The 2013/14 season was one that will live long in Liverpool fans’ minds, and Premier League followers from around the world.
The Reds, managed by Brendan Rodgers, had a first league title for 24 years in their grasp, needing to achieve seven points from their final three matches of the season.
Liverpool were on a 16-game unbeaten run in the league and with the form of Luis Suárez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, it was difficult to see any team being able to stop them.
Coming into the game, there was huge anticipation from Liverpool fans – with Anfield one of the loudest it has ever been – with home supporters even disrupting Chelsea players after finding out where they were staying the night before the game.
Just an hour before kick-off when the teams were announced, it was typical mind-games from José Mourinho, a long-time villain in the opinion of Liverpool fans.
Mourinho made six changes and handed a Premier League debut to young defender Tomáš Kalas.
It was a welcome sight for Liverpool fans – with Chelsea not playing key defenders Gary Cahill and their captain John Terry – but what we were about to see was a defensive masterclass from the much-changed Blues side.
So, it was no surprise that Rodgers’ side did make a positive start and were the team on the front-foot.
Very early on, it was clear to see Mourinho’s intentions – it was to stop Liverpool’s explosive attacking players – and he could do that with a “park the bus” approach, that we had seen before from the Chelsea boss, with a bank of four at the back, five in front and the striker, who would also play in the Reds’ half.
This meant Liverpool were restricted to very little space when attacking in the visitor’s half, and the hosts couldn’t find a way to properly test Mark Schwarzer in the first-half, before Chelsea made them pay.
Mamadou Sakho passed the ball to Steven Gerrard, with the Liverpool skipper looking for a long-pass to the right-hand side of the pitch, like he had done countless times from his deeper role in midfield already during the season.
Unfortunately for the Liverpool-born midfielder, he lost his footing, allowing Demba Ba to run through on goal and slot the ball between Simon Mignolet’s legs. It was one of the, if not the, most famous goals the Premier League has ever witnessed.
After a defensive display in the first-half, Chelsea now had a lead to hold on to in the second-half.
The Blues were as deep as they could possibly be to try and support Schwarzer and restricted Liverpool to very few chances.
Suárez came close from a half-volley with the Australian goalkeeper having to tip the ball over the bar.
In the 94th-minute, with the Reds desperately chasing an equaliser to keep their title hopes alive, Sturridge gave the ball away in Chelsea’s half, allowing former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to run through on goal before passing the ball to Willian, who tapped into an open goal.
There were tears after the match from the home supporters, who realised their first title in almost quarter of a decade was now out of their hands with just two games left of the 13/14 season.
This was such a cruel way for Liverpool to lose the title, with club legend Gerrard being largely responsible for Chelsea’s surprise victory but also a reminder of how football can go sometimes.Embed from Getty Images