Sunday, June 27, 2010

Defining moment, most definitely.

England 5-1 Germany - How Liverpool FC defeated the old rivals
by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Echo (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/)
GERMANY 1, LIVERPOOL 5. The headline in the ECHO’s X Sport said it all, for on a night of immense national celebration the pride was only heightened on Merseyside.
Their most glorious international evening since the World Cup win in 1966, England thrashed Germany in September 2001 thanks to three of Anfield’s leading lights.
From Michael Owen’s close range equaliser, cancelling out Carsten Jancker’s sixth minute opener, to Steven Gerrard’s fizzed strike just before half-time to hand them the lead, it was England’s night in the Olympiastadion but one engineered in front of the Kop.
Early second half goals from Owen gave him a momentous hat-trick before clubmate Emile Heskey rammed in the fifth goal to seal a night which has yet to be bettered.
The DVD proved a bestseller and T-shirts with the ECHO headline were worn around the streets of L4; rarely has an England win been met with such acclaim in the region.
“I had said at the beginning of the week that if everyone plays to the best of their ability then we are better than Germany man for man and we have proved it,” offered Gerrard post-match.
“We can’t believe it ended up 5-1 and it’s hard to sink in. I had dreamed of scoring against Germany. In the build-up there is a lot of time to think about things and I wondered what it would feel like to score against them. When it happened I felt like running into the crowd.”
It would of course be the high point of the Sven Goran Eriksson reign as a predictable quarter-final exit at the hands of Brazil at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea followed before another limp effort in Germany four years later.
Gerrard missed the 2002 finals through injury and despite goals from Heskey and Owen along the way, England crashed out with a whimper.
Although an improved showing against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth has given renewed hope the class of 2010 will not follow suit, what coach Fabio Capello would not give for another scintillating goal from now-captain Gerrard or a sterling defensive display from Jamie Carragher who was an 83rd minute substitute on that night in Munich.
Facing the old enemy for a 28th time in Bloemfontein tomorrow afternoon, England supporters can only dream of repeating what went before as they vanquished their greatest rivals with a Red tide.
“This is one of my best moments of my career so far,” said then Anfield hero Owen.
“We had a great season with Liverpool last season and this is another highlight.
“You can dream about scoring a hat-trick but you don’t think it is going to come true. It was unbelievable. To have done it in Germany’s backyard, they don’t get much bigger than this.”
ENGLAND: Seaman (Arsenal), Neville (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Ferdinand (Leeds United), Campbell (Arsenal), Gerrard (Liverpool) (Hargreaves, Bayern Munich 78), Beckham (Manchester United), Scholes (Manchester United) (Carragher, Liverpool 83), Heskey (Liverpool), Owen (Liverpool), Barmby (Liverpool) (McManaman, Real Madrid 65). Subs not used: Southgate, Martyn, Fowler, Andy Cole.

No comments:

Post a Comment