Article posted on 30 January 2023 at 2:29pm

Zander hat-trick wins European title for Liverpool

After 3 years of single goal European Cup Finals, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund played out a classic, with Liverpool making up for their final defeat last season through Rudi Zander's 3 goal showing.

Dortmund started off on fire and camped inside the Liverpool half for around 20 minutes - including a Piotr Grzelczak crossbar hit from distance in the first few seconds of the game. They got their reward when Marco Colle tripped Wilfried Rother and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. That enabled Grzelczak to put Dortmund into the lead, and he nearly doubled their advantage a few minutes later, but Charlie Thomas came to the rescue with a smart stop down to his left-hand side.

This seemed to wake Liverpool up in an attacking sense - but they were always liable to the counter-attack as they pushed for goals themselves, and Charlie Thomas was kept busy.

Liverpool got a bit of luck in the 34th minute when Rudi Zander thumped a header into the net from a clever Liverpool corner, which was flicked on by Marco Mezzanarco at the near post. Then Dortmund fell asleep from the kick-off and Zander turned supplier as Thiago Alcantara beat the offside trap and comfortably beat MArk Ballack in the Dortmund goal.

A cracking first half ended with Liverpool leading 2-1, but the scoreline could have been anything.

The 2nd half took a little while to get going and, ironically, the removal of Piotr Grzelczak kick-started the game into life again. Unfortunately for Dortmund, it was Liverpool who darted further ahead after a ball fell nicely into the path of Zander from a free kick and a first-time hit gave Ballack no chance.

End-to-end football, with both sides missing several good chances, was certainly a spectacle for the 79.494 fans watching the game and Dortmund pulled one back through substitute Jovan Kastratovic in the 74th minute to up the atmosphere to deafening levels. 

Frustratingly for Dortmund, they misplaced a back pass a minute or two later to gift Liverpool a penalty through a Fritz trip, with which he was lucky not to receive a yellow card, and Zander dispatched this into the centre of the goal to restore the 2 goal advantage.

This knocked the stuffing out of Dortmund and Liverpool held-on to win the European Cup for the first time in their history.

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