Date: 8th December 2014 at 6:00pm
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On the back of a disappointing draw the Reds must win their final Champions League group game with our star striker out injured.

If I’d have written that ten years ago it would have been just as accurate as it is today.

On December 8 2004 after a draw against Aston Villa the Reds needed to beat Olympiakos to progress to the knockout stages with Djibril Cissé out injured. (Ok, maybe star striker was a bit of a reach.)

Just like this term our league form was cause for concern ten years ago and we were far from certainties to progress.

Istanbul is, quite rightly, every Liverpool fan’s overriding memory from the 2004/05 season but we were very inconsistent in the league.

At this stage of the season in 2004 we had 24 points, only three more than we do today.

We had lost against Bolton, Birmingham and Middlesbrough as the new Spanish back room team took some time to adapt to life in the Premier League.

Even in Europe it had been far from plain sailing with losses away to both Monaco and Olympiakos leaving us with an uphill struggle to qualify.

Our previous Champions League campaign, two years prior, had ended at the group stages and at half time a decade ago it looked like we were crashing out again.

Despite a blistering start from the Reds the visitors scored the only goal of the half thanks to Brazilian legend Rivaldo and we needed three second half goals to progress.

A brilliant comeback was inspired by our reserve strikers with Florent Sinama-Pongolle equalising minutes after the restart and Neil Mellor giving us the lead ten minutes from time.

The only European match I’ve ever been to was a 1-0 win over Slovan Liberec in 2000, so it’s safe to say I’ve never been to one of the great Anfield nights.

But as I sat watching at home when Mellor scored ten years ago today I could almost feel the noise as Anfield went berserk.

When Gerrard struck late on in front of a deafening Kop anything seemed possible to an impressionable 14 year old sat at home.

Today, ten years on, Liverpool’s chances in Europe look much the same.

All season long I’ve heard one thing, ‘Same old Liverpool’.

Second one season, mid table the next. Same old Liverpool.

One great game, load of rubbish after. Same old Liverpool.

Two wins in a row, then can’t even score past Sunderland. Same old Liverpool.

But tomorrow isn’t the same old Liverpool, tomorrow is a must win game in the European Cup at Anfield.

Inter ’65, Saint Etienne ’77, Roma ’02, Olympiakos ’04, Chelsea ’05.

Tomorrow should be right up there with any of those historic nights.

So forget poor league form, forget whether Brendan is the right man to take us forward or whether Stevie should be playing every game, tomorrow is a day to get behind the club.

I’m not saying that we’re going to win the cup, but we had just as much chance now as we did ten years ago.

Despite having a few world class players a decade ago, we had plenty of average players.

Antonio Núñez, Josemi and Djimi Traoré all played a part in our success and there were just as many brilliant teams in the competition then as there are now.

It might seem ridiculous to suggest that lightning will strike twice, but at least we have a better chance than Man United.

What made the difference against the Greeks and throughout the latter stages was fantastic home support and the players paid us back many times over in Istanbul.

It’s easy to complain when things are going badly, we can all see that there are problems both on and off the field right now.

But some of us need to realise that it’s times like these when the team needs our support most of all.

So get behind the lads. You never know, tomorrow night could be the start of something special.


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