Final score - after extra time - 120'
3 - 2
UEFA Champions League
18:45 +00:00, April 30, 2008
Stamford Bridge, England
Referee: Roberto Rosetti
2nd Leg: 4 - 3 (Agg)
And what a night for Frank Lampard. He is clearly very emotional at the end of the game. What character he showed to take a vital penalty and put his side on the way to a famous win. Thanks for your company and we'll see you back here tomorrow night for the UEFA Cup semi-finals.
So, it is Chelsea and Manchester United battling it our for the Premier League title, and now they will contest the Champions League final as well. Chelsea probably just shaded the game but Liverpool ran them right to the wire.
Avram Grant sinks to his knees at the final whistle as Chelsea's players form a jubilant huddle in front of their fans. What an amazing game!
It's over! Chelsea are through!
Cole blocks Gerrard's cross I should have said. One minute added, of which 20 seconds are left.
Liverpool launch it upfield. Cole blocks his cross and wins a goal kick. Surely that is that.
Kuyt is flagged offside as Alonso nicked it off Drogba. Hyypia has gone up front for Liverpool.
One minute to go. Can Chelsea hang on?
If Liverpool get another then they are through! Incredible drama! Shevchenko is on in place of Frank Lampard - who gets a standing ovation, and rightly so.
What a finish to this game!
Half the Liverpool fans have already gone!
What a hit from Babel! He's fully 35 yards out and Cech has made a bit of a mess of it. Three minutes left for Liverpool to grab another!
GOAL! Ryan Babel!
Should Chelasea win, and they surely will now, question marks will certainly be asked about Benitez and his removal of Torres. Obviously we don't know the full story but could it be that Rafa has signed his own death warrant?
Chelsea are content just to knock the ball about and exploit the space Liverpool are leaving with this attack-minded formation.
Liverpool are lumping the ball in the box at every opportunity, which begs the question, why isn't Peter Crouch on the pitch?
Drogba's effort flicks off the wall and behind for a corner. Only Anelka is in the box as yet.
Mascherano is penalised for blocking Malouda off the ball. Free kick, 30 yards out, dead central.
Torres has a face like thunder on the bench. He didn't look injured when he came off so what on earth was Benitez thinking of?
Chelsea's players, led by John Terry were furious with Hyypia, accusing him of diving, but there was definitely contact, however minimal.
Hyypia nipped in front of Drogba in the penalty box and went down. The ref took his whistle to his lips, then thought twice and evetually awarded Chelsea a free kick. That could easily have been the second penalty of the night.
Essien gets his head to the corner and puts it behind for another.
Essien tries to be too cute with a header back to Cech from a long ball, but he gets it wrong and Liverpool have a corner.
It'll be like the alamo in this last section of play. All the talk seems to be as to why Torres isn't on the field anymore.
We're off again. Liverpool need two goals in fifteen minutes..
A great move down the right. Essien feeds Malouda, he turns it Anelka who ghosted in behind Riise and he crosses for Drogba to finish from six yards out. Game over!
GOAL! Drogba! Chelsea are through!
Don't forget that Rafa Benitez rested EIGHT players at the weekend, whereas Avram Grant played his first choice XI for their crucial game with Manchester United. Might that prove a factor in this extra period?
Well! The 90 minutes was more eventful than usual between these two, but extra time has kicked off big time!
Lampard pointed to his dad - Frank snr - in the crowd in the aftermath of the penalty. In what has been a traumatic week for their family, could this be a brighter end to it?
Gerrard swings in another cross and Cech does well to hold on - especially in these conditions.
ALonso wins the header from the corner but it is right at Cech. Ina ll the penalty drama, Torres has been hauled off and Babel is on. Unbelievable! He didn't look injured..
Now Babel goes down at the other end. Essien dives in on Babel and wins the ball. The ref is having a busy five minutes and it has all booted off!
What bottle from Lampard. He rips off his black armband and kisses it repeatedly, in honour of his mother who died last week. Fair play to Lampard, that took some guts.
Hyypia slides in on Ballack and brings down Ballack. Lampard to take it.
Now Chelsea have a penalty!
What a call that was! The replay showed FOUR Chelsea players were offside but it didn't touch any of them, nor were they directly in the keeper's way, but the linesman flagged right away. Amazing!
The goal has been disallowed!
From the corner Hyypia loses Drogba and directs a free header agonisingly wide of the post.
A great start to the extra period by Liverpool. A swift attack sees Alonso release Riise who stands up a lovely cross to the back post but neither Torres nor Kuyt can climb high enough to nod home.
So, to avoid any confusion, the first period of extra time will finish at 105. Got it?!
Joe Cole has made way for Nicolas Anelka.
I'll wind the clock back to 90 for the start of extra time. Two sessions of fifteen minutes each way don't forget..
Time up! Extra time looms...
It looks like we're heading for extra time once again...
Malouda is flagged offside.
Ashley Cole's long ball is cleared but then Essien feeds Joe Cole. His cross is hacked away by Hyypia though. Two minutes of added on time...
The final minute of the game...
Another foul, this time given to Chelsea.
Gerrard is down, but it looks like cramp rather than anything more sinister.
The ref is getting a little too involved here, blowing every five seconds for a foul. This time he penalises Ballack for clipping Mascherano.
The ref saves Mascherano's blushes, blowing for a free-kick after Reina had flapped at the ball, and collided with his own player. Soft.
What has Mascherano done there? He tried to save a throw-in but booted it straight out for corner.
Drogba and Arbeloa have a wrestling match and somehow, the ref adjudges that the Chelsea man was to blame. Liverpool free kick.
Once again we are entering squeaky-bum time where any goal will be decisive - barring any freak last minute own goals of course.
Kuyt clatters into Cech after Pennant aimed a cross at him. No complaints from the keeper though and Kuyt, whose momentum took him into Cech, apologises.
Torres has a little kick at John Terry as they tussled for the ball. Then as Terry gives him a verbal volley Torres grabs the Chelsea skipper's ear to make his point.
Ballack looks like he is hobbling a little. That would be a big blow for Chelsea should he have to come off.
Makelele blocks Gerrard's corner, largely because he was standing about five yards away! The ref waves away Gerrard's protests though.
Kuyt wins a flick on from Reina's long clearance and Carvalho concedes a corner as Torres bore down him and keeper Cech.
Benayoun makes way for Pennant.
Drogba is penalised for a nudge on Hyypia and does his, 'what me?' routine. Pennant is preparing to come on for Liverpool.
What run from Essien! A marauding run down the right beats Mascherano, then Alonso and as he entered the six yard box from the right he went for goal instead of squaring the ball for a host of his players.
Joe Cole comes out of a tangle with the ball but Arbeloa blocks his ball intended for the unmarked Malouda. Then the Frenchmen swings in a devilish cross which Carragher meets. This is better, and more positive, from Chelsea.
Chelsea need to up things a gear here. There only looks like one winner on the evidence of the last 15 minutes.
Malouda picks up the ball in the final third and swings in a hopeful cross but no-one had gambled on it and it's a Liverpool goal kick.
Liverpool look fluid all of a sudden as Mascherano, Torres and Gerrard combine but the latter just loses his footing as he tried to change the direction of his run.
Chelsea change, Malouda is on for Kalou.
We've now heard a peep from the Chelsea fans since the goal. This is exactly the time when they should be picking up their side. Liverpool's fans are full of the joys of spring, even though it is lashing it down.
Chelsea do seem to have taken their foot off the gas this half and Liverpool have grasped the initiative. They are well on top now.
Sir Alex Ferguson is in the crowd to run the rule over his possible opponents.
Liverpool howl for a penalty as Alonso struck at goal and though Terry had his arms outstretched the ball clearly hit his hip.
So, Liverpool cancel out that Riise own goal up at Anfield, and extra time is now a big possibility.
He's not had a sniff apart from that first half chance but he only needs a half chance and Torres has buried that. What a cool finish.
Benayoun gets involved for the firs time in the game, cuts across the field past Makelele then slipping a lovely little ball under Carvalho for Torres who controls, then strikes past Cech in an instant. A great goal.
At the other end Joe Cole collects a Sami Hyypia clearance and tries a daisy-cutter from 20 yards but again, his effort is right at Reina.
Gerrard drifts out to the left and sweeps in a ball that Terry rises to nod clear. There were precious few red shirts in the box though.
Ryan Babel is on the bench as well, and I'd be surprised if we don't see him and Crouch introduced sooner rather than later.
Ballack drills a ball looking for Kalou who had broken clear of the back four but a Sami Hyypia boot prevents the ball getting that far.
Mascherano beats a few men and gets to the byline on the right but his ball in is well claimed by Cech.
When will we see Peter Crouch I wonder?
There is a new mud puddle forming with every minute that this heavy rain continues. This could end up like one of those olden day games where you can't tell the sides apart by the end because both kits are caked in brown filth.
Chelsea enjoy a spell of possession and the Stamford Bridge crowd get the 'ole's' out for every one that is completed. A little early for that I fear.
Riise does well to keep Alonso's pass in and find Torres but as he returned the ball to Riise, the Norwegian was flagged offside, having only just got back on the pitch after crashing into the advertising boards.
Drogba swings in a cross and Ballack lays off to Lamprd. He does well to hit it first time as the ball was fair travelling, and his effort is straight at Reina.
A super tackle from Ashley Cole robs Kuyt before Lampard and Drogba exchange passes, and if the striker had got his return ball correct Lampard was clean through.
Lampard's free kick is horribly overhit and Liverpool can regroup. Now they win a free kick but Gerrard's lofted ball to the edge of the area is met by the fierce German bonce of Ballack.
The ref is getting grief from the home crowd for giving Chelsea a free kick! Mascherano piled in on Essien but the ball had broken for Joe Cole who was charging into the area.
The corner ends in a right scramble as Kuyt again tries to shoot. The the ball breaks in the driection of Torres before Drogba - of all people - dives in to hack clear.
Brilliant save from Cech! A long ball from Alonso is met by Gerrard, Kuyt has a yard of space close to goal and tries to flick it past Cech, who hangs out a leg and makes a vital save.
An early cameo of how the game might go in this half. Alonso slips as he fires a long ball looking for Gerrard, Stevie G miscontrols it before Cech slides about ten yards along the deck to claim it.
During the break the weather has got EVEN WORSE! It's absolutely chucking it down!
Eight-and-a-half games without a goal for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge now. They need one in the next 45 minutes to stay in the competition. We're off again...
Torres does well to dispossess Makelele, but Kuyt's ball for him to run onto is intercepted by Carvalho and that ... is half time.
One minute added...
A decent spell of possession for Liverpool ends with Alonso trying one of his raking cross field balls, but the zip on the surface takes it away from Riise.
Ballack tries a clever little ball with the outside of his right foot looking for Kalou, but Hyypia is across to tidy up. Ballack has had an excellent first half.
Liverpool have shrivelled since the goal. Rafa needs to give them a good talking to at the break, and maybe hurl some china tea cups about to make sure they get his message.
Ballack's free kick is a gem and Reina gave it up for dead. At the last minute the ball just curled a bit too far and falls the wrong side of the post by about three inches. A wonderful effort.
Kalou is the man of the moment. He runs at the back four forcing Alonso to dive in, haul him down and receive a yellow card. Free kick, just to the left, about 30 yards out.
Kalou put the ball out so that Gerrard could get some treatment but then Liverpool refuse to give it back, which induces a chorus of whistles from the home fans.
Now Gerrard is down for Liverpool, he was clattered by Drogba and the Ivorian striker is lucky not to get a booking for that.
Our commentators are making a big fuss about whether Kalou was onside for the goal. even though he was level, they are moaning the flag should have gone up. Rubbish.
This is a good spell for Chelsea this. Liverpool can't get out of their half at present. Hyypia gets up to nod away an Essien cross but the Blues continue to press.
If you hadn't heard in the build up, Benitez made some pointed comments about Drogba, saying the striker was a great player, but had a tendency to dive a bit too much.
Interesting that Drogba initially celebrated in the corner before thinking about it, then sprinting up the field to slide on his knees right in front of Benitez and the Liverpool bench. Cheeky.
Not meaning to dampen your flames of enthusiasm Chelsea fans, but that doesn't really change that much. Liverpool had to score before the game started, and they still need to now.
A superb ball from Lamprd finds Kalou, he cuts inside and tries to curl his shot into the far corner - Reina saves but Drogba is there for the follow up hammers it home from a tight angle. An excellent finsih!
Drogba is flagged for offside as a nice move was developing.
A superb ball from Alonso finds Kuyt down the right but Ashley Cole is in quickly.
The game has hit a bit of a lull at present. Some sloppy passing and a few free kicks have contributed to that.
Hyypia tries a long ball in search of Benayoun - who has hardly had a kick to date - but Cech is out to grab hold.
Now the linesman punishes Drogba for a shoulder charge on Carragher. By the way, since when did Drogba lose a yard or two of pace? Carragher had no trouble keeping pace with him over a 20 yard sprint distance then.
Liverpool break away and Torres runs at Ashley Cole before Terry puts it behind for a corner. Then the ref gives a free kick after Carragher climbed all over Ballack.
A loose bit of control from Carragher allows Drogba to mosey down the left. His crossfield ball is too strong for Ballack but Chelsea work the ball around well and the German ends up having a pop from 30 yards which Reina can only punch away.
The pitch looks like it is starting to cut up in places in the face of this biblical-style downpour.
Riise finds some space on the left and fizzes in a ball across the 18-yard box and Benayoun tries a hugely ambitious volley but doesn't connect at all.
Skrtel has indeed gone off and veteran defender Sami Hyypia is on.
Another cracking effort from Essien, who is on right-back duty tonight. It was arrowing in the bottom corner but Reina gets across comfortably.
Its a good job I'm not in the medical profession because my diagnosis of Skrtel a moment ago apears to be horribly wrong. Sami Hyypia is about to replace the stricken Skrtel.
You'd expect better from Drogba in that situation - he was 12 yards out at an angle, but he should be scoring them all day long. What a boost that would have been for the Blues.
Great move from Chelsea! Lampard slips Drogba in, with a clear sight of goal, and he rolls it just wide after a less than solid connection on his left foot. What a chance!
Skrtel seems to have recovered from the knock he picked up after that Drogba challenge early on - he whacks the ball away without any bother there.
A lovely flick from Joe Cole just escapes Ballack, and Liverpool bring the ball away with Benayoun. No one side is on top as yet but both look a little more threatening than last week at least.
Riise hits it right into the wall and Chelsea clear down field. That was a pretty poor free kick. Riise, we are told, hasn't scored for a year.
Liverpool have wona free kick as Carvalho's arm veered towards Toress's head. Its pretty central, about 25 yards out. Gerrard and Riise over it. The Ginger Ninja to redeem himself perhaps?!
A lovely clipped ball from Lampard released Drogba - who was onside - but Reina was out smartly to hack the ball away. Liverpool's back four was pretty square there. Now Skrtel is down.
Well done Skrtel. He slides in on Drogba as he burst onto Lampard's precise through ball. Corner.
So, both keepers have been tested early, which is a good sign for the game. It is Ballack's turn this time, as he smashes in a left-footed shot from a tight angle. He wants a corner, but he ain't getting one.
Joe Cole tries to buy a free kick but the ref denied him, then as Liverpool break Gerrard feeds Torres inside the box but Cech is out swiftly to block his shot and concede a corner.
The linesman's flag goes up twice in quick succession, bringing an end to two Chelsea forrays. Joe Cole, then Drogba the culprit.
Liverpool free kick after a Kalou handball, wide on the left. Carvalho clears as someone took a tumble in the box.
Nothing doing from the corner, until Michael Essien tries a curler from 30 yards which flies over the bar.
Drogba tries the first pot shot of the game - a good idea in this rain - and Reina turns it round the post for the game's first corner.
Its all a bit ping-pongy at the moment, perhaps due to weather, or the adrenaline which must be flying through the pumped-up players' veins.
Drogba bumps into Skrtel and thought he had won a corner as the ball flicked off the defender. Nothing doing with the ref though.
Whisper it quietly, but there's a half decent atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge. It's not often you hear that said.
Drogba wins a free kick, and only affords himself a little swan dive in the process. Interesting given Rafa Benitez's 'diving' comments this week.
Right, let battle commence...
As for the weather, it has been bucketing down in west London all afternoon which will make for a zippy surface, conducive to mistimed challenges and heaps of potential for mistakes.
Chelsea of course, have a formidable record at home. They've not lost in 66 games, winning 49 and drawing 17. For those reasons, and due to John Arne Riise's last minute own goal at Anfield, the Blues are favourites tonight.
Today's unavoidable stat is this: Since Rafa Benitez took over at Liverpool, his team haven't scored at Stamford Bridge in eight games, and suprisingly given that fact, they have never won a game there.
I should also warn you, there has been only one goal scored in the previous three fixtures at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea winning 1-0 there last season.
In the seven previous fixtures, Liverpool have won 1-0 on two occasions and Chelsea by the same score once.
This is the third time in four years they have faced each other at this stage of club football's most glittering competition, and in the year they didn't meet in the semis they were drawn in the same group.
So, if you're a Champions League newcomer, or if you've been dwelling in Guatemala without access to the world famous ESPNsoccernet website for the last five years, allow me to fill you in on the quite lengthy back story between these two famous clubs..
And Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Riise, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard and Torres. Subs from: Itandje, Finnan, Hyypia, Crouch, Pennant, Babel and Lucas.
So, here are the teams, starting with Chelsea: Cech, Essien, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Ballack, Makelele, Lampard, Kalou and Drogba. Subs from: Cudicini, Shevchenko, Obi, Malouda, Alex, Belletti and Anelka.
Good evening one and all and welcome to the Battle of Britain, the winner of which will face Manchester United in the first ever all-England Champions League final in Moscow. Games between these two teams rarely end in a goal fest, but tonight's game should be dripping with drama and tension if nothing else. All the action is live here on ESPNsoccernet.com with me, Chris Murphy.
John Mikel Obi
John Arne Riise