These words, with Everton in the place of Chelsea, were those which a certain Emlyn Hughes declared to a television camera almost exactly 29 years ago. The setting was the same: an FA Cup semi-final against one of the Reds’ top rivals (he repeated this in a parade celebrating the European Cup victory that same year).
While times may have changed, Chelsea, one of Liverpool’s biggest contenders for silverware (just like Everton 29 years ago), were all that stood between Liverpool and a place in the FA Cup Final yesterday.
For just the second time in 10 tries though, it was the Reds who were to come out on top against Chelsea after a hard fought 2-1 victory.
Twenty minutes in, John Terry commited a foul at the edge of the box, and John Arne Riise stepped up to take the resulting free kick. He knocked it to Gerrard who played it back to him and he amazingly curled it through the wall and past Carlo Cudicini in the Chelsea onion-bag.
The two teams went into the break with Riise’s goal the only of the first half. Five minutes after the interval, John Terry climbed up Riise and nodded the ball into the net before referee Poll reminded him this was, in fact, against the Laws of the Game. The goal was disallowed, and three minutes later at the other end of the pitch, the ball broke to Luis Garcia unmarked and he volleyed the ball up and over Cudicini into the top corner of the net.2-0 to the Reds: cue mad celebrations from the Kop.
Several minutes after the goal, Mourinho, modeling the “Paris in Springtime” look with that scarf of his, threw Duff and Cole into the fray to mix things up a bit. This seemed to liven Chelsea up and their pressure increased and increased over the next half-hour. Drogba pulled one back for the team from down sarf after a rare mistake by the back-line to make it 2-1 with half an hour left.
Momo Sissoko, Steven Gerrard, and Harry Kewell all picked up knocks in the final half-hour with the latter being subsituted. After such a terrific game (and second half of the season) by the Aussie, it would be a shame if he were to miss the rest of the season.
In the 5th minute of injury time (deja-vu) Cole missed a sitter that would have tied the game up (deja-vu again) but it was offside anways. The travelling Kop, out in force today, roared when the full-time whistle was blown several seconds later.
So it’s the Reds off to the final FA Cup final in Cardiff, against the winner of the second semi-final between West Ham and Middlesborough. It seems money really doesn’t buy every trophy after all; however, fair play to Chelsea for a great game.