Meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool are usually important in one context or another.
Here are five classic clashes from down the years ahead of Sunday's meeting at Stamford Bridge, including a 5-3 thriller just two months ago on the night of Liverpool's coronation. But let's go back in time first...
🏟 Liverpool 2-3 Chelsea
🗓 February 2005
⚔️ Benitez & Mourinho's rivalry is born
The Carling Cup final 15 years ago saw Norwegian full-back John Arne Riise open the scoring with a trademark thunderbolt with his left foot inside the opening minute. Stevie G's headed own-goal sent the final into extra time though with Didier Drogba & Mateja Kezman on the scoresheet for Chelsea as they came from behind to win. It wouldn't be the last time that Drogba came up trumps on the grand stage.
🏟 Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
🗓 May 2005
👻 Ghost goal
This result still haunts José Mourinho to this day, although if Luis Garcia's goal hadn't been awarded, Chelsea would have had their goalkeeper Petr Cech sent off as early as the 4th minute in a Champions League semifinal 2nd leg. Be it as it may, it was the only goal of 180 minutes between these great rivals and it sent The Reds to the final in Istanbul to face AC Milan. We all know what happened next.
🏟 Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool
🗓 April 2008
💙 Emotions run high on a dramatic night at the Bridge
Didier Drogba, so often the man for the big occasion, scored a brace that sent Chelsea into their first Champions League final at the expense of Liverpool on a night of high drama at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivorian opened the scoring with a 12-yard strike, but Fernando Torres' (then of Liverpool) driven finish sent the semifinal tie into extra-time. Frank Lampard put Chelsea back in front from the spot, showing nerves of steel and a heart of gold. Lampard was back in the Blues lineup for the first time since the death of his mother just six days earlier.
The skipper kissed a black armband worn in remembrance as he looked to the rainy London skies on a night that Chelsea fans are unlikely to forget.
🏟 Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool
🗓 April 2009
🏀 The Blues & The Reds share 12 goals over two legs
This was a remarkable Champions League tie and in stark contrast with the meeting between the sides four years prior in the semifinals.
The Blues took a 3-1 advantage into this quarterfinal second leg but it was the visitors who scored twice in the opening 30 minutes through Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso to give Guus Hiddink's side a massive scare. Three second-half goals via Didier Drogba, Alex and Frank Lampard seemed to put the tie to bed, but Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt scored a duo of goals in the space of a minute as Liverpool made it 3-4 on the night.
Liverpool continued to hammer at the Chelsea door but it was Lampard who had the final say, levelling matters on the night 4-4 and sending Chelsea through 7-5 on aggregate to book a semifinal date with Barcelona.
🏟 Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea
🗓 July 2020
🍾 Party time
Liverpool won the Premier League with a record amount of games to spare in 2020, but in unique and unforgettable circumstances, it was the latest-ever coronation of a Premier League champion. The pressure was off for both sides and the result was a carnival-like football match producing eight goals on a night of rich entertainment.
Naby Keïta, Trent Alexander-Arnold & Gini Wijnaldum had Liverpool 3-0 up inside 43 minutes but Olivier Giroud's goal deep into stoppage time handed the Blues a lifeline. Roberto Firmino restored the Champions' three-goal cushion on 54 minutes.
Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic pulled two more back with the scoreline now reading 4-3 on 73 minutes. A devastating counter-attack resulted in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's first and Liverpool's fifth and Chelsea were beaten.
Chelsea's flurry of spending this summer might see them emerge as title contenders in 2019-20, but everyone's got a lot of work to do in order to catch champions, Liverpool. It's all set up for a quality encounter on Sunday if the feasts of football served up by these two teams this millennium are anything to go by.
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