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It has been called one of the greatest nights in European football history. Liverpool’s dramatic comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the second half of the Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005 was a fitting end between two of Europe’s most storied sides.

One can only hope that Wednesday’s rematch in Athens provides the same intrigue as two years ago.

With a win, Liverpool can match Milan’s six triumphs in the competition, while Milan is eager to make amends for its penalty shootout heartbreak.

Both sides have made remarkable, and surprising runs to the final. Neither side had a good domestic campaign. Liverpool finished third in the English Premier League, a full 15 points behind second place Chelsea. It also was bounced early in the FA Cup and Carling Cup. Milan entered the Serie A season docked eight points because of Italy’s match-fixing scandal. While Milan battled to finish fourth it was never in contention for the Scudetto.

With their domestic struggles, both sides have been free to concentrate on Champions League play and the results have been stunning. Milan dispatched a seemingly invincible Manchester United side in the semifinals, while Liverpool took out Barcelona and Chelsea in the competition.

Milan has ridden the play of Brazilian playmaker Kaka, who is leading the competition in goals, while Liverpool has again been anchored by its favorite son, Steven Gerrard, who always seems to rise on the biggest the stage.

Fans of the game can only hope the sequel in Athens plays out as superbly as the original.


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