On this day in 2007 Liverpool beat Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp.
Quite a hurdle to overcome in just the first knockout round of the Champions League, Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool faced a daunting task in overcoming reigning champions Barcelona. The first leg of the tie was to be played at the Nou Camp, a place where only one English team has ever claimed victory (that team being Liverpool in the 1976 UEFA Cup).
It was Barcelona who opened the scoring as former-Porto man Deco headed home from a pin-point accurate Gianluca Zambrotta cross. At 1-0 Liverpool managed to dig deep and weather the attacking prowess of Ronaldinho, Messi, Xavi et al. The second goal of the match came at the away end as Welsh forward Craig Bellamy met Steve Finnan’s cross with his head. Victor Valdes pushed the ball over the goal line and back into play only for Dirk Kuyt the hammer the ball in, ensuring the goal counted. The Reds, donning their white and green alternate kit, took the lead in the second half, former-Barca man Pepe Reina held a Javier Saviola shot an launched a counter attack that culminated in Bellamy teeing up Norwegian full back John Arne Riise. Riise let fly from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot, finding the roof of the net and sending Liverpool fans into hysterics. The match ended 2-1 and the Reds took a crucial win and two away goals into the return leg, set to be played at Anfield in a fortnights time.