History

Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1

Premiership - August 17th 2003

By coincidence our first game of the 2003/04 season was also against Liverpool. Yet so much had happened since the Champions League play-off against the same opposition three months earlier.

That win had made the club a far more attractive proposition to potential buyers and a change of ownership had led to a level of investment in the team that had not been seen in English football.

Even so, there were plenty of doubts as to how quickly the team would gel, especially as no fewer than five summer signings were making their league debuts.

It was one of those debutants, Juan Sebastian Veron, who opened the scoring, smashing home a Jesper Gronkjaer cross midway through the first half. Eidur Gudjohnsen then missed a great chance to increase the lead when he was put through with only the keeper to beat.

Liverpool did not look likely to equalise until Wayne Bridge has harshly judged to have fouled a Liverpool attacker. Even then the penalty was missed only for the referee to order a retake as Carlo Cudicini had encroached two centimetres off his line.

The new look Chelsea were not to be denied, although it was two of the old guard who combined for the winner. Frank Lampard’s pass was brilliantly controlled by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who slotted home the winner with three minutes left.

The new owners celebrated in the directors’ box and the win sent out an important statement of intent to our rivals.

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