How Liverpool v Chelsea became one of the fiercest rivalries of the 2000s

Quick Reads

There is no geographical or historical reason why Liverpool and Chelsea should have any sort of dislike of each other, but for a while in the 2000s their rivalry was one of the most entertaining in English football.

Luis Garcia’s ‘ghost goal’ in the 2005 Champions League semi-final remains the most memorable – and controversial – moment of what turned into one of the most highly-charged fixtures in English football.

The contrast between the two clubs’ fortunes at the time was particularly striking. While they are a working man’s club, Liverpool were part of English football’s traditional aristocracy, whereas Chelsea were on the up, funded by the new money of Roman Abramovich.

As Frank Lampard said in interview with Jamie Carragher for the Daily Mail: “We were the new kids on the block who had a few quid and signed a load of players. Jose puffed his chest out and then we kept playing each other. It was a clash of two ideals.”

In Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho, two managers were in charge who were both looking to make their mark in England. Both astute tacticians, the battle in the dugout was just as fierce as that on the pitch.

All these factors combined to ensure the clashes between the two sides were always fascinating, always competitive and always dramatic.

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