Archivist: Liverpool v Internazionale, 1965
Liverpool v Internazionale, Anfield, May 1965: Roger Hunt scores Liverpool’s opening goal, after three minutes, in the first leg of their European Cup semi-final against Inter. Liverpool won the match 3-1.
Afterwards the Inter coach, Helenio Herrera, said to Liverpool manager Bill Shankly: “We have been beaten before, but never defeated. Tonight we were defeated.”
Inter regrouped and conjured a 3-0 win in the second leg at the San Siro. How legit was the result, which knocked Liverpool out of the competition? The Guardian’s David Lacey discerned an unfair fight: “Before the game Shankly complained that his players had been kept awake at their hotel near Lake Como by the local monks ringing their bells all night. Much later an investigation by a Sunday newspaper suggested that the referee, Spain’s José María Ortiz de Mendibil, had been got at, Inter scoring their first goal directly from an indirect free-kick and their second after Tommy Lawrence had had the ball kicked away from him as he was bouncing it.”
Shankly returned to Anfield a harder man. The painful experience of the second leg served him and Liverpool well.
Herrera’s Inter won the final, beating Benfica 1-0 – what else? – at – where else? – the San Siro. The nerve of Italian football. You have to admire it.