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Liverpool’s last Champions League quarter-final was completely bonkers

Liverpool play their first Champions League quarter-final in nearly a decade against Man City, so let's revisit the last time they got this far

It’s almost scarcely believable that we’re approaching nearly a decade since Liverpool’s last Champions League quarter-final.

There was a time when the Reds were regular fixtures in the latter stages, reaching at least the last eight four times in five seasons in the mid 00s.


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All smiles

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All smiles

So their clash with Man City this week is quite a big deal.

But do you remember just how mental their last quarter-final was in Europe’s primary competition?

Liverpool’s rivalry with Chelsea in the Champions League was fierce, kickstarted by Luis Garcia’s ghost goal in 2005 which set up that famous night in Istanbul.

But in 2008/09 an even more dramatic tie unfolded, culminating in a 7-5 aggregate win for the Blues.

Lampard stole the show

AFP
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Lampard stole the show

Chelsea, and Branislav Ivanovic in particular, put themselves in a commanding position with a 3-1 win in the first leg.

But the return leg – a quite remarkable 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge – simply has to go down as one of the best Champions League encounters of all time.

This was a time when English clubs made Europe a home from home, when we had a Premier League side in the final five seasons in a row.

On the night, Fabio Aurelio’s truly audacious free kick stunned Petr Cech from 45 yards to give Liverpool an early 1-0 lead.

Aurelio caught Cech out brilliantly

AFP
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Aurelio caught Cech out brilliantly

Then Mr Cool Xabi Alonso made it 2-0 – and level on aggregate – from the penalty spot.

Alonso was playing one of his last Liverpool games

PA:Empics Sport
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Alonso was playing one of his last Liverpool games

Game on… and all without the injured Steven Gerrard.

But Didier Drogba’s customary goal and Alex’s stunning long-range free kick pulled Chelsea level and back in control.

Frank Lampard appeared to kill the tie off in the 76th minute – but Liverpool really don’t know when they’re dead, particularly in Europe.

Drogba? Scoring? Never?

AFP
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Drogba? Scoring? Never?

In the space of two minutes Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt scored to make it 4-3 to the Reds, who needed just one more to go through on away goals.

Lucas levelled to make it 3-3

EPA
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Lucas levelled to make it 3-3

It set up a truly spellbinding finale which culminated in Lampard finally ending Liverpool’s challenge in the 89th minute.

Lampard had the final say

Reuters
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Lampard had the final say

The Merseysiders have never been the same since – until now.

Will we see similar fireworks against the might of City?


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