The Rossoneri claimed their sixth European Cup triumph after edging out Juve in a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out victory at Old Trafford on May 28, 2003.
Rossoneri star Andriy Shevchenko kept his cool to hit the winning strike after five of the first seven penalties had been saved.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men did incredibly well to make it to the Manchester showpiece, having initially scraped past Slovan Liberec in the third qualifying round. The tournament still featured two group stages at that time, with AC Milan topping a first pool consisting of Deportivo La Coruna, Lens and Bayern Munich.
They also finished top of their second-round group above Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Lokomotiv Moscow. Ajax were then disposed of in the quarter-finals, prior to a final-four Milanese derby that went in favour of the Rossoneri on away goals.
Juventus began their campaign in the main draw and saw off the challenge of Newcastle United, Dynamo Kiev and Feyenoord. The second group stage was less straight-forward, while qualifying narrowly in second place — level on points with Basel and Deportivo below them.
Spanish duo Barcelona — Juventus’ opponents in the upcoming 2015 edition — and Real Madrid then fell by the wayside, as the Bianconeri stepped up their game to advance impressively.
The all-Italian Champions League final was a fascinating affair, but neither side could make the vital breakthrough throughout 120 minutes of action.
Shevchenko thought he had given AC Milan a precious advantage within eight minutes when his deflected shot beat Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal.
However, Portuguese midfielder Rui Costa was stood in an offside position and the referee’s assistant duly flagged to dash their hopes of an early lead.
David Trezeguet broke clear of the AC Milan rearguard moments later, but headed wide from Lilian Thuram’s accurate cross.
A relentless start to the contest continued on the quarter-hour when Buffon pulled out a magnificent save to repel a diving header from ex-Juve star Filippo Inzaghi.
Under-pressure Italian international goalkeeper Buffon was then unable to reach Rui Costa’s effort shortly before the half-time whistle and appeared mightily relieved to see the ball go wide following an assist from Andrea Pirlo.
AC Milan’s first-half superiority forced Bianconeri boss Marcello Lippi into a change, as he brought substitute Antonio Conte into the fray.
Conte’s introduction sparked Juventus into life and his diving header just two minutes after coming on shook the crossbar. His influence continued to drag the Old Lady back into proceedings as the second period progressed.
But, it was an enforced replacement of the tireless Edgar Davids which proved even more important when he went off injured with 25 minutes left on the clock to halt their resurgence.
Inzaghi wasted a late opportunity to notch against his former club with Buffon exposed, but the match had descended into stalemate.
It was the first final to remain goalless within normal time since Barcelona’s victory over Sampdoria at Wembley Stadium in 1992, as both defences went on to dominate extra-time, making a dreaded penalty shoot-out unavoidable.
There were protests among each set of supporters after replays showed that AC Milan stopper Dida was in front of his line when denying penalties from Trezeguet, Marcelo Zalayeta and Paolo Montero. Opposite number Buffon was also apparently off his goal-line when denying Clarence Seedorf and Kakha Kaladze.
It was eventually left up to superstar Shevchenko to put away the conclusive kick in order to lift a sixth Champions League trophy for AC Milan. In doing so, Shevchenko also became the first Ukrainian footballer to triumph in the competition following victory over their Serie A rivals.