No. 36 – Luis Garcia’s Chelsea Semi-Final

No. 36 – Luis Garcia’s Chelsea Semi Final, 2005

Tuesday, 3rd May, 2005 brings us back to Luis Garcia and his controversial winning goal in the 2005 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.

After a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea travelled to Anfield where Rafael Benitez delivered another tactical masterstroke to lead Liverpool to the Champions League final in Istanbul.

Liverpool took the lead with only four minutes played. Milan Baros beat Petr Cech to the ball who knocked the ball over the Chelsea goalkeeper, the ball fell to the onrushing Luis Garcia who steered the ball onto the goal-line despite William Gallas’ attempts to clear off the line. Luis Garcia had steered Liverpool into a European Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.

The first half produced very few chances with Chelsea threatening of note only once, Joe Cole had a wonderful opportunity to draw level when he lobbed the ball over Jerzy Dudek only to see his shot fly wide of the mark. The second half saw Gudjohnson shoot high and wide from 35 yards, while Dudek made a great save from a Lampard free kick.

Chelsea could have equalised on 74 minutes as Robben shot from just inside the box was blocked by the ever reliable Jamie Carragher. As the Reds were getting ready to celebrate, the spine tingling emotions were extended when the fourth official indicated six minutes of injury time.

With over 95 minutes on the clock, Liverpools hopes and dream of making the final were nearly shattered when Chelseas best chance of the match fell to Gudjohnsen after Dudek had came to punch and failed to clear, but Gudjohnson volleyed wide from close range. Who will ever forget the emotions and celebrations when the final whistle was blown, Liverpool were going to Istanbul where a new chapter in Liverpool’s illustrious history would be written…..

Luis Garcia played 121 first team games for Liverpool scoring 30 goals, five of these goals were scored during Liverpool’s glorious march to Champions League glory in 2004/05, two of which Kopites will never tire of replaying over and over again, the Juventus and Chelsea strikes! A season when Luis won the hearts of almost every Liverpudlian.

Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Hamann (Kewell 72), Biscan, Luis Garcia (Nunez 84), Riise, Gerrard, Baros (Cisse 59).
Subs Not Used : Carson, Smicer, Warnock, Welsh.
Goals : Luis Garcia (4)

Chelsea: Cech, Geremi (Huth 76), Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Tiago (Kezman 68), Makelele, Lampard, Cole (Robben 68), Drogba, Gudjohnsen.