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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
The greatest Euro final ever?
Liverpool beat Alaves 5-4 in a fantastic Uefa Cup final to win their third trophy of a hugely successful season.
But the score barely tells the story of a remarkable match - nine goals, two dismissals and a 'golden' own goal winner in the 116th minute.
So was it the greatest European final ever?
Speaking to BBC Sport Online after the game, Alan Hansen hailed it as the "best ever final".
It had all looked so easy for Liverpool when Markus Babbel and Steven Gerrard put them 2-0 up early on in Dortmund.
But the stubborn Spanish side pulled back well to level at 3-3 and again at 4-4 in the dying minutes of normal time.
Liverpool eventually won it four minutes away from penalties but the game will be remembered as a classic.
So was the end-to-end entertainment better than in any previous European final?
And why was it such an open game when high-profile games are often such a disappointment?
Send us your views.
I'm surprised that more scousers haven't mentioned Rome on The Glorious 25th May 1977, when the Reds first won the European Cup in a hell of a game. Remember Tommy Smith's header?
Michael Elliott, USA
Although it was excellent to watch, the 1983 Cup Winners Cup final Aberdeen v Real Madrid must go down as one of the best.... David and Goliath. Aberdeen were unknown until they destroyed
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid...quite an achievement.
My dad was at the Real Madrid v Eintracht game and reckoned it was the best he ever saw. For me The Milan v Barcelona game
had the highest standard of football I've seen in a final.
No Contest. The 1979 final was the best. It had two teams going at each other for 120 minutes. How can you forget that game? 4-3 in extra time. That was when extra time meant something.
The game was really exciting and entertaining, but the quality of football (particularly defending) from both sides has to be considered as being no good really. The best final I ever experienced was the European Cup final in Munich '97, when Borussia Dortmund overcome a mighty Juventus Team 3-1. Bernd Bracht, Dortmund, Germany
Bernd Bracht, Germany
Excellent game of football, but the greatest final ever has to be Celtic v Inter of 67. Although both teams made it a great game, they are still lacking real class.
Let's not forget Real Madrid 7, Eintracht Frankfurt 3 back in the early sixties, at Hampden Park.
It was not a final, but Dundee United's 3-2 win over Barcelona in 88 or 89 must rank as the most exciting game I have seen.
Greatest final ever? Has everyone forgotten that epic 1999 Worthington Cup final when Spurs beat Leicester 1-0? It redefined the word 'greatest'!
My vote goes to 1962 European Cup Final: Benfica 5 Real Madrid 3.
Joe Lewis, England
Great game for excitement, but both defences were far too shaky to call it the best final ever - period! Best final was probably the AC Milan win in 1989 when Van Basten and Gullit scored, and also the pure awesome display again by AC Milan when they beat Barca 4-0 in 1994.
Surely the best ever European final would be a certain 7-4 between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt rather than being so Anglo-centric?
Aberdeen verses Real Madrid (1983 CWC final in Gothenburg) was the greatest
ever final, as Aberdeen were a small team with lots of homegrown youngsters in the team against the mighty Real.
Probably the best final in terms of excitement but in terms of quality, the best match was definitely the 1994 Champions League final between AC Milan and Barcelona (4-0): the sheer quality shown by Milan that night as the underdogs was unforgettable, as was the drubbing they gave Romario, Koeman, Stoitchkov and co.
Kevin Hin, Monaco
I've been an avid football fan all my life and, having watched horrendous amounts of football over the years, I have to say that last night's game ranks up there as one of the greatest games ever. The only other games I could compare it to are the Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle a few years back, and the Sunderland 4-4 Charlton play-off final. The sheer fact that this time it was for the Uefa Cup beggars belief. People can talk about defining moments in games; Michael Thomas in 1989 and Man Utd winning the European Cup in the last two mins; but when you're talking about an entire match, then you're up there at the next level. Thank you Liverpool, you've been great value for money this year, lets hope those tired legs can get you through Saturday!
This has got to be the most entertaining European final ever! How can two teams play 117 minutes of top class, high drama football at the highest level of European football and not be given the crown of best final?
Why is everyone getting so carried away? Sure the game was often entertaining, but the standard was more often ridiculous than sublime. Both teams defended like pub teams - not Uefa cup finalists. Does anyone (apart from Liverpool fans) seriously think this can compare with Man U in 1999?
It was inevitable that some would claim that this was 'the greatest final ever'. What rubbish! Sure, it had lots of goals and incidents, but there were far, far, too many mistakes for it to be even considered amogst the best. My vote goes to Real Madrid 7 Eintracht Frankfurt 3 (1960) or Benfica 5 Real Madrid 3 (1962).
Philip Lewis, England
The greatest ever final? If goals is all you look for in a match, then you should be happy. However I have never seen a top flight final with so many bad passes, tackles missed and bad goalkeeping. Last summer's Euro 2000 final was far more entertaining.
A great game, but doesn't compare with Real Madrid v Eintracht in 1960 (or 61?). Eintracht played well yet lost 7-3! Real's skills were unreal (no pun intended!). A great season for Liverpool, but a long way to go before they compare with the almost telepathic teams of the '70s.
I thought last night's game was a fantastic football match but the best final award goes to Glasgow Celtics victory over Inter Milan in 1967.
For the neutral it was pulsating stuff; for the lifelong Liverpool fan it was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Plaudits must go to Alaves for making it such a dramatic ride, but for once football, that glorious game that we all love was the winner. Wonderful stuff and only right that an English team should remind us in these heady 'financially' powered days.
Mike Humphreys, England
The game was very entertaining, but the quality of defending from both sides was rather poor. The best final ever was the European Cup final in Athens '94, when Milan thumped Barcelona 4-0.
A most riveting game of football, better than the Man Utd European Champions win. Why? Because it had drama, plots and sub-plots, many heroes (for a short time at least) and villians, nine goals, golden goals, own-goals, penalties, yellows and reds, young and old. The difference... Gary McAllister.
Thank you to both teams for providing an excellent finale to the competition. Many finals become dull, as the teams concentrate on not losing, rather than winning. Both teams went all out to try and win the game.This will be remembered as one of the greatest finals ever and as a Liverpool fan, I will be happy to sit down and watch it for a second time!
Rob Marr, England
Boring Liverpool eh? Liverpool and Gerard Houllier made the critics eat humble pie tonight, with some wonderful attacking football and some bad defending. Alaves were fantastic but they did not deserve to win the game. Liverpool deserved the treble!
Absolutely amazing! As a Liverpool fan it's great to see them at last living up to the reputations of the teams of the 70's and 80's and hopefully this is just the start
I was working but had my friends and family were ringing me every five minutes letting me know what was happening. My mobile phone was going berserk!! Seven voicemail messages said the same thing: "You missed the best football match ever"
It may be true that the climax of the 1999 Champions League final was breathtaking, but to claim, as James Bryan has, that the standard of play and excitement was above Liverpool's 2001 final is ludicrous! I was bored to death for most of the 90 mins back in 1999 whereas I never left the edge of my seat tonight.
The game had everything: early goals, creative play, chances galore, a penalty, comebacks, resolute defending, two sendings off, AND two goals in the dying minuets of normal and extra time. Take note Mr. James Bryan!
I got up at 4am to watch it! Being a Liverpool fan, I nearly had a few heart attacks! However, I think it is the most entertaining final I have ever watched. Man Utd. did not deserve it, Liverpool did.
In terms of finals, it probably goes down as one of the best in history. It had literally everything; an early goal, attacking football and plenty of twists and turns. The quality of football was at times lacking but at others magical. I doubt I will watch another cup final as good as this in my lifetime.
For an Arsenal fan still smarting over the FA Cup, it hurts me to say it but what a game! Well worth a night of no sleep. What a shame that the Premiership doesn't have 4 spots in the Champions League as I think both Leeds and Liverpool should be in the mix next year.
I am a Liverpool fan who got up at 2.45am to watch what has to be one of the most exciting games ever. After coming back against Arsenal in the FA Cup it has been one hell of a week. Well done to the team and good luck next Saturday in the league.
Part of the reason why the match can be considered as one of the greatest final is because of the heart (physically and in spirit) of one 36-year `young' man. McAllister defied all odds. Give him a free kick and he can do any of these:
Definitely the best final I have ever seen. You won't see a game like that, with so much importance on it for a long time!
As an English football fan abroad, this was certainly the best game I've seen this season. Getting up at 5.30am for the second half, I wished I'd done so an hour earlier and feared that the second half would be a damp squib in comparison, as they often are when the first is so entertaining.
However, both sides contributed wonderfully to the best final I've seen for overall entertainment. Congrats Liverpool on such a wonderful achievement and cheers for starting my day off so well!
Thank you Liverpool and Alaves for providing the public to one of the most exciting matches I have ever seen.
Although the final was entertaining it never quite reached the standards of the 1999 Champions League final, but comes a close second. No team will ever win a final more dramatically than Man Utd did at the Nou Camp!
The best final ever
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