Saturday, May 24, 2014

24 May 1995 - Milan Was Later Heard Yelling "Get Off Our Lawn!"

On 24 May 1995, Ajax won the UEFA Champions League Final, defeating A.C. Milan by the score of 1-0 before a crowd of 49,730 at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna.

The two sides stood in stark contrast - Milan was older, having only one player under the age of 26, while Ajax was young, with only two players over the age of 25. The Dutch side was experienced, however. They had just won the Eredivisie title without losing a match and had also gone unbeaten in their Champions League run to the Final, including two earlier wins over Milan in the group stage.

And while the teams battled to a scoreless stalemate in the first half, Ajax's youth was served in the second half by the introduction of 18-year-old forward Patrick Kluivert. He came on in the 69th minute, replacing Finnish midfielder Jari Litmanen. In the 85th minute, Kluivert started an attack that involved touches from every Ajax midfielder on the pitch, from Nigerian winger Finidi George to winger Marc Overmars, then to center mid Edgar Davids before midfielder Frank Rijkaard delivered the ball back to Kluivert in the penalty area. Kluivert slipped past two Milan defenders, then swept the ball past Milan keeper Sebastiano Rossi for the match's only goal.

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