17 Aug 2011

GERRARD vs. SMICER: Whose goal was more important in the 2005 CL final?

At 3-0 down in the legendary 2005 Cl final against AC Milan, things were looking extraordinarily bleak for Liverpool. Somehow, the players found the self-belief, energy and confidence to take control of the game and bring things level, but was it Steven Gerrard's goal or Vladimir Smicer's goal that had the biggest galvanising effect on the players?

Gerrard got Liverpool back into the game with his sublime header, which was obviously a massive boost. However, at that stage, it was still only 3-1, and there was still a mountain to climb. At the time (whilst watching the game), I was not really convinced that Liverpool could go on and equalise, let alone win the game.

Then, Smicer scored a brilliant goal basically out of nothing, and suddenly it was 3-2. At that point, my excitement and expectation went through the roof: only 1 goal in it now! The barrier was no longer insurmountable, and like most fans, I had real belief that Liverpool could go on and equalise, and possibly even win the game.

The popular view seems to be that Gerrard's goal was the all-important turning point for Liverpool on the night, but I would argue that Smicer's goal was more important, and gave the players the extra bit of confidence and self-belief needed to push on and really take control of the game.

Additionally, Smicer basically created his goal out of nothing; I don't think anyone seriously expected him to score when he took the shot. Conversely, Gerrard was just outside the 6 yard box when he latched onto John Arne Riise's sublime cross, so the possibility of a goal was higher.

Obviously, Gerrard's superb contribution to the game overall is clearly superior to that of Smicer, but in my view, the Czech's goal was the turning point for Liverpool, and was more important to confidence and belief of the team.

What do you think?

I know I'm six years late in asking this question but better late than never...

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Agreed on that one - my dad was saying "here we go again what can Smicer do here....NOTHING!!!" then he scored and thats what convinced us too hehe

  2. I think they're all as important as each other - we needed three goals, so therefore all three are as important as each other ;)

    You could argue that Smicer's goal wouldn't have come without Gerrards first. The way Gerrard waves his arms after he scores, encouraging the fans and players to believe and give more, still makes my hairs stand on end when I watch it today.

    Although Smicer's goal was arguably the more unlikely (for the reasons you've described) I don't think that makes it more important.

  3. Alonso's was the most important goal . . . obviously

  4. I think you're an idiot Kanwar! You're nothing but a lying scumbag hypocrite who just wants his name known online. What happened to this site 'never having adverts' or your donation to the HJC? What about having no time for modern day football as you're so disillusioned with it despite having never played the game at any level?


  5. ?! But it was a good laugh though :P

  6. I agree - Gerrard's goal provided the initial momentum, and his exhorting of the players and fans to try harder was great.  I still think Smicer's goal was more important though when it comes to making the psychological leap needed to start believing the game was salvageable.  3-1 is still a mountain to climb; 3-2 and you're almost there.

    But you're right though, ultimately, all three goals are important in the grand scheme of things.

  7. I remember after Dudek's point blank save in extra time (from Shevchenko) thinking that there is no way we're losing this final now! I don't remember thinking that after any of the goals.

  8. <p>Why?  Liverpool didn't go on to score further goals after the penalty so it's not like that goal galvanised the team to go on and win the game in normal time. When Smicer scored, Liverpool were 3-1 down and goals were absolutely necessary or the game was lost.

  9. Which side of a coin is more important - heads or tails?

  10. Gerrard gave us hope.

    Smicer gave us belief.

  11. Well put :-) Question is, what's more important: hope or belief?

  12. Stevie G, Walton6:38 pm, August 17, 2011

    Both goals were equally important. Gerrard's goal gave Liverpool some respectability and hope. Smicer's goal frankly meant "Game On". Gerrard's goal was the equivalent of a Boxer getting off the floor after a gut-wrenching punch. Smicer's was a Right Hook that put the opponent on the ropes!! I would not like to pick what was the most important but I was glad for Vladi because he had not had the best career at Liverpool despite the fact he was definitely talented. It meant he left on a high-note and was written into Liverpool legend and fokelore.

  13. Without hope there can be no belief! :)

  14. Smicer's without a doubt, Gerrard's goal just looked like a consolation goal, if Smicer doesn't score, the game probably peters out to a 3-1 defeat.

    I think belief is always far more important than hope and teams and individuals can do almost anything when they have belief. It takes belief to get people to put in that extra 10% of effort.

  15. gerrards goal was the turning point needed to get one quick after the break to give us hope,, i remember everytime the ball or an ac milan player went near jimi taore i was shitting myself,,,and good old harry kewell turned up fit for a medal,,,,

  16. Shah From London1:50 am, August 18, 2011

    And Alonso goal give every Liverpool player hope and believe to win it

  17. BEWARE: Jamie kanwar is a troll !!6:01 am, August 18, 2011

    Just when we thought this Jamie kanwar had gone and hidden under stone...

    Strange how when kenny back and things were looking great you disappeared now that things arnt as rosy your back.....

    Don't worry we all know what your about! You dont support LFC!

    Watch out for this troll he's a Manc lover and when Rafa was manager on his FB page him and his fellow mancs were cussing our then manager.

    Even if one person gets to see this before your delete it il be happy you sad excuse of person

  18. Just because Jaimie felt that Rafa was not the right man for the job, that makes him a manc?

    What about all the other LFC fans who also felt that Rafa's time was up, I guess that also make them mancs?

    There was a massive devide between LFC fans over the last 3 years of Rafa's reign so what makes the fans who wanted to keep Rafa so special? It was always about calling the fans who could see further than their noses mancs but the fact of the matter is that the issue has been settled and we have moved on from Rafa for the better of the club. :)

  19. Firstly I feel very happy about writing again on your blog, Jamie: in my view Liverpool-kop.com is the most complete Liverpool fans blog.
    Regarding to the thread, I firmly believe that Gerrard's score, our first point in Istanbul, was vital to restore our self confidence and gave us a boost in terms of self belief.
    Our final really started against Gerro's score, as Milan's nightmare began.

  20. Im not sure how many fans wnated Rafa to live in his 2nd last year when we were thrashing Madrid, Utd etc

  21. There was no massive divide for the last 3 years of Rafa's reign. I don't think many fans wanted him to leave during his 2nd last year when wer were thrashing Madrid, Utd etc and we were the highest scoring team in the league

  22. Rafa's second last year proved that he was not able to deliver the title. and believe you me, many of us fans wanted him gone the season before the 08/09 season started.

    Thrashing Madrid and being the highest scorers in the League means bugger all if you have not finished 1st Arebee. Do you not understand that simple fact? UTD scored less goals than us but guess what happened?

                                   P    W  D   L    F    A     PT

    Manchester United 3828 6  4  68 24    90  THE CHAMPIONS   2Liverpool              3825 11 2  77 27   86  WE GOT A PAT ON THE BACK    

  23. Here we go again, do you not have any toys to go and play with?

  24. What about the 3rd?

    Some bottle by Alonso to take the penalty and in his words, he never moved as fast to bury rebound

    On a controversial note, nice dive by Stevie to earn the penalty :)

    Ref shoulda red carded Gatusso once he gave the pen

  25. Surely as a manc jamie would have wanted rafa to stay, as our results has turned sour under him :-P

  26. <span>

    To be fair, Rafa was a bit too cautious in his tactics...

    Example...2008 December away to Arsenal, score was 1-1, 2nd half Adebayor got sent off, with half an hour more to play and what did Rafa do? Nothing...he didn't put an extra striker on to kill off the game...in fact towards the end, he actually took Keane off for that useless El Zhar...

    Fast forward 2011...today, away to Arsenal, and again they got a player sent off, although to be fair, KD would have brought on Suarez anyway with or without the sending off...and we won 2-0...

    now we have more depth in the bench and quality players, during Rafa time, most of the players on the bench are somewhat rubbish...

  27. Benitez did a good job for the club. Had he been a bit more attacking, we probably would have won the league after losing only twice all season.

    The fact that Benitez was working under such difficult circumstances financially would not have helped. He could not afford to make any mistakes in the transfer market. Unfortunately, his last major signing, Aquilani, was a very bad one, considering we needed someone fit and ready to play. And whoever was responsible for us losing 8 million on Robbie Keane in 6 months ought to have been sacked. Whether it was all Benitez's doing or not, it was an awful piece of business by the club. Those two signings ensured the club lost all momentum when we should have been challenging for the title.

    But, to his credit, no one has ever got Torres to perform as well as he did and we probably lost Mascherano as a result of sacking him.

  28. The first goal got the team up and running after Milan had looked imperious throughout the first half.

    Funny enough, for the final few minutes of half time and the beginning of the second half I had been attempting to convince everybody to everybody about how all we need is one goal to put some uncertainty in the opposition, as they wouldn't know whether to continue attacking or sit back on what they had at the time (atfer spending the first 10 mins of half time cursing. Everybody thought I was chatting ish because my argument at the time was based around me playing a game of Football Manager and going up 3-0 early on against Arsenal before they pulled one back from a set piece, and left me indecisive about whether to try to reestablish the 3-0 goal lead or continue to play it safe.

    So all in all, the first goal was the most important imo

  29. reading between the lined clearly shows that you believe smicer's goal was more important.. and thats y the article has been written. there's no point of arguing which goal was more important.. alonso's goal was as important as both of the first goals.. as was jerzy dudek double save in extra time