Chelsea 4 Liverpool 4 – Champions League Quarter-final (April 14, 2009)
We have already revisited one 4–4 Champions’ League draw in this series of the 10 most-exciting matches in our history. But while the game against Ajax in November 2019 was a spectacular Chelsea FC comeback, this high-scoring contest was different. Our #5 match was a game that ebbed and flowed, a dramatic topsy-turvy battle that could have gone either way.
Ironically, the prevailing mood was that this quarter-final second leg was a dead rubber. The Blues had gone to Anfield the previous week and secured a hard-fought 3–1 win. That brilliant performance looked to have settled the tie before kickoff at Stamford Bridge, and many Chelsea supporters had an eye on a semi-final showdown with Barcelona.
However, within 30 minutes, that presumptive opinion was turned on its head. Fábio Aurélio put the visitors 1–0 ahead in the 19th minute after an uncharacteristic error by goalkeeper Petr Cech. Cech, concentrating on an anticipated cross, was out of position when Aurélio fired in a free-kick to the bottom corner.
Nine minutes later, Liverpool were level on aggregate. Branislav Ivanovic fouled Xabi Alonso in the box, and the same player stepped up to smash home the penalty kick. The stunned home crowd was delighted to hear the half-time whistle.
The Londoners looked better after the break. Two quick-fire strikes in six minutes seemed to have settled it. Didier Drogba’s deft flick and a trademark Alex long-range thunderbolt restored our two-goal advantage. When Frank Lampard made it 3–2, (6–3 on aggregate) with only 14 minutes left, it appeared the match was done and dusted.
But back came the Reds. Incredibly, two goals in two minutes from Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt flipped the momentum yet again. It put them 4–3 ahead. With seven minutes, plus stoppage time, still to play. If Liverpool netted again, they would be in the last eight.
Thankfully, Lampard’s second goal, with only one minute left, finally settled Chelsea nerves on and off the pitch. At the final whistle, the Bridge let out a collective sigh of relief after one of the most action-packed nights in our history. Learn more about the 2009 Champions League quarter-final matches against Liverpool, and check out our #4 most-exciting match pick.