Seven years have gone past in a blink. Everything has changed so fast. The mighty giants have become the minnows, the team of greats has become the team of fallen heroes. For the newer generation of football fans, I must say that the scoreline (Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid) is not a bluff, it really happened. No one in the Kop could believe what they saw in front of their eyes, might be the best of the best of Liverpool – the creme de la creme.
Liverpool just beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Bernabeu a few days back and everyone was saying that it was a fluke. Everyone was telling that Real Madrid would take the revenge by thrashing them in front of the Kop by breaking their heart. But what they did forget was that, they were up against Liverpool, the best English side to play in Europe. They did not realize that Champions League night at Anfield is different. A different passion grows under the floodlights, a unprecedented zeal surges in front of the one of the best crowds.
Pepe Reina did mention about Iker Casillas and also mentioned that Iker was going to be immense in this fixture. Without any doubt he was, else Real Madrid would have easily conceded few more. Steven Gerrard always comes up with something special in the knockouts and with him he got a new Fernando Torres who was looking forward to prove himself as the best of Spain against the best of Spain under the bar.
Real Madrid could not believe the hostile welcome they got and Liverpool caught them off guards. But, it was hard to get past Iker Casillas. But Torres pushed hard and found the back of the net with ease and a little bit of aggression. With 3 goals needed to go to the next round, Real Madrid went out all guns blazing, but Liverpool replied in counter attacks. In one such attack Heinze gave a hand ball in the penalty area. Without any doubt the flag went up and Stevie G stepped up to seal the deal.
There was pin drop silence. Stevie looked up, spotted the ball and smashed one in the corner. The crowd got mad and to tell the truth Casillas could not have done better. He saved two long rangers from Mascherano, otherwise it could have ended in the first half.
In the second half, it was all Liverpool attacking the Kop end. When the attacks dried up, Benitez pulled his ace. Ryan Babel was asked to go all out. He sped past a white shirt, put a decent cross and with the sweetest touch of the gifted right foot Steven Gerrard produced the most picturesque moment. The celebration after that goal can be found in the desktop of every Liverpool supporter.
All is well when it ends well. Andrea Dossena slotted a fourth to complete the embarrassment. No one remembers Dossena that much apart from his goals against Manchester United and Real Madrid. The scoreline read and thus ended one of the most beautiful European nights of Anfield.
The time has changed very quickly. Last seasoned Madrid came to Anfield and scored 3. That kind of victory does not come very often. But, when it comes it becomes a legendary night, a story to tell to the many generations to come.
Highlights of Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid :
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