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UEFA Champions League Final in Athens > Liverpool vs. AC Milan May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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The last time Liverpool and A.C. Milan squared off, the soccer world was blessed with one of the best matches ever played. Soccer fans will be hoping for an encore of that match when the two teams clash again on May 23 in the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece.

This game is a rematch of the 2005 Champions League final, which Liverpool won on penalty kicks. That UEFA game is remembered by anyone who saw it because Liverpool staged an amazing comeback in the second half after falling behind 3-0. Liverpool scored three dramatic goals in a six-minute span and topped A.C. Milan 3-2 on penalties, with Smicer netting the game-winner.

A.C. Milan enters the rematch as a slight favorite after a mediocre season in the Italian Serie A. They finished in fourth place, 32 points back of first-place Inter Milan, due in part to a point deduction instituted because of match fixing. The player to watch for A.C. Milan is Kaka. The Brazilian striker scored 18 goals in 45 games this season and is the leading goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 10. Other dangerous players on A.C. Milan include striker Alberto Gilardino and Gennaro Gattuso, who is the leader of the team both on and off the field. Milan last won the Champions League back in 2003, when they defeated Juventus on penalty kicks after going scoreless in regulation and extra time.

Liverpool pulled off a big upset over Chelsea in the Champions League semis, which is exactly what they did two years ago when they won it all. Liverpool had a somewhat disappointing season in the English Premiership where they finished the season in third place, 21 points back of Manchester United. Liverpool’s top player this season has been the towering 6-foot-7 striker Peter Crouch, who scored 19 goals during the season including a team-high six in the Champions League. Steven Gerrard is also a scoring threat whenever he has the ball, while A.C. Milan will also be looking to stop Dirk Kuiyt and Xabi Alonso.

With no World Cup or Euro tournament this year, many soccer fans are calling this game the match of the season. If Liverpool and A.C. Milan can deliver even half the drama that the 2005 final presented, soccer fans and bettors alike should not be disappointed.

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