Anfield braced for Chelsea challenge
Liverpool FC's proud record of defeating every semi-final opponent in the European Champion Clubs' Cup since FC Internazionale Milano beat them in their first contest at this stage in 1964/65 is under threat following Chelsea FC's single-goal victory at Stamford Bridge six days ago. To avoid penalties and progress, Rafael Benítez's side will have to score at least two goals in the return - something they have never done at Anfield against English opponents in UEFA club competition.
• Liverpool will have to display more incisiveness than in the first game when they only seriously threatened Petr Čech's composure with Steven Gerrard's stinging volley. In contrast their opponents could have put themselves almost beyond reach in an impressive first-half display in which they cut through time and time again.
• As it is José Mourinho's team were left with just Joe Cole's 29th-minute strike - his first UEFA Champions League goal in this season's competition on his second start - to show for their supremacy. That gives Liverpool more to do than two years ago when Luis García's fourth-minute goal in the home leg after a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge took them past Chelsea on their way to a glorious finale in Istanbul. There they came back from three goals down to defeat AC Milan on penalties and take the greatest club prize for the fifth time.
• The teams for that second leg at Anfield on 3 May 2005 were:
Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypiä, Traoré, García (Núñez 84), Hamann (Kewell 73), Bišćan, Gerrard, Riise, Baroš (Cissé 60).
Chelsea: Čech, Geremi (Huth 76), Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Makelele, Tiago (Kežman 68), Lampard, Cole (Robben 68), Gudjohnsen, Drogba.
• The sides were paired together again in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage when two 0-0 draws maintained the close rivalry and ensured they followed each other into the knockout rounds, Liverpool as group winners and Chelsea one point behind in second place.
• So after five UEFA Champions League meetings in three successive seasons, the Premiership rivals have scored only one goal each while last week's opener maintained Liverpool's inability to find the net in all competitions at Stamford Bridge, a sequence which now stands at six games. In the last four league encounters at Anfield, Chelsea have won three and lost one.
• Liverpool's aggregate semi-final victories following the 1964/65 defeat by Inter and before the victory against Chelsea came in 1976/77 against FC Zürich, 1977/78 (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), 1980/81 (FC Bayern München), 1983/84 (FC Dinamo 1948 Bucuresti) and 1984/85 (Panathinaikos FC). In their 15 individual matches their record is now W8 D3 L4.
• Liverpool will be hoping this semi-final follows a similar pattern to that of 1977/78 when they lost the first leg 2-1 away before going through following a 3-0 home win. It was one of five occasions when they have lost the first leg of a European Champion Clubs' Cup knockout tie and managed to advance. They did it in the 1966/67 first round against Petrolul Ploiesti, twice in 1976/77, against Trabzonspor in the second round and AS Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals, and also in the 1982/83 second round against HJK Helsinki.
• Chelsea have twice won the first leg of two-legged affairs in the competition and made progress: in the 2003/04 first knockout round against VfB Stuttgart and against Bayern in the following season's quarter-final.
• Having guided Porto to glory in 2004, Mourinho is looking to become only the third coach – after Ernst Happel (Feyenoord 1970, Hamburger SV 1983) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (BV Borussia Dortmund 1997, FC Bayern München 2001) – to win the European Cup with two different teams.
• This season's 2-0 victory for Liverpool on 20 January was the last occasion Mourinho's team met defeat. Since then they have established a sequence of 23 games in all competitions without a single loss as they maintain their remarkable push for four trophies. Cole has scored on his last two visits to Anfield in the league and the only goal in three of the teams' encounters in three seasons.
• Chelsea were also in the ascendancy when the teams met in the 2005 League Cup final, winning 3-2 after extra time at the Millennium Stadium with Mateja Kežman's strike proving decisive.
• Liverpool gained a measure of revenge by winning last season's FA Cup semi-final 2-1 at Old Trafford with García again on target and John Arne Riise also finding the net, Didier Drogba pulling a goal back for Chelsea. Benítez's team also lifted this season's FA Community Shield against the same opponents at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff after a 2-1 victory.
• Overall the clubs have met on 146 occasions with Liverpool winning 66 and Chelsea 51, while 29 have ended in draws.
• At home in this season's competition Liverpool have won four of their five games, meeting defeat in the first knockout round against FC Barcelona. In Group C they scored a total of eight goals at Anfield, beating Galatasaray SK 3-2, FC Girondins de Bordeaux 3-0 and PSV Eindhoven 2-0. PSV were also their quarter-final opponents when Benítez's team followed a 3-0 away victory with a 1-0 success at home.
• Two second-half goals at Mestalla booked Chelsea's place in their third semi-final in four years after Valencia CF had established a 1-0 lead on the night and 2-1 on aggregate. That quarter-final followed the pattern of the first knockout round tie when FC Porto led in both legs before Chelsea's renowned fighting spirit saw them come storming back.
• Apart from the game against Werder Bremen on 22 November 2006, Chelsea have managed to score in all their previous seven away fixtures in the competition. In the nine away games since they bowed out at Anfield in the 2004/05 competition, they have won three and drawn four.
• For the first time Chelsea have a lead to defend in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League semi-final. The year before they faced Liverpool at this stage Chelsea attempted to overcome AS Monaco FC, lost the first leg 3-1 and then failed to hold on to a 2-0 lead in the return in London, with Frank Lampard scoring their second. The game eventually finished 2-2.
• The defeat of Chelsea two years ago was one of only two Liverpool victories in nine games in UEFA club competition against English clubs. Their other matches produced four draws and three defeats, with just three goals scored and five conceded overall.
• In the 1972/73 UEFA Cup, they drew the holders Tottenham Hotspur FC in the semi-finals. They took a 1-0 lead from the home leg to White Hart Lane where Steve Heighway's goal in a 2-1 defeat meant eventual winners Liverpool progressed on away goals.
• In the 1978/79 European Cup, the holders Liverpool met the English champions Nottingham Forest FC in the first round. Brian Clough's team won 2-0 at home and held on 0-0 at Anfield.
• It is the fourth successive season that Chelsea have been involved in games against English rivals in the UEFA Champions League. The first came against Arsenal FC in the 2003/04 quarter-final, Chelsea drawing 1-1 at home before winning 2-1 at Highbury.
• Chelsea's only other tie against English opposition in UEFA club competition came in the 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final when they won both legs 1-0 against the holders Manchester City FC, and went on to beat Real Madrid CF in the final.
• The winners will face either Manchester United FC or AC Milan in the final in Athens on 23 May and will be designated as the away team.