Jamie Carragher reveals what happened at half-time against Milan

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Jamie Carragher has revealed that Rafa Benitez was ready to replace Djimi Traore at half-time during the club's famous Champions League final victory over AC Milan back in 2005. 

The tactician told Traore to get in the shower but changed his mind after the club's physio suggested that Steve Finnan couldn't continue. 

At the time, Liverpool were 3-0 down and seemingly down and out, but it appears that Benitez, who had already made one substitution, kept his cool by replacing Finnan with German midfielder Didi Hamann.


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Ultimately, the change in tactics worked as the Reds came from behind to create history in the Ataturk Stadium. Goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso tied the game with the Reds coming out on top in a frantic penalty shootout. 

But things could have turned out differently had Benitez not changed his mind over one change at half-time. 

Benitez decision 

As reported by the Daily Mail, Carragher, who was speaking to MyMail members during a Q&A at Northcliffe House on Tuesday evening, stated: "It's the biggest game of your life, so it's not a question of you're not giving everything.

"You are just being beaten by the best team in Europe. We were nowhere near the best team in Europe, we finished fifth in the Premier League but we found a way to navigate our way to the final. The whole world was watching, we were a laughing stock for 45 minutes.

"Rafa Benitez is not a manager to lift you with words or a speech. He changes things tactically. He already made one substitution with Vladimir Smicer coming on for Harry Kewell. Rafa's English wasn't what it is now, so when he was taking a player off at half-time he would just say 'shower'. He said to Djimi Traore 'shower' so he stripped off and went in the shower.

"The next thing you know the physio says Steve Finnan can't continue and he comes out arguing because he wants to stay on. Finnan and the physio are arguing and then Benitez shouts 'Traore back out the shower'. Finnan then explodes but Benitez is thinking if I take Traore off, then Finnan will have to come off in 15 minutes and then that's my three substitutes done.

"How many managers would think that coolly at 3-0 down? He changes the system, we went to three defenders, Hamann came on to look after Kaka and Gerrard went further forward. The changes were a major part of going on to win the Champions League."

Liverpool celebration 

Carragher has also admitted that the players went for a drink after the game, but has admitted that the real party started the night after the homecoming. 

In fact, the ex-England man has revealed that he and his teammates stayed out in a local bar in Liverpool until 5am. Who can blame them? 

When asked how hard he partied following the heroic night, the former Liverpool star stated: "People expect it to be pandemonium but you do so much partying on the pitch that you are drained physically and mentally. You just sit in the dressing room and look at each other, especially in that game. It's more when you get home.

"We stayed up and went for a drink but you can't wait to get to your bed because - you are so drained. The night after at the homecoming was the night to remember because we all went to a local bar in Liverpool until around 5am."

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UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Jamie Carragher
Steven Gerrard

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