Around 5:30am my sister sent me an SMS: ‘Well…I suppose on the bright side it’s better than 0-3’. She was, of course, referring to the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan that saw The Reds play both their worst and best halves of the season within the space of ninety minutes, eventually lifting the cup after Jerzy Dudek wiggled on his goal line — a dance-move later named ‘doing-the-Dudek’ — and saved two penalties. My reply was as much diagnosis as prognosis: ‘I’m less optimistic at 0-1 than I was at 0-3. Pace needed on the left. Hope we don’t use Crouch, but I’m prepared to let him redeem himself. D.’

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