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Remembering Luis Garcia’s ghost goal vs Chelsea in the 2005 UCL semi-finals

UEFA Champions League Semi Final - Liverpool v Chelsea
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Let’s remember one of the most controversial moments in the history of the Champions League semi-finals, Luis Garcia’s ghost goal against Chelsea in 2005.

Liverpool will welcome Barcelona for the second leg of their encounter in the Champions League’s semi-finals. The Reds trail 3-0 from last week’s meeting at Camp Nou and will need a lot more than a ghost goal to qualify for the ninth European final in the history of the club.

Not so long ago, however, a single goal did it for Liverpool, as Rafa Benitez’s side beat Chelsea 1-0 on aggregate to book their place in the 2005 Champions League Final in Istanbul.

It all happened in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge at Stamford Bridge. European champion with Porto from the previous campaign, Mourinho dominated the Premier League in his first year in England, winning the title with record-breaking 95 points.

The Blues also won the League Cup, winning 3-2 in the final against Liverpool. They enjoyed an exciting campaign in Europe as well, eliminating Barcelona (5-4 on aggregate) and Bayern Munich (6-5 on aggregate) on their way to the semi-finals.

They faced Liverpool in the semi-finals as the Reds were seeking revenge for their defeat in the League Cup Final.

The first leg at Stamford Bridge finished in a goalless 0-0 draw, setting the tie up to come to a head, next week at Anfield. The reverse fixture was a tense, nervy, bad-bloodied game, which saw Liverpool qualify in the Final thanks to one of the most controversial goals of all-time.

It was decided in the fourth minute when Steven Gerrard flicked the ball over the defense to find Milan Baros who was sneaking behind Chelsea’s back four.

The Czech striker was brought down by countryman Petr Cech, but rather than blowing for a penalty, Lubos Michel who officiated the game, allowed play to continue, as Spanish forward Luis Garcia finish off the move netting the only goal in the game.

Well, he didn’t net it actually, as William Gallas cleared the ball away at a crucial moment, but in a time without the goal-line technology, the Slovak referee decided to award a goal for the home side.

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

Maybe it was Luis Garcia’s convincing celebration that made Michel believe it was in, but at the end of the day, it would have been a penalty for Liverpool and a straight red for Petr Cech anyway.

The Reds faced AC Milan in Istanbul, producing arguably the greatest comeback in a Champions League Final. They were 3-0 down at half-time but somehow managed to get back in the second and win their fifth, and still last European crown.