fifth European Cup.
The match will forever be referred to as the “Miracle of Istanbul”. Was it really a miracle, though? Adrian Durham certainly seems to think so –
“Liverpool are always, always lucky! Arsenal have got a harder draw.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 15, 2019
“Liverpool are always, always lucky”, he says. “In Istanbul, it was all about pure luck”, he says. He even goes so far as to say that Liverpool were riding their luck against European giants Bayern Munich in the previous round this year.
The moment he said this, there were tongues of fire emanating from the eyes of every Liverpool fan on the planet. In his two minute rant, Durham went on to say that Liverpool were “lucky” in last year’s run up to the Champions League final and were once again lucky to draw Porto in the quarter-finals.
Liverpool fans are not known for shying away from critics. Twitter was abuzz with criticism against the talkSPORT journo, with Liverpool fans labeling the rant as “disrespectful” towards both clubs, especially Porto.
UCL Final 8 ranked based on average opponent difficulty (group and knockout) based on UEFA club coefficients. Lower number = tougher opposition.
Arsenal's UEL average: 85.4 https://t.co/nBxcNIDCAR
— Alex Mansfield (@el_mansfield) March 16, 2019
— Kogan Nagan (@kogan_carter) March 16, 2019
What is he saying. PSG, Napoli,and Bayern all down to luck. Is he serious ? Who gave him a microphone to spout such nonsense. Arsenal got a harder draw because we eliminated Napoli from the group of death.@LFC https://t.co/3ytHpchYkE
— Chernor Bah (@khazalieu) March 16, 2019
Completely agree mate, you know… Not like we're competing with a team that's broke FFP to build the most elite SQUAD in my lifetime in Man City, but yeah don't worry mate were lucky, and yeah we're incredibly lucky in Istanbul when 2 of our goals were quality. #Wanker https://t.co/Qui0INKXhR
— Liam Smith 🔴 (@LiamsmithYNWA) March 16, 2019
When a team beats Napoli, PSG and bayern to go into the last 8 of a #ChampionsLeague campaign, they should be in the running to win the competition that year..
So talksport, which is funded by Manchester, can shut up..thanks#Liverpool #LFC https://t.co/1E1d3S0zRb
— Mizgan (@mizgans) March 16, 2019
One thing is for certain. Adrian Durham will forever have to tread lightly in the city of Liverpool. But maybe Lady Luck will come around and save him. After all, Liverpool are known to have a string of luck, don’t they, Mr. Durham?