During CBS Sport’s Champions League coverage on Tuesday night, Jamie Carragher and Andriy Shevchenko engaged in a fascinating discussion.
They reflected on their clash in Istanbul during the 2005 final, picking apart some of the key moments from one of football’s greatest-ever games.
Shevchenko offered his thoughts from an AC Milan perspective, while Carragher provided insights from a Liverpool point of view.
And with Shevchenko’s former side triumphing over Napoli in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition last night, they could well be making the trip back to Istanbul for this year’s final.
The clip begins with the players reflecting on their attitudes before the match.
While Milan came into this tie having won the tournament just two years ago, Liverpool had not tasted success in European football’s top competition for some time, with their last European Cup final appearance coming in 1985.
And speaking about the emotions within the dressing room, Carragher said he was just glad to be there.
“The mood for us I think was different to AC Milan because we were just excited to be there,” the ex-Reds’ centre-back said.
“You look at the players coming out [Paolo] Maldini, Cafu, [Clarence] Seedorf, [Gennaro] Gattuso’s there, [Andrea] Pirlo.
As the highlights move away from the team line-ups, Carragher reflects on Liverpool’s start to the game, asking Shevchenko if Milan’s first goal from Maldini had been rehearsed at all.
“Obviously we did the correct preparation,” the attacker said. “And this was one of the moments when we were doing something that we had been preparing.
“Jaap Stam and Kaka open this space and Paulo comes from behind.”
Carragher then highlights the movement of the Ukrainian, Hernan Crespo, and Kaka, who all proved to be a nightmare in the opening 45 minutes and especially for the second goal.
“This was a classic moment that we’d been preparing,” Shevchenko explains. “I drop a little bit, Kaka can cover the space running with the ball faster than anyone else.
“And this moment, Crespo does a very good move, it opens space for me.”
Everything changes at half time
Crespo then went on to score another and put Milan 3-0 up before the break, but everything changed in the second half.
And Carragher just had to ask Shevchenko what was said in the Milan dressing room.
“His [Ancelotti’s] instruction was we carry on playing in the same way,” he said. “It was a good atmosphere inside, nobody got excited, we knew we were facing a very good team and we knew the quality of this team.
“And English teams always believe. Every time when you play against teams from England, especially Liverpool, you know at any moment if you lose attention the team can come back.”
Which is exactly what ended up happening anyway.
Liverpool shifted to three at the back to try and work themselves back into the game, with Dietmar Hamann coming on for the Reds to deal with Kaka.
Gerrard then got the first back, but Carragher said he always paid attention to Kaka putting his shinpads in for Liverpool’s second goal, which allowed the ball to come centrally to Vladimír Šmicer who struck from distance.
“I always say when this goal went in, that’s when I started to believe that we would get back into the game,” Carragher said.
But even once Xabi Alonso got them back on level terms five minutes later, Shevchenko and Milan were not worried.
“Obviously we were disappointed, but after that we continued to play a great game,” he said.
“We created so many chances and we believed we can turn this game and we can win.
“But this is the beauty of football, anything can happen, I think that you deserve it probably because you believed more than us.”
A final breakdown before the penalties involved a huge block from Carragher when the ball was cut back inside the Liverpool box.
“I’m absolutely shattered,” he says. “The reason I speak about that is you just have to throw your body in front of it.”
They then swiftly move on to the final chance Shevchenko had which Jerzy Dudek superbly saved, with Carragher asking if he thought he’d won the Champions League with that shot.
“At that moment I didn’t think anything, I just tried to do the best that I can,” he replies.
“It was a good header from me, the ball comes back, I tried to hit the ball, but it hits the arms of Dudek and goes over.”
Watch: Carragher and Shevchenko break down the 2005 Champions League final
Analysis of @LFC @acmilan from Istanbul 2005 with the Legend @jksheva7 #ChampionsLeague#Milan #LFC
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 18, 2023
That would prove to be decisive, with Shevchenko then going on to miss the all-important spot-kick that handed Liverpool the trophy.