With the two sparring off this weekend, here’s a flashback to the April 2014 Anfield fixture in which Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side all but decimated Liverpool’s Premier League hopes.
Against the odds
Having looked frighteningly potent in the weeks leading up, Brendan Rodgers’s side, armed with a free scoring Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, were just seven points away from claiming the illustrious Premier League trophy (their first since its 1992 rebrand).
Indeed, the bookies backed the club. In the same sort of places where you’d find a list with all the new UK bookmakers in 2019, punters placed their money in their droves in favour of the free-scorers.
With three games to play, and with all of the momentum in the world, not many would have bet against the Reds at the seasons close. Naturally, Jose Mourinho didn’t give a toss.
The Return Of Jose
Having returned to the club following a typically argumentative time at Real Madrid, the Special ones ‘specialness’ was still apparent in the eyes of the average Blues fan.
Sure, the season as far was rather one to forget, with the Portuguese boss bringing together a mixed bag of under-achievers and claiming a Champions League spot.
Perhaps even sweeter for our Jose was the nullifying of Premier League hopefuls Liverpool. Those expecting a glorious attacking display by the visitors were in for a rude awakening when the visitors set up with the biggest of buses to park.
Chelsea proceeded to claim a valuable 2-0 victory with Liverpool denied at every turn by the visitors efficiently organised defensive play. To add salt to the wounds, it would be one of legendary captain Steven Gerrard’s worst days in a Liverpool shirt.
With a minute left on the clock just before the break, Chelsea had a late corner that rookie Czech defender Tomas Kalas, with a free header just yards out, should have scored from.
Mignolet played a goalkick to Sakho who, pondering on the half-way line, played a short ball to his captain. Then came the mistake. Gerrard lost his concentration and lost his footing and the ball rolled into space. Ba capitalised on that and galloped goalwards. One on one with Mignolet, he did not miss.
Naturally social media had a field day, with footage of Gerrard leading an in game huddle with cries of ‘we don’t let this slip’ joyfully shared.
Whilst the ‘the slip’ has lived on in infamy ever since, the effect on the clubs title bid wasn’t at first believed to be as devastating as we now know.
The Merseysiders still sat 3 points ahead of Man City having played a game less. Only a simple trip to Palace was the next port of call – a win and the cities 24 year wait for a league trophy would be over (and boy do we know how that turned out).