Football

Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal'.

Remembering Luis Garcia's ghost goal vs Chelsea on this day in 2005

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There's always something special about two teams from the same country facing each other in the Champions League, especially when the stakes are high.

On Tuesday night we saw Real Madrid steamroll cross-city neighbours Atletico in a game that was really all about Cristiano Ronaldo, as the away side's stars struggled to live up to the occasion.

However, on this day in 2005, Liverpool took on Chelsea in one of the matchups of the competition at the semi-final stage on their way to that historic night in Istanbul.

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The first leg was a goalless affair at Stamford Bridge, setting the tie up to come to a head at Anfield, and both sides didn't disappoint, producing a full-blooded encounter that left the Reds fans coming away as the happier of the two.

Liverpool won the tie 1-0 on aggregate, and while the goals weren't flying in left, right and centre, the one that was counted provided a talking point that is still raging on 12 years later.

Just four minutes into the game Liverpool managed to break forward thanks to a run from John Arne Riise. He found Steven Gerrard in the middle, who flicked the ball over the defence and into the path of the oncoming Milan Baros.

The Czech striker was clattered by countryman Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal, but rather than blowing for a penalty the referee allowed play to continue and Spanish forward Luis Garcia pounced to finish off the move.

But it wasn't a net-busting finish that would have befitted the sweeping attack, instead, it was a gentle poke that the officiating team judged to have crossed the line.

Even to this day, a look back at the footage doesn't make it any clearer as to whether the whole ball crossed the line.

Blues defender William Gallas cleared it away at the crucial moment, but goal line technology was still a long way off back in 2005, and the Slovakian referee ─Żuboš Michel gave his blessing for a full house of Liverpool fans to go into raptures.

It wasn't an easy night for Liverpool from there, who had to weather some heavy duty Chelsea attacks. 

Frank Lampard tested Jerzy Dudek with a well-struck low free kick, and later in the game, with six minutes being added for injury time, the Blues tried to push the question even harder.

Lampard again lofted a hopeful ball towards the box in the final minute. He found John Terry, who headed the ball back across goal towards Matija Kezman, but instead, it sailed past him and to the feet of Eidur Gudjonsen, who hit a half-volley just inches wide.

The Reds ended Chelsea's hopes of winning the treble that season, and secured their pathway to the final of a European Cup final for the first time in 20 years.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football
Frank Lampard

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