Ranked! Liverpool’s 10 best European nights at Anfield since the 1990s
6. Liverpool 2-0 Roma (Champions League group stage, 2002)
With a UEFA Cup in the bag, Houllier set about the Champions League the following season. Having been stricken with a heart problem in October 2001, it was a crucial game against Roma when the Frenchman returned to the dugout and inspired victory.
This was a time when the Champions League consisted of two group stages and Liverpool had to beat Fabio Capello’s side by two goals to progress to their first European Cup quarter-final since 1985. Goals from Jari Litmanen and Emile Heskey did the trick, while some bloke in the Kop was jumping around with his crutches in the air.
5. Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (Champions League quarter-final, 2008)
After a 1-1 draw at the Emirates, this all-English quarter-final was finely poised. Certainly, few predicted the goalfest that was to come. The visitors took an early lead through Abou Diaby but Liverpool hit back via Sami Hyypia and Fernando Torres, leaving Benitez’s side set to secure a third Champions League semi-final in three years.
However, late sub Theo Walcott set off on a mazy run that set up Emmanuel Adebayor to score with six minutes remaining, putting Arsene Wenger’s side ahead on away goals. Two minutes later, Steven Gerrard dispatched a penalty, and – with Arsenal pushing for an equaliser – the Reds broke and Ryan Babel hit a fourth to push Benitez’s side through 5-3 on aggregate.
4. Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (Champions League semi-final, 2007)
Any semi-final that sees your team progress to the final will be long remembered, although ones where the final results in defeat are inevitably less memorable. Nonetheless, the manner of Liverpool’s semi-final win in 2007 - at the height of the Benitez vs Mourinho rivalry - makes it an incredible night in Anfield’s modern history.
An early goal from Daniel Agger put Liverpool ahead and level on aggregate, with the game eventually going to penalties. This was the night that saw Rafa sat cross-legged on the touchline as his players dispatched four perfect spot-kicks and Pepe Reina saved from Arjen Robben and Geremi.
“I can still hear the noise in the stadium after slotting the ball home,” Dirk Kuyt told FourFourTwo, 10 years later on.