While neither club now holds quite as much weight on the continental stage as they once did, the 2004-05 Champions League final is a steady reminder of what Liverpool and AC Milan fans are hoping to get back to.
Another shock final comeback, another early start to the action.
Within the first minute, Paolo Maldini had become the oldest player ever to score in the Champions League after volleying in an Andrea Pirlo free kick.
Although both teams enjoyed their sample of scoring opportunities, it was Milan that had the better of the chances, even going as far to put the ball past Jerzy Dudek before Andriy Shevchenko was judged to have been offside.
Kaka and Hernan Crespo were proving to be a bane for Liverpool, and in the space of five minutes, the two created two clear-cut chances, with Crespo scoring both.
The cruel fate of Milan tripling their lead just before halftime was enough to despair even the most vigilant of characters, but of course it didn’t end there.
Within 15 minutes of the second half commencing, the English outfit had scratched the Rossoneris off the record, reducing the Italians’ advantage to nothing.
Who else would it have been but team talisman Steven Gerrard, who got his team back into the fixture before first-half substitute Vladimir Šmicer hit one past Dida to make the score 3-2 in Milan’s favour?
Chances continued to arise for the last half hour of regulation time, but both sets of players lost some of their clinical edge while the keepers in both goals gained some.
This stalemate in Istanbul would continue through to extra time, where Jerzy Dudek would again keep his side in the running, while his Liverpool teammates began to feel the fatigue of the 120-minute fracas.
Referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez signalled the end of extra time, meaning the trophy’s next home would be decided by penalty shootout, where Dudek’s talismanic display continued.
The Pole chose to mimic Bruce Grobbelaar’s “spaghetti legs” tactic, forcing Serginho to fire his effort over the bar. After Dietmar Hamann put the Merseysiders ahead, Dudek would continue his dominance by saving Andrea Pirlo’s spot kick, inspiring yet more belief in Liverpool audiences.
Second-half introduction Djibril Cissé doubled Liverpool’s penalty tally, but the result was once again put in doubt after Jon Dahl Tomasson and Kaka scored on either side of a John Arne Riise miss to make the count 2-2.
Šmicer put the Reds back in scoring ways, and it was Andriy Shevchenko who shouldered Milan’s final kick. Despite diving to his right, Dudek stretched out a left hand to deny the Ukrainian.
Cue a Liverpudlian rapture of massive scale, as well as the disbelief of millions.
A greater match, perhaps, there has never been.