Liverpool v Chelsea Preview – 21st April 2013

Over the last few years, well since Chelsea’s Roman Roubles arrived really, the Liverpool v Chelsea fixture has been quite a bit more spicy. None more so than when Rafa Benitez managed us and Jose Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea. Now those duels were extra special spicy. 

Who can forget the Champions League semi-finals in 2005 and 2007, both of which won by Liverpool of course which made the rivalry that bit more sweeter tasting.

Just the fact that it is a game against Chelsea irrespective of what is, or what is not, at stake will generate massive interest and an extra edge to proceedings. No doubt the Kop will be in full voice reminding Chelsea of their lack of history, with multitudes of flags on show. Some Chelsea fans may bring their mass produced blue and white plastic flags.

The added spice of course tomorrow will be because it will see the return of the much despised and much loved Rafa Benitez. Much despised by Chelsea fansbut much loved by Liverpool fans. It will be weird in that the rapturous welcome he will get will be coming from the fans whose team he will be trying to outsmart.

I am a big Rafa Benitez fan. He lost his way in the last two years or so of his reign at Liverpool but that was largely down to the interference (or lack of it in some cases) of the suits running the club at the time. Step forward Messrs Hicks and Gillette.

Having been in the Ataturk Stadium on 25th May 2005, Rafa Benitez and his team gave me the second best day of my life after my wedding day…….(OK, the missus has gone now. She was reading over my shoulder while I was writing this)…….let me correct myself, Rafa Benitez and his team gave me the best day of my life…(only kidding love!!).

Cardiff in 2006 when we beat West Ham was another great day out. The 2008/09 season when we finished second (two instances in the two goalless draws against Stoke cost us the title. An incorrectly disallowed goal at Anfield and when Gerrard hit the post in the last few minutes at Stoke. Oh how close!!. Just shows how close the margins are between success and failure), was a great season as well.

That was a season when we seemed to return to the days of knowing that when we turned up at Anfield we would win. None of this, “Ooo, Villa at home. Hard to predict that one!!” for instance. Villa like so many others were swept aside (a 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid is included in that list).

I for one will welcome Rafa Benitez back with an outpouring of love and affection, as will so many others.

Liverpool FC v Chelsea Preview: No shortage of motivation as Reds look to ruin … – Liverpool Echo

Bleacher ReportLiverpool FC v Chelsea Preview: No shortage of motivation as Reds look to ruin …Liverpool EchoONCE the whistle blows, the sentiment will stop. An old friend will be welcomed ‘home’ on an emotional afternoon at Anfield tomorrow but Br …

The fans opinion of Rafa Benitez is not only one-way. Rafa Benitez still loves Liverpool and has said that one day he would like to return. Benitez’s affection for Liverpool and his deep feelings for the fans was so clearly demonstrated during the Hillsborough memorial service in 2011.

Myself and no doubt so many others would like to say, “Thanks Rafa, you are a legend”

Rafa Benitez in tears at Hillsborough 22 memorial

Rafa sheds tears. Rafa you legend! JFT96 YNWA!

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