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A Bridge too far for Liverpool
April 24, 2008 12:43 IST
Liverpool will have to score their first goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since Rafa Benitez became manager in 2004 if they are to reach this year's Champions League final in Moscow [Images].
Liverpool have not scored in eight successive matches there and if they fail to improve on that record, Chelsea will meet either Manchester United [Images] or Barcelona in next month's final.
The five-time European champions were seconds away from a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the first leg of their semi-final at Anfield on Tuesday after Dirk Kuyt had given them the lead in the 43rd minute.
Substitute John Arne Riise, however, headed into his own goal deep into stoppage time to give Chelsea a 1-1 draw.
The Londoners can now win the tie on the away goals rule if next week's match ends goalless.
Liverpool must score at least once if they are to avoid defeat at the semi-final stage of Europe's elite competition for the first time since 1965.
They have not scored at Stamford Bridge since Benitez became manager, failing twice already this season losing 2-0 in a League Cup match and drawing 0-0 in the Premier League.
"We know that winning at Stamford Bridge will be really difficult," said Benitez. "It will be a tough game.
"We have to go there and win. We haven't scored there but that is just a statistic and maybe we can change that.
"Stamford Bridge is a difficult stadium for everyone. No-one has won there for two years. But it is Champions League so maybe we can manage."
"We know we have go to and win. It is not a case of thinking maybe we will be okay with a draw. That is a big difference."
Chelsea, who play Manchester United in what is effectively the Premier League title decider at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, have not lost a domestic match at home since February 2004.
They were last beaten on their West London [Images] ground by Barcelona in a Champions League game in February 2006.
"Drawing 1-1 away from home is always an advantage," said Chelsea manager Avram Grant.
"It will be tough in the second game though."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage