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Top 5 Champions League finals: Solskjaer’s strike and Liverpool miracle

Dave Burin | 24 May 2018

Klopp’s men face Real Madrid on Saturday

Saturday sees two of Europe’s biggest and most storied clubs do battle for the Champions League trophy.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been the great entertainers this season, while Real Madrid have their eyes on a third successive UCL title.

Ahead of what promises to be a thrilling fixture in Kiev, the Coral News Team head down memory lane to look back at five great finals of yore…

AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona (1994)

After a shock defeat to Olympique Marseille in the 1993 final, many expected I Rossoneri to struggle against a vintage Barca side. Winners in 1992, they boasted the likes of Hristo Stoichkov and Romario.

But Fabio Capello’s Milan were ruthlessly dominant. A defensive error led to Daniele Massaro’s opener on 22 minutes, before the 32-year-old doubled the lead with a sweet strike just before half-time.

A spectacular lob from Dejan Savicevic put the game to bed just after the interval. And the memory of ’93 was truly wiped out when Marcel Desailly – a summer signing from Marseille – fittingly made it 4-0.

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus (1997)

Speaking years later, final hero Karl-Heinz Riedle said “the bookies gave us about a 1% chance of winning”. In short, Dortmund were serious underdogs against a Juve side who’d just won Serie A.

BVB had to survive early pressure, with Christian Vieri screwing a gilt-edged chance wide. But a fantastic piece of control and a smart finish saw Riedle open the scoring just before the half-hour mark.

Riedle then made it 2-0 on 34 minutes, sending half of Munich’s Olympic Stadium wild. A neat Alessandro Del Piero flick re-ignited Juve hopes after the break, only for hometown hero Lars Ricken to make it 3-1. Dortmund were champions of Europe for the first time.

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich (1999)

In an era where United were synonymous with dramatic comebacks, this was the finest of the lot.

Having already lifted the Premier League and FA Cup, United’s treble hopes took a hit when Mario Basler’s sixth-minute free-kick broke the deadlock. And Bayern continued to press, with Mehmet Scholl hitting the post.

But United held firm, and finally showed their clinical edge. In the 91st minute, Teddy Sheringham turned a Ryan Giggs strike into the net. And two minutes later, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prodded home from a corner to seal an unforgettable victory.

Liverpool (p) 3-3 AC Milan (2005)

‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ was a breathtaking night in Liverpool FC history. But at 3-0 down at half-time in Ataturk Olympic Stadium, continental glory seemed impossible.

The talismanic Steven Gerrard started the fightback on 54 minutes with a bullet header. Two minutes later, it was 3-2 as substitute Vladimir Smicer netted from range. And on 60 minutes Xabi Alonso produced a leveller.

Then the goals stopped. A nervy hour passed, with extra-time ending 3-3. Penalties were needed to settle it. Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek was the hero with two decisive saves. The trophy was Liverpool’s.

Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United (2011)

Pep Guardiola’s Barca produced a masterclass in 2011, with their tiki-taka football too much for United to handle. Pedro’s neat opener gave the Spaniards the upper hand, only for a fine Wayne Rooney strike to level things before the break.

But Barca’s dominance showed after the break. Lionel Messi’s fine solo goal made it 2-1 on 54 minutes. David Villa killed the game off 15 minutes later, to confirm a second UCL crown in three seasons for the Catalan club.

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