Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund - if not the greatest European night at Anfield, then certainly unique

Anfield Night

Every recap of Thursday's epic encounter between the two sides has mentioned it will be talked about on Merseyside 'for decades'.

Another candidate to the outstanding collection of European nights at Anfield has entered the annals of history. The one thing that's so incredible is that talk of great European nights at Liverpool's home spans 51 years when Liverpool took on Inter Milan in 1965 in the semi-finals of the European Cup.

St Etienne in 1977 is always talked about en route to the Reds' first major European triumph - you only need to look at the footage of the Kop when David Fairclough scores Liverpool's third that night to see why as thousands were reportedly locked out that night. I never put an exact figure on it because it seems to go up every time someone tells me about it.

When watching footage of the old European nights I think the UEFA Cup final first leg against Brugge looks like a game that should be talked about more as Liverpool overcame a two-goal deficit in a blistering second half spell in order to take a slender lead to Belgium.

Glorious failure of Auxerre in the 1991/92 season as Liverpool tried to overturn a 3-0 deficit but came up short.

In 2002 the unforgettable night was Roma at home when Gerard Houllier returned to the dugout only four months after leaving the ground in an ambulance - and Liverpool got the 2-0 result they needed in order to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League

December 2004 had that Steven Gerrard moment against Olympiakos leading to 2005's incredible run to Istanbul which saw Juventus and Chelsea conquered and bells ringing in the ears of everyone who was present - the latter of the two games which saw Luis Garcia's disputed goal send the Reds through to the final. Two years later, Chelsea would feel Anfield's wrath again in a different way. These were nights when the ground truly rocked. 

2009 is remembered for the 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid, more on the field class rather than off the field celebrations. You could make a case for anyone of them being the greatest European night for very different reasons.

For the emotion surrounding the fixture, both in terms of it's timing before the Hillsborough anniversary at a time when the jury in the fresh inquests are deliberating their verdict, and for the footballing story off the field of Jurgen Klopp facing up to his old side - a much admired Borussia Dortmund outfit that scored for fun, and really showed it in the opening exchanges at Anfield. 

A Liverpool side that has been criticised for its lack of quality, for seriously underperforming in the league, deficiencies from back to front have toppled a side that have racked up an incredible points tally in the Bundesliga this season that it's ridiculous they're not winning it. 

Liverpool didn't just have to come from behind and score three goals once, but twice. Marco Reus's strike should've been the sucker punch. The Reds should've been out for the count, Dortmund should've been the team making its way to the semi-finals. But it would be another night when Liverpool would defy logic.

Philippe Coutinho restored belief and from then on it was all about momentum. Panic was evident in the Dortmund defence, hence a team meeting before conceding their third goal, then it was a simple case of next goal wins. Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren getting their first goal of the season each only added to the unlikely hero element of the drama that was witnessed on Thursday night. If anyone had Dejan Lovren last goal, Mamadou Sakho anytime and Liverpool to win 4-3 please get in touch. 

The people at Liverpool now are very different to those of 51 years ago when Inter Milan were defeated in the first leg of the semi-final. It just seems to be part of a Liverpool tradition that they must do something remarkable in Europe every once in a while, and under the lights at Anfield makes it all the more magical. 

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