AC Milan lead 1-0 at half time
Milan started to take control in the second half and started to show why they were the pre match favourites. Carragher was booked shortly after the restart for fouling Kaka who was bearing down on goal. Carragher was lucky that Agger was also covering or he might have seen red. Pirlo curled the subsequent free kick harmlessly over the bar.
Liverpool had a great chance in the 63rd minute when Gerrard intercepted a sloppy ball from Gattuso. The Liverpool captain did brilliantly to break down the left of the Milan penalty area. He cut back onto his right foot and tried to place the ball into the far bottom corner of the goal. Dida was equal to it though and produced a fine save and then picked up the ball before Kuyt could convert the rebound.
Liverpool kept looking for the equaliser but struggled to create many clear cut chances. Substitute Harry Kewell laid the ball to Riise who hit another long range drive. He kept the ball down this time but it was well wide of the far post.
The referee got in the way of a Milan break and the ball fell for Gerrard. The England midfield man brought the ball forward and hit a long range shot that fizzed past Dida’s right hand post.
Inzaghi strikes again
With eight minutes to go Carlo Ancelotti’s team doubled their lead. Liverpool backed off Kaka and the Brazilian had far too much time and space. He threaded a beautiful ball into Inzaghi who kept his composure to take the ball around the oncoming Reina and slide into an unguarded net for the second time.
The first goal might have been fortunate but there was nothing lucky about the second. Pure quality from both players. For all Liverpool’s hard work and long range efforts, this was the sort of quality they were missing and that was ultimately the difference between the two sides.
Liverpool showed that they had not lost their spirit of 2005 and continued to try to salvage something from the game. Another shot from outside the box, this time from substitute Peter Crouch forced a good save from Dida who needed to be alert to tip the ball over the bar.
Liverpool pull a goal back
The English side got a deserved consolation goal from the corner. Pennant crossed the ball into the box, it was flicked across goal by Agger and headed in by Kuyt. He grabbed the ball and ran it back to the centre circle. Liverpool thought that just maybe there could be another fantastic comeback.
This year it wasn’t to be and the referee blew for full time shortly after and Milan won their 7th European cup. It was the fifth time that Milan captain Paulo Maldini had won the trophy and midfielder Clarence Seedorf had now won the competition three times with three different clubs. The average age of the Milan starting line up was 31 years and 34 days making them the oldest ever winning finalists.
Milan had more luck and more quality
Goals can change the whole dynamic of a game especially when it is such an important match. Often when the teams are fairly evenly matched the deadlock can only be broken by a moment of brilliance or a large slice of luck. Unfortunately for Liverpool who had plenty of long range efforts in the first half, none of their strikes were deflected goalwards.
Instead it was Milan who had less first half attempts, although critically their shooting was more accurate, who were fortunate to break the deadlock after Pirlo’s free kick deflected off Inzaghi into an empty net. From then it was an uphill battle for Liverpool who failed to repeat their heroics of 2005.