Garcia: It went in
By Tom Adams and Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Luis Garcia is sure that his controversial winner against Chelsea crossed the line.Luis Garcia is sure that his controversial UEFA Champions League winner against Chelsea crossed the line.
The Spanish star reacted quickly after Milan Baros brought down Petr Cech, and his shot was adjudged to be a goal despite William Gallas's desperate attempts to clear.
The fourth minute strike proved to be crucial as Liverpool progressed 1-0 on aggregate to the final in Istanbul, and the former Barcelona man expressed his belief that the goal was justly awarded.
"When Milan Baros was brought down by the keeper I just kept going and hooked it towards the goal," Garcia told the club's official website.
"I felt it went in and I am very happy now.
"It was an important win and for me a very important game and goal."
Garcia has proved to be key to Liverpool's progression in Europe under Rafa Benitez as he also netted in the quarter final against Juventus, and the 24-year-old admitted that the final berth has proved surprising for the new faces at Anfield.
Benitez has rejuvenated the Liverpool squad since arriving in the summer, and Garcia enthused about the performance of all his team-mates as The Reds hung on for a glorious win.
"When we arrived here last summer we were intent on winning some trophies, but I do not think we expected to get to the Champions League final in our first season in England," Garcia continued.
"It was not just me, everyone was a hero out there. We had to defend and work so hard, it was difficult to keep the ball and when we saw six minutes go up it was almost too much for us.
"But this is not just about the players, it is so important for the club too.
"For us to get to the final is beyond all our dreams, and for me to score the goal is a special moment too."Fellow forward Djibril Cisse also enjoyed a memorable night as he continued his rehabilitation from a broken leg, and the former Auxerre man praised the Anfield support for the atmosphere they generated.
"It is a great moment, the most important thing was to get qualification and even if I had some chances to score when I came from the bench I am not worried with that," Cisse told L'Equipe.
"The atmosphere was exceptional, the fans supported us during 90 minutes, they are as happy as us because we all go to the final."
French compatriot Djimi Traore echoed his team-mate's sentiments about the home fans, and revealed that The Reds have been revelling in their underdog status.
"The atmosphere was extraordinary, we warned our fans we would give our best," said Traore.
"When you score a goal after four minutes against a team like Chelsea it is very difficult to hold, but we did it.
"I have been here for six years and it is one of my greatest nights, I hope at Istanbul it will be better.
"The outsider status suits us well, as we hope to be like Greece during last year's European Championship.
"I would love to play against Milan, a Champions League final is the best, there is only a World Cup final to rival it."