Champions League Final 2015
Liverpoo met Manchester United this evening at Olympiastadion, hoping to leave with their 6th European title. Prior to Kick-off, there was some debate over the teams which the sides would field, but it was speculation only, with both teams fielding top-strength sides in their bid to win the trophy.
Valdes, Criscito, Agger, Chiriches, Kelly, Rossiter, Henderson, Lucas, Coutinho, Volland, Suarez
Bench: Reina, Enrique, Ince, Harrison, Sakho, Gerrard, Sturridge
Manchester United XI
De Gea, Rodriguez, Dante, Evans, Rafael, Fellaini, Jones, Kagawa, Mata, Robben, Van Persie
Bench: Henderson, Evra, Kjaer, Cleverley, Rooney, Carrick, Blackett
Liverpool kicked off, and almost immediately, Kevin Volland was through on goal, latching onto a lofted pass from Jordan Rossiter, but he fired the ball straight into the grateful arms of David De Gea.
Only 7 minutes in, and Liverpool had a golden chance to make it 1-0, with Jordan Henderson picking the ball up on the halfway line, before playing it wide to Coutinho, who went past Phil Jones with ease, before returning the ball to Henderson, who moved it forward to Volland on the edge of the United area, who duly threaded a ball through for the onrushing Suarez, but De Gea was quick off his line to bat the ball out of play for a corner.
The two sides continued to exchange chances, with Manchester United's best coming from Shinji Kagawa, who picked up the ball 30 yards out, played a quick 1-2 with Van Persie before breaking through the Liverpool backline, only to drag his shot wide of the target.
Luis Suarez had the Liverpool fans in raptures after 40 minutes, when a Coutinho corner was cleared to the edge of the area, from where Suarez fired a shot high and hard into the top corner of the net, much to the dismay of Dante, who immediately accosted the linesman, claiming that there had been a foul in the box; a claim which replays proved was without merit.
Manchester United came out fighting, and Robben had them level 13 minutes after the re-start, tapping home a rebound after Robin Van Persie's long-range shot was palmed away by Victor Valdes.
Liverpool's second goal wasn't far behind that though, when Evans barged Criscito off the ball in the box, and the stadium erupted in appeals for a penalty....GIVEN! Daniel Agger stepped up to the spot, and steadied himself...the whole arena went silent...Aggers run-up was quick, and concise, and the ball nestled in the back of the net, De Gea sprawling in it's wake; 2-1 Liverpool!
Manchester United's equaliser was contenious, Juan Mata breaking through the Liverpool defence in the 99th minute of normal time, and lifting the ball over Victor Valdes...to extra time it went!
Extra Time was uneventful, with both sets of players cancelling each other out in the middle of the park, and the game continued to penalties...
Manchester United Penalties
Van Persie - Scored
Rodriguez - Scored
Rooney - Scored
Mata - Scored
Cleverley - Scored
Gerrard - Scored
Criscito - Scored
Volland - Scored
Suarez - Scored
Chiriches - Scored
5 Penalties scored each...it all came down to Sudden Death. With Daniel Agger having limped off in the first half of extra time, Liverpool's usual penalty takers had all had their chance, and the remaining players looked shaken...terrified to be asked.
Simon Kjaer stepped up for Manchester United...his run stuttering, his body tense.....SAVED! Victor Valdes was a Liverpool hero!
The Liverpool players looked at each other in terror...who would take the deciding penalty?!
Step Forward, Jordan Rossiter! As one, the stadium held it's breath; the 18 year old Liverpudlian was on European football's biggest stage...having only made 18 appearances all season, and without a goal to his name, he stepped up to the penalty spot to take the kick which could hand Liverpool the Champions League trophy for the 6th time in the club's history.
Staring into the eyes of David De Gea, Rossiter took 3 steps back, and steadied himself, eyes darting from corner to corner. He ran up, shaping himself to go left, and as De Gea flung himself down to meet the ball, Rossiter stopped, and stroked his penalty straight down the middle.
IN! LIVERPOOL ARE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS FOR THE SIXTH TIME!!!!!!