Article by James Miller (@JamesMillerNews)
With the current stars away on International duty, Liverpool Football Club took the opportunity to join forces with AC Milan and provide fans at Anfield the opportunity to help charity, whilst watching legends lace up their boots once more.
After coming back from a two-goal deficit, the legendary array of talent AC Milan boasted thought they had done enough to leave Merseyside with a draw but for Steven Gerrard rolling back the years… it may have been!
AC Milan were arguably the better side in the opening exchanges of the match. However, the hosts led the tie at half-time courtesy of a goal from Robbie Fowler. Having started his career with the Reds in 1993, Fowler scored a magnificent 120 goals in 236 games during his first spell at the
club before moving on to join Leeds United, in 2001. It was back to business though on his return as the Englishman tucked a lovely volley into the bottom corner of the net.
A second half which saw Liverpool attacking towards the Kop end soon provided a second goal. Sir Kenny Dalglish’s men doubled their lead; Djibril Cisse, a late substitute from that night in Istanbul with the finish.
Down but not out!
In a game played with plenty of enjoyment and respect from both sides, still neither side wanted to lose. A competitive sport, with a competitive edge! AC Milan and Italy hero, Andrea Pirlo gave the Rossoneri hope. A man retired but still maintaining his unquestioned quality, Pirlo bent a beautiful free-kick into the corner past the Liverpool wall. The magician’s magic for Milan seemed to springboard the visitors as they went on to level the scoring. All square, thanks to a delightful Giuseppe Pancaro finish.
All square and all ready to go home, until the man with the armband on once again, Gerrard found himself in space. In the dying moments of what was a quality event, Gerrard, shuffled away from the defenders before driving a low effort past the helpless goalkeeper into the far corner. A trademark effort. It could only have been him, couldn’t it?
Over 50,000 tickets were bought by fans who saw an amazing match unfold. Although, let us not forget the amazing cause of which the game was arranged to try support. The Liverpool Football Club foundation will be using funds raised to help grant opportunities to less fortunate young people and children. A truly wonderful gesture.
Preparation and planning were outstanding for the event and allowed a crop of past talent from both clubs to take centre stage for the afternoon.
Liverpool welcomed back to Anfield:
Jerzy Dudek, Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Daniel Agger, Alan Kennedy, Steven Gerrard, Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Luis Garcia, Robbie Fowler, Dirk Kuyt, Steve McManaman, John Aldridge, Michael Owen, Djibril Cisse, Sander Westerveld, Jason McAteer, Djimi Traore, Patrik Berger
Salif Diao and Vladmir Smicer.
AC Milan Glorie brought a selection of:
Dida, Massimo Ambrosini, Cafu, Alessandro Costacurta, Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi, Kaka, Kakha Kaladze, Andrea Pirlo, Rui Costa, Serginho, Christian Abbiati, Marco Boriello, Benito Carbone, Giuseppe Favalli, Valerio Fiori, Digao, Paolo Maldini, Massimo Oddo, Guiseppe Pancaro and Dario Simic.
Once the match had finished, a few of the players gave their thoughts on the afternoon. One man most people will have been eager to hear from, Gerrard, spoke to Liverpool Football Club. He said:
“It’s always a special time to come to Anfield, especially when it’s full and to put the kit on again.”
Former Ballon D’or winner Kaka, also passed comment on what was a pleasing game. Speaking with AC Milan, he said:
“A truly beautiful game, being able to see my teammates again in this sold out stadium gives me a fantastic feeling.”