Henry Jackson selects his five most important games between the Reds and the Blues since 2004.
5. CHELSEA 1-2 LIVERPOOL- 22nd April 2006
The two sides met at Old Trafford in this FA Cup semi-final clash back in 2006, and it was Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool who prevailed on a tense afternoon in Manchester.
John Arne Riise’s inch-perfect free-kick gave the Reds the lead after 21 minutes, after Didier Drogba had missed a couple of good chances at the other end. Luis Garcia should have done better with a shot just before half-time too.
Garcia made amends soon after the break, however, sending a dipping half-volley over Carlo Cudicini and into the Chelsea net. Although not as good, it had echoes of the Spaniard’s legendary strike against Juventus the previous season.
Drogba pulled a goal back with twenty minutes remaining, and Joe Cole missed a sitter for Jose Mourinho’s side in the dying moments. Liverpool held on to reach what would forever been known as the ‘The Gerrard Final’, against West Ham.
LFC XI: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko, Kewell (Traore 78), Luis Garcia (Morientes 82), Crouch (Cisse 69).
4. CHELSEA 3-2 LIVERPOOL (AET)- 30th April 2008
The first-leg of this Champions League semi-final showdown finished 1-1 at Anfield, with Riise’s last-gasp own goal handing the initiative to Avram Grant’s side. A classic second-leg followed.
Drogba, so often the scourge of Liverpool over the years, put the Blues ahead early on with a good finish, and that’s how it stayed until midway through the second-half.
Fernando Torres, arguably the best striker in the world at the time, finished clinically to take the game to extra-time after excellent work by Yossi Benayoun.
A Frank Lampard penalty, given after a foul by Sami Hyypia on Michael Ballack, put the hosts in charge again, before Drogba made it 3-1. Ryan Babel’s long-range effort with a couple of minutes left gave the Reds hope, but Chelsea held on.
LFC XI: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel (Hyypia 22), Riise, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun (Pennant 78), Gerrard, Torres (Babel 99).
3. CHELSEA 4-4 LIVERPOOL- 14th April 2009
Although Liverpool were knocked out after this sensational Champions League quarter-final game, they left the pitch with their heads held high after a fantastic effort.
Having lost 3-1 in the first-leg at Anfield, the odds were stacked against Benitez’s side to progress, but Fabio Aurelio’s wonderful free-kick and Xabi Alonso’s penalty put them to within a goal of reaching the next round.
Pepe Reina’s error allowed Drogba to make it 2-1 in the second-half, Alex’s stunning free-kick brought the sides level on the night, and Lampard’s strike seemed to put the Reds out of their misery.
Quick-fire goals from Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt, in the 81st and 82nd minute, respectively, put Liverpool back to within a goal of going through again, but Lampard’s second of the night finally finished the Reds off. It was an all-time classic encounter between the two sides.
LFC XI: Reina, Arbeloa (Babel 85), Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Lucas, Mascherano (Riera 69), Alonso, Kuyt, Torres (Ngog 80), Benayoun.
2. LIVERPOOL 1-0 CHELSEA (Liverpool won 4-1 on penalties)- 1st May 2007
Chelsea had won the first-leg of this Champions League semi-final 1-0, and they were hell-bent on avenging their controversial defeat at Anfield two years previously. Liverpool had other ideas, however.
Daniel Agger’s brilliant finish from Steven Gerrard’s low free-kick after 22 minutes levelled the tie on aggregate, and a hugely tense encounter eventually went to extra-time.
Kuyt had a goal disallowed and a shot saved by Petr Cech in the added 30 minutes, while Drogba went close for the visitors, but penalties were called upon to separate the two sides.
Bolo Zenden, Xabi Alonso and Gerrard all scored for the Reds- Arjen Robben and Geremi missed for Chelsea while Lampard was their only successful kick-taker- and it was left to Kuyt to send his side to the final in Athens. Anfield was deafening.
LFC XI: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Pennant (Alonso 78), Gerrard, Mascherano (Fowler 118), Zenden, Kuyt, Crouch (Bellamy 106).
1. LIVERPOOL 1-0 CHELSEA- 3rd May 2005
In what was arguably the greatest atmosphere Anfield has ever produced, Liverpool reached their first European Cup final for 20 years after an unforgettable 90 minutes.
The key moment of the match came just a few minutes in, as Luis Garcia’s ‘Ghost Goal’ was adjudged to have crossed line. Chelsea fans complain to this day, but it’s easy to forget that Cech would have been sent-off and the Reds would have been awarded a penalty in the build-up to the goal had it not been given.
From that point on it was attack vs defence, with the home side clinging onto their aggregate lead- the first-leg at Stamford Bridge finished goalless- and the west London club desperately trying to find a breakthrough.
Chances came and went for Mourinho’s team, but the likes of Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia produced outstanding performances to thwart them. In the dying seconds, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s shot whistled agonisingly past the post, in what was probably the most heart-stopping moment of Liverpool’s season.
They clung on to book their place in the final against AC Milan in Istanbul, and the rest, as they say, is history.
LFC XI: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Hamann (Kewell 72), Biscan, Luis Garcia (Nunez 84), Riise, Gerrard, Baros (Cisse 59).
What’s your favourite Liverpool vs Chelsea moment? And what’s your prediction for Sunday’s game? Let us know in the comments section below.