The influential England international admits the victory helped save the club from a summer of sweeping changes.
"If we had gone out of the Champions League, God knows what would have happened. Looking back, there probably would have been wholesale changes," he told The Times.
"That's the beauty of winning the Champions League. We remain in the Champions League and can look at spicing things up with new players.
"I didn't really think at the time that that was the end, but looking back, it probably would have been the break-up of that team."