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Chelsea FC will be hoping it will prove a case of third-time lucky when they visit Liverpool FC for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.
• Twice in the last four years the Londoners' dreams of reaching their first European Champion Clubs' Cup final have died at Anfield, following 1-0 defeats in the second leg of their semi-finals in 2005 and 2007.
• This time they travel north for the opening match, however, with the return in London to come on 30 April and Chelsea will be determined to ensure that the reversal of venues will bring a change of fortune.
• Liverpool will have other ideas as they close in on a third final in four years and they certainly have history on their side. The Merseyside club have never lost a semi-final to Chelsea, prevailing in the FA Cup in 1964/65 (2-0) and 2005/06 (2-1) in addition to those two European triumphs.
• Moreover, the five-time European champions have won their last seven semi-finals in the continent's élite competition – a record that contrasts starkly with that of a Chelsea side beaten in their three previous attempts.
• The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea has intensified in recent years, on the back of six UEFA Champions League encounters since 2005. Rafael Benítez's men hold the upper hand in these European contests, with three wins to Chelsea's one.
• The teams first met in Europe in the 2004/05 semi-final when Luis García's fourth-minute goal in the second leg in Liverpool proved enough to earn the hosts a 1-0 aggregate victory en route to their final triumph against AC Milan in Istanbul.
• The lineups for the game at Anfield on 3 May 2005 were:
Liverpool: Jerzy Dudek, Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypiä, Djimi Traoré, Luis García (Antonio Núñez 84), Didi Hamann (Harry Kewell 73), Igor Bišćan, Steven Gerrard, John Arne Riise, Milan Baroš (Djibril Cissé 60).
Chelsea: Petr Čech, Geremi (Robert Huth 76), Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, William Gallas, Claude Makelele, Tiago (Mateja Kežman 68), Frank Lampard, Joe Cole (Arjen Robben 68), Eidur Gudjohnsen, Didier Drogba.
• Liverpool inflicted further heartache on Chelsea in last season's semi-final. They lost the first leg at Stamford Bridge 1-0 to a 29th-minute Joe Cole goal, but won the return by the same score thanks to Daniel Agger's 22nd-minute strike before triumphing 4-1 on penalties.
• Dirk Kuyt converted the winning spot-kick after Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina had saved efforts from Arjen Robben and Geremi. This time Benítez's side went on to lose the final in Athens to Milan.
• The teams at Anfield on 1 May 2007 were:
Liverpool: Pepe Reina, Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, John Arne Riise, Jermaine Pennant (Xabi Alonso 78), Javier Mascherano (Robbie Fowler 118), Steven Gerrard, Boudewijn Zenden, Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch (Craig Bellamy 106).
Chelsea: Petr Čech, Paulo Ferreira, John Terry, Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, Claude Makelele (Geremi 118), John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole (Arjen Robben 98), Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (Shaun Wright-Phillips 107).
• In between those semi-final meetings, Liverpool and Chelsea also squared off in the 2005/06 group stage, playing out two goalless draws as both advanced to the knockout rounds, Liverpool as group winners.
• The six previous European matches between the clubs – which all came during José Mourinho's reign as Chelsea manager – produced only three goals.
• Liverpool reached the last four after winning another all-English affair against Arsenal FC. They drew the first leg 1-1 in London – Kuyt's 26th-minute strike cancelling out Emmanuel Adebayor's opener three minutes earlier – before running out 4-2 victors in a dramatic second leg at Anfield. Sami Hyypiä (30), Fernando Torres (69), Steven Gerrard (85, pen) and Ryan Babel (90+2) struck to secure a hard-earned success against opponents who, thanks to goals from Abou Diaby (13) and Adebayor (84), were six minutes away from eliminating Liverpool.
• Liverpool had earlier made the last 16 by finishing second in Group A and then overcame FC Internazionale Milano 3-0 on aggregate in the first knockout round.
• Since losing their first home game of the present European campaign 1-0 to Olympique de Marseille, Liverpool's form at Anfield has been impressive with four straight wins recorded and a goal difference of 18-3.
• Chelsea ran out 3-2 aggregate winners against Fenerbahçe SK in the last eight. They lost the first leg 2-1 in Istanbul – Kazım Kazım (65) and Deivid (81) striking to overturn the latter's 13th-minute own goal – but recovered to win the return 2-0 through Michael Ballack (4) and Lampard (87).
• Avram Grant's men had previously finished top of Group B and then beaten Olympiacos CFP 3-0 on aggregate in the last 16.
• Prior to losing at Fenerbahçe, Chelsea had been undefeated away from home in this campaign, having registered wins against Valencia CF and Rosenborg BK, and draws with FC Schalke 04 and Olympiacos.
• Liverpool and Chelsea have met three times in domestic competition this term. The first encounter brought a 1-1 draw at Anfield on 19 August when Lampard's 62nd-minute penalty rescued the London club from defeat after Torres had struck his first Liverpool goal in the 16th minute.
• The teams that day were:
Liverpool: Pepe Reina, Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Álvaro Arbeloa, Jermaine Pennant (Ryan Babel 68), Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, John Arne Riise (Peter Crouch 83), Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt.
Chelsea: Petr Čech, Michael Essien, Tal Ben-Haim, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Salomon Kalou (Claudio Pizarro 46), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Joe Cole 77), John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda, Didier Drogba.
• Grant had replaced Mourinho as manager by the time of the sides' English League Cup quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge on 19 December, when Lampard (59) and Andriy Shevchenko (90) scored to earn Chelsea a 2-0 success.
• This season's third meeting was a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on 10 February.
• Overall the clubs have met 150 times. There have been 67 wins for Liverpool, 52 for Chelsea, and 31 draws.
• Liverpool's home record against Chelsea in all competitions is P73 W48 D15 L10.
• Chelsea have won on three of their last five Premier League visits to Anfield, their most recent success a 4-1 triumph in October 2005.
• Liverpool have not lost a semi-final in this competition since going down 4-3 on aggregate to FC Internazionale Milano in 1964/65. Since then they have ousted FC Zürich (1976/77), VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (1977/78), FC Bayern München (1980/81), FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti (1983/84), Panathinaikos FC (1984/85) and Chelsea (2004/05 and 2006/07).
• Besides their two semi-final reverses against Liverpool, Chelsea also lost at this stage in 2003/04, succumbing 5-3 on aggregate against AS Monaco FC.
• Liverpool have fared well in previous all-English ties in UEFA club competition. As well as their two semi-final victories against Chelsea and the recent conquest of Arsenal, they also got past Tottenham Hotspur FC on away goals in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup semi-finals following a 2-2 aggregate draw. Their only setback in five all-English knockout ties came in the 1978/79 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round when, as holders, they went down 2-0 on aggregate against Nottingham Forest FC.
• Chelsea's record against English rivals in Europe includes two victories in addition to their losses against Liverpool. They beat Arsenal in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals – drawing 1-1 at home, then winning 2-1 away – and claimed 1-0 home and away successes against Manchester City FC in the 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final en route to lifting the trophy.
• Liverpool attacker Kuyt and Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou achieved great things as a strike partnership with Dutch club Feyenoord between 2004 and 2006. Kuyt scored 51 league goals and Kalou 35 over the course of two seasons together.
• Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun played under Chelsea manager Grant during the 2000/01 and 2001/02 campaigns at Israeli outfit Maccabi Haifa FC – winning two league titles together – and later with the Israel national team.
• Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka spent the second half of the 2001/02 season on loan at Liverpool, scoring four goals in 20 league appearances.
• Chelsea forward Shevchenko's saved spot-kick in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final shoot-out sealed Liverpool's triumph against Milan.
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