Istanbul, Liverpool: Liverpool won the Champions League after beating AC Milan 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 3-3 after extra-time. Trailing 3-0 at halftime, Liverpool scored three goals in six minutes and then prevailed on penalties 3-2 to win its first European Champions Cup title since 1984. Jubilant Liverpool fans celebrated their team's victory in the streets of Istanbul and pubs of the Merseyside (northwest England) city on Thursday. Fans continued to celebrate into the early morning with no immediate reports of any trouble, although scores of Turkish police officers, some in riot gear, stood on guard. Fairytale return Andriy Shevchenko, whose shootout spot kick clinched Milan's sixth title two years ago, failed this time, giving the English team the title in a match that started on Wednesday and finished in the early minutes of Thursday morning. In the highest scoring final since Benfica beat Real Madrid 5-3 in 1962, Liverpool became the first team to win the trophy after trailing 3-0. It was Liverpool's fifth title, meaning it will be able to keep the trophy for good. But it may not be enough to get the team into next year's competition - Liverpool finished in fifth place in the English Premier League. Only the top four earned berths for the next tournament. Shootout winPaolo Maldini gave Milan the lead after just 52 seconds and Hernan Crespo added two more goals before halftime. But three goals in seven minutes by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso made it 3-3. The match then went to a shoot-out and Liverpool, which also won its last title on penalties in 1984, did it again. Gerrard said he dedicated the victory to the Liverpool fans who sang throughout the final at the 75,000-capacity Ataturk Stadium. Even when Liverpool trailed 0-3 at halftime, they sang "We're gonna win 4-3."
(With AP inputs)