Liverpool beat Milan 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Champions League after coming from three-goals down at half-time.

Paolo Maldini put Milan ahead within the first minute and two goals from Hernan Crespo gave Milan what seemed an unassailable lead.

Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool hope and Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso completed a remarkable comeback early in the second half.

Serginho then blazed over in the penalty shootout before Jerzy Dudek saved from Andrea Pirlo. Riise missed for Liverpool but Dudek saved Andriy Shevchenko’s tame effort to cap a remarkable victory.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez went for an adventurous strategy from the start by selecting Harry Kewell to play up front with Milan Baros. But his bold approach backfired in the first half when Liverpool were outclassed by a rampant Milan.

Milan were ahead inside the first minute, when Pirlo’s free-kick was met by the Maldini, who vollyed home past Dudek.

Kewell limped off midway through the first half, replaced by Vladimir Smicer.

Milan ended the first half in complete contol scoring twice towards half-time.

Shevchenko was set free by the impressive Kaka and he crossed for Crespo to turn home from close range.

Milan added a third when Brazilian Kaka picked out Crespo with a wonderful pass and the Argentinian chipped over the advancing Dudek.

Benitez brought on Hamman for Steve Finnan at half-time in an attempt to give Liverpool parity in midfield.

Gerrard dragged Liverpool back into the game with a header from a John Arne Riise’s cross after 53 minutes, two minutes later Smicer beat Dida from the edge of the area to give Liverpool renewed hope.

Five minutes later Liverpool were level when Gennaro Gattuso pulled down Gerrard in the area and the referee pointed to the spot.

Dida saved Alonso’s spot-kick, but the Spaniard fired in the rebound.

Milan dominated in extra-time, and would have won the trophy were it not for a remarkable double save by Dudek from Shevchenko.