On this day in sport: The Miracle of Anfield and Seve Ballesteros remembered

  • Barcelona will not wish to remember this day last year, but May 7 is more fondly recalled by Arsenal fans.
Modified 07 May 2020, 11:32 IST
divock origi
Divock Origi (C) after scoring against Barcelona

Anfield was the scene of wild celebrations this time last year as Liverpool produced a stunning comeback to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

Jurgen Klopp's side overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit to reach the final, which they would go on to win against Tottenham in Madrid.

Arsenal fans have fond memories of May 7, too, as it was the start of a run of results that has never been repeated in the Premier League era.

It is also a day of sadness, as it marks the anniversary of the death of golf great Seve Ballesteros.

2000 – David Coulthard finishes second at the Spanish Grand Prix after plane crash

McLaren claimed a famous one-two in Barcelona on this day 20 years ago, with Mika Hakkinen beating team-mate David Coulthard into second as Michael Schumacher and Ferrari had a day to forget.

The fact Coulthard was even on the grid was astonishing given he had been injured in a fatal plane crash just five days earlier.

The pilot and co-pilot of the light aircraft were killed when it came down in flames in Lyon, with Coulthard escaping with fractured ribs.

The Scot said racing in discomfort was "a small price to pay" and made a point of not spraying champagne while on the podium, saying: "Two families suffered a huge loss last week and I didn't think it was right for me to celebrate in such circumstances."


2003 – Pennant hat-trick sees Invincibles born

With Manchester United having already won the title and with an FA Cup final around the corner for both sides, Arsenal's clash with Southampton on this day was not exactly fiercely contested.

The Gunners breezed to a 6-1 victory in which Jermaine Pennant marked his Premier League debut with a hat-trick, with Robert Pires bagging the other three and Jo Tessem netting a consolation.

The result had far-reaching consequences. It was the start of a 49-game run without loss in the top flight, stretching until October 2004, when United finally halted Arsene Wenger's relentless machine.

The 'Invincibles', who became the only team in Premier League history to go a whole season unbeaten in 2003-04, still hold the record for the longest undefeated streak in England's top division. Oh, and they beat Southampton in that FA Cup final, too.

2011 – Seve Ballesteros dies

The great Seve Ballesteros died on May 7, 2011 after a battle with brain cancer.

The Spaniard passed away at home in Pedrena three years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour following a collapse at Madrid airport in 2008.

Ballesteros is remembered still as an all-time star of the sport. He was a five-time major winner and claimed 90 titles overall, while he was successful as both player and captain in the Ryder Cup.

However, it was the style with which he played the game that won legions of admirers and prompted Lee Westwood, world number one at the time of Ballesteros' death, to describe him as "an inspiration, genius, role model, hero and friend".

2019 – Liverpool leave Barcelona reeling

Barcelona had suffered a humbling 3-0 loss to Roma in the 2017-18 quarter-finals that saw them knocked out on away goals after a 4-1 first-leg win.

Last season, with a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the bag from Camp Nou and the memories of Rome still haunting them, they were determined there would be no repeat.

We all know what happened next.

Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead and, when Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in 122 second-half seconds, the tie was level and Barca were rattled. Origi then got his second from a quick Trent Alexander-Arnold corner, Liverpool were 4-0 up and 4-3 ahead on aggregate, Anfield was rocking, and Barca were out again.

Liverpool went on to become champions of Europe for the sixth time. As for Barca, that humiliating trip to Merseyside will likely never be forgotten.

Published 07 May 2020, 11:32 IST
Fetching more content...
Get the free App now
❤️ Favorites Edit