Luis Garcia vs Juventus: the Champions League’s greatest forgotten goal

Adam Brown

The Champions League often creates unforgettable moments, from Zinedine Zidane’s volley to the heroic comebacks of both Liverpool and Manchester United. But one goal in particular from Liverpool’s 2005 success not been given enough spotlight.

Of course, everyone can remember Steven Gerrard’s influence in the 2004/05 campaign. A crucial goal against Olympiakos, followed by a true captain’s performance in the final. However, there is one man that is deserving of more acclaim, it’s no surprise that Liverpool fans still sing his name today: Luis Garcia.

As well as three goals over both legs against Bayer Leverkusen and a sublime finish against Chelsea in the semi, it is the Spaniard’s goal in the quarter-final against Juventus which will be remembered forever by Liverpool fans.

What is even better about this goal is the expected outcome from the game. Liverpool were performing disappointingly in the league which lead to an eventual 5th place finish. While by no means underdogs to the level of Leicester City last season, no one was expecting Rafael Benitez to be able to guide Liverpool past Juventus; a team who were still destroying the Serie A over a decade ago.

Sami Hyypia had provided Liverpool with a 1-0 lead with a calm finish at the back post – assisted by the man who would soon score the best goal of his career.

The best aspect of the goal was how unexpected it was; it was instinctive, out of the blue. For many players, an outside of the foot volley would end up in row z or out for a throw in, such technique requires no errors – and the former Barcelona player caught the ball perfectly.

Some managers would probably have preferred to park the bus and counter attack with a 1-0 lead (much like Mourinho against Ajax’s U21s) – but playing conservative can only win you so many games at the highest level, the best teams always look to outplay their opponents with the ball. While some have criticised Benitez for his strictness, he was able to inspire his players – create a form of self-belief which undoubtedly resulted in creating so many memorable moments during his time at Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard’s goal against Olympiakos was great, but it doesn’t deserve more spotlight than Luis Garcia’s. The Spanish number 10 produced moments of magic in so many important games for Liverpool; moments where countless ‘top players’ can go missing.

Despite the questions over whether Garcia’s goal crossed the line against Chelsea in the semi-final, the quality of the Spanish maestro’s strike against Juventus should be in universal agreement with the football world as one of the Champions League’s greatest ever goals in history.

Some fans are often tired over punditry which hypes up Anfield as a place for magical moments – those special games which will be remembered. While it’s okay to be critical over repetitive punditry, people are simply excited by games which take place in Merseyside. You don’t need to look back far either; everyone can remember the Europa League semi-final between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.

The Reds are no strangers to memorable football moments, which is why Jurgen Klopp’s success this season in securing a top four finish should be exciting for all football fans. A much more entertaining side to watch than Jose Mourinho’s boring methods which will be exploited at the highest level.

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