On February 27th 2005, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC faced off at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff to give managers Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez a chance at their first trophies with their new clubs. Mourinho and Benitez were in their first years with their respective clubs and both had won European trophies the season before, the Champions League for Mourinho and the UEFA Cup for Benitez. Chelsea would go on to win their first domestic double and first Premier League title for 50 year, while Liverpool would snatch victory from AC Milan in the Champions League final.
Liverpool defender John Arne Riise opened the scoring in the first minute with an expertly taken volley from the corner of Petr Cech’s six yard box. The goal set a League Cup final record for the fastest goal ever scored but it was the last thing Liverpool had to cheer about for a long time. The first half continued largely without incident as Liverpool looked to open the game up and Chelsea probed for an equalizer.
Chelsea dominated possession in the second half and their persistence was paid off with a Steven Gerrard own goal off a Paulo Ferreira free kick in the 79th minute. Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands by the referee after gesturing to the Liverpool supporters to quiet down by putting a finger to his lips. The sides looked for the winning goal but the match was destined to go in to extra time.
In extra time, Chelsea’s dominance continued and would soon pay off in a big way for the Blues. In the 107th minute, Chelsea earned a throw deep in the Liverpool half and then Chelsea player Glen Johnson’s long throw was bundled in to Jerzy Dudek’s goal by Drobgba to give Chelsea the lead. Five minutes later, Chelsea were able to kill off the match with a goal by Mateja Kezman from an Eidur Gudjohnsen cross inside the box. Antonio Nunez scored his first and only Liverpool goal just one minute later to add some intrigue to the final stage of the match but it was simply not Liverpool’s day and Chelsea were victorious.
This was the first trophy of Mourinho’s Chelsea career and the match featured Drogba’s first ever goal for Chelsea in a final. Both men went on to achieve tremendous success with the club but this was their first taste of victory together and gave Chelsea supporters around the world a glimpse of what was to come in the next decade.
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