Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1 – Champions League, 22nd April 2008
Chelsea 3 Liverpool 2 – Champions League, 30th April 2008
Twice before we had lost a Champions League semi-final to Liverpool and the prospect of losing a third was unbearable. Crucially though, for the first time we were to play the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Even so we could have been out of the tie before the second game had even started. Liverpool took the lead shortly before half time at Anfield and Petr Cech had to make three great saves during the second period. Then deep into injury time came the defining moment of the tie. Just when it looked as if we would have to come from behind at the Bridge, substitute Salomon Kalou put in a hopeful cross and John Arne Riise, under no pressure, stooped to head the ball into his own net.
The second leg at a rain-soaked Stamford Bridge was a classic. We dominated the early possession and chances and it was no surprise when Didier Drogba opened the scoring with an angled drive after Kalou’s initial effort had been parried.
We paid the price though for not getting a crucial second and Liverpool came back into the match after the break, their first goal at the Bridge for over four years taking the tie into extra time.
During the extra period we showed great character by reasserting our early dominance. Michael Essien had a goal disallowed, then Frank Lampard gave us the lead from the spot after Michael Ballack was fouled. Drogba added a third moments later and not even a second goal for Liverpool with three minutes remaining could deny us a place in the Champions League Final.