On this day in 2008 Liverpool beat Inter Milan 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.
An Inter team full of quality in every department would be Liverpool’s first hurdle in the first knockout stage of the 2007/08 Champions League. Managed by Roberto Mancini, the Italian giants fielded a team featuring the likes of Javier Zanetti, Maicon, Marco Metatazzi, Estaban Cambiasso and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to name but a few. Despite the quality amongst Inter’s rank it would be an equally impressive Liverpool (the previous season’s runners-up) who would take the advantage into the return leg at the San Siro.
The first half was a relatively tame one, especially given the caliber of the two sides competing. The only notable occurrence in the first 45 minutes was the dismissal of Materazzi as the Italian international accumulated two yellow cards. Despite Liverpool’s one-man advantage the second half looked as if it would follow on in the same vein as the first; goalless… That is until Dirk Kuyt netted five minutes from full time. A Jermain Pennant cross from the right wing bypassed Fernando Torres and the Inter defence, making its way to Kuyt and prompting the Dutchman to hit a venomous half-volley into the net from 15 yards. With a 1-0 advantage Liverpool will have fancied their chances travelling to Italy, however Benitez’s men weren’t done yet as Steven Gerrard struck a last-gasp effort from 20 yards, finding the bottom left corner to cap off an immensely satisfying 2-0 win.