Fiorentina v Liverpool (29/09/2009) - Down Memory Lane
Sunday, 27th September 2009
YNWA takes a look back at our previous visits to Italy as we prepare to face Fiorentina for the first time in a first-class fixture on Tuesday.

Previously against the viola
We held Fiorentina to a goalless draw at their Stadio Artemio Franchi in August 1990, in a friendly that was arranged as part of the Glenn Hysén transfer deal. We also faced them in July 1995 when new record signing Stan Collymore scored his first reds goal as we drew 1-1 in the third place play-off of the pre-season Mönchengladbach Trophy in Germany. The game was decided by a penalty shoot-out, with keeper David James scoring the decisive final reds kick as we won 3-2.

Most recently in Italy
Jamie Carragher played his hundredth European game in March 2008 as Fernando Torres struck the only goal of our Champions League tie against Internazionale at the San Siro, to reach the Quarter-finals thanks to a 3-0 aggregate victory. Nicolas Burdisso was sent off for the home side early in the second half. Xabi Alonso became a father to Jon, as he missed the game to remain at home for the birth.

The glory that was Rome
We claimed the European Cup for the first time at Rome's Stadio Olimpico in May 1977. Our opponents were Borussia Mönchengladbach, who we had beaten in the UEFA Cup Final four years earlier. Rainer Bonhof hit the post for the Germans before Terry McDermott opened the scoring after half an hour, although Alan Simonsen equalised shortly after half-time, capitalising on a loose Jimmy Case back-pass.

After sustaining heavy German pressure, we regained the lead when Tommy Smith rose to head in magnificently from a corner, in his 600th reds game, which was then assumed to be his final outing. Seven minutes from time, Kevin Keegan, playing in his 323rd and last reds match, was felled by Berti Vogts in the area, and Phil Neal stepped up to convert from the spot. Then the party could really start.

Beating the giallorossi in their own back yard
We clinched the European Cup for a fourth time in May 1984, becoming the first English side to complete a treble, having already claimed the title and League Cup that season. This was even more remarkable as the game was played in our opponents' home stadium.

Phil Neal put us ahead after a quarter of an hour with a scrappy goal, but Roberto Pruzzo headed an equaliser for Roma before half-time. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time, and so the cup was to be decided with a penalty shoot-out. Steve Nicol missed our first kick, but his failure was matched by two Italians before Bruce Grobbelaar's wobbly legs helped put off a third kicker, Ciccio Graziani. Alan Kennedy stepped up to take the decisive spot kick, as we won the big cup right in the heart of the lions' den. Phil Neal, Graeme Souness, in his 359th and final reds appearance, and Ian Rush had been our other successful penalty takers.

Other visits to Rome
We returned to the Stadio Olimpico twice to face Roma in 2001. Michael Owen scored twice in February to give us a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Cup Fourth Round - cue several songs! His second was our 200th goal since Gérard Houllier took sole control. Then, in December, we secured a goalless draw to keep us in with a shout of qualifying for the Quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Against the old lady
We made our first appearance in the European Cup Winners' Cup in September 1965, going down 1-0 to a late Gianfranco Leoncini pile-driver at Juventus with the home side also having three penalty appeals turned down. We won the second leg 2-0 and went on to reach the final. We returned to the Stadio Comunale in January 1985, losing 2-0 in the UEFA Super Cup, with Zbigniew Boniek grabbing both the goals.

In April 2005, Xabi Alonso returned after his broken ankle suffered on New Year's Day, with Djibril Cissé making an even more amazing comeback from injury, to help the reds secure a battling goalless draw at Juventus to reach the Semi-final of the Champions League, our first last four appearance in Europe's premier club competition for two decades. We had won the first leg 2-1 at Anfield.

Also against the nerazzurri
We suffered our first ever defeat in the European Cup in May 1965, as we lost 3-0 in Milan to crash out 4-3 on aggregate. The match was highly controversial with Inter's first goal coming direct from a contentiously-awarded indirect free-kick, and the second coming when the ball was kicked out of Tommy Lawrence's hands. Ian St. John also had a goal mysteriously disallowed. Reds stalwart Ronnie Moran played his 379th and final reds game in this match.

Other trips to Italy
We lost 2-0 at Genoa's Stadio Luigi Ferraris in the first leg of our UEFA Cup Fourth Round encounter in March 1992. Unfortunately, we also lost the Anfield return to crash out 4-1 on aggregate.

We visited Italy in May/June 1922 to play six games, having just claimed our third League title. Our first game was a 1-0 defeat to Burnley in Milan, which was followed by a 6-1 thrashing of an Emilia Select side in Modena, with Harry Beadles bagging a brace, and Harry ‘Smiler' Chambers and Cyril Gilhespy also among the scorers. We then drew 2-2 with a Liguria & Toscana Select team in Pisa, with Beadles and Chambers again on target. Next we were held to a goalless draw at Pro Vercelli.
Chambers bagged a treble in our fifth fixture, as we beat Genoa 4-1 at their Stadio di Marassi, with Dick Forshaw also getting on the scoresheet. Finally, we drew 2-2 in Pisa, with keeper Frank Mitchell allegedly grabbing one of the goals.

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