The Greatest Goal I Ever Saw: When Liverpool Broke Chelsea's Heart

Forget Gerrard half-volley screamers, it's goals that make Jose cry that mean the most...
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Forget Gerrard half-volley screamers, it's goals that make Jose cry that mean the most...

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The Greatest Goal I Ever Saw: When Liverpool Broke Chelsea's Heart

I’m torn, fellas.

So many wonderful ones to mention. From the sublime, weighted perfection of a Xabi Alonso halfway-liner, to the silky menace of Torres’ defence-splitting dribbles, to a Gerrard thunderbolt, to any number of Suarez stunners, there’s no shortage of great Liverpool goals to choose from, all deserving.

But when it comes to picking the greatest, however, it should have a bit of everything: skill, composure, and, to crown it off, importance. It’s this significance that'd certainly applies to some of Steven Gerrard’s most memorable. That long ranger against West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup, the belter against Olympiacos that, on the verge of elimination from the Champions League, saw us famously go all the way and batter AC Milan in the final.

That Gerrard goal is so clearly etched into my - and every other Liverpool fans’ - mind forever. You’ve heard the Andy Gray “Ooooh ya beeeeeauty!” a million times, if not more.

But choose one of those and there’d be people rolling their eyes at the typical, obvious nature of that choice. It’s great, sure, but did it give me the greatest satisfaction as a Red?

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For me, looking back, my ultimate choice is related but it’s also one of the most dubious. You know, one of those snide ‘was it or wasn’t it?’ decisions. Thank Jesus there wasn’t Hawkeye in place back then.

Luis Garcia’s goal that never was. Only, it was, because it knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League and sent us into the final. And it was the only goal of that game, and indeed the two-legged tie. A phantom goal that went on to haunt the Blues, but create history for us to win a fifth European Cup. Even better was the look on Jose Mourinho’s face.

Anything could’ve happened that night after 90 minutes. A penalty defeat might’ve seen us all in floods, followed by a Chelsea stuffing by an in-form Crespo and Shevchenko a few weeks later. Dudek might not have cemented his legendary status with THAT double save, or we may not have been able to remember Djimi Traore for his headless-chicken display against the Milan forwards that night.

Did it go in? Who friggin’ cares. It’s mad the significance that that fourth-minute debacle presented, in the game that had such a massive impact on LFC’s immediate future and history.

Without doubt, it led to the greatest footballing night in my memory as a Liverpool support. Ta, Jose.

@mike_p_williams