Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins the Liverpool’s next opponents. This weekend Liverpool play against Chelsea at Anfield, in a match which could decide the destination of the League title. Here are my five favourite wins from past encounters, with some of them packed full of goals.
21st April 1990
LIVERPOOL (2) 4 (Rosenthal 25, Nicol 36, 80, Rush 82)
CHELSEA (0) 1 (Dixon 90)
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Hysen, Gillespie (Ablett), Hansen, Burrows; Nicol, Molby, McMahon, Barnes; Rosenthal, Rush
CHELSEA: Beasant; Hall, Nicholas, Johnsen, Dorigo; Monkou, Bumstead (Lee), McAllister, K.Wilson (C.Wilson); Durie, Dixon
Liverpool were closing in on their 18th League title when Chelsea arrived at Anfield towards the end of the 1989-90 season. They were 2pts clear of Aston Villa with a game in hand. Chelsea were well positioned in 6th, only 4pts off 3rd place. Liverpool had lost just once in their last 19 matches in the League going into this game. Chelsea had recently suffered a defeat at Villa, ending their own 8-game unbeaten run.
This game was another start for Israeli international, Ronnie Rosenthal, who’d scored a hat-trick on his first start a couple of weeks before at Charlton. He then scored against Nottingham Forest and was bang in form. Midway through the first half Gary Gillespie took a throw on the right wing and Rosenthal, with his back to goal, controlled the ball on his chest, turned Johnsen and then fired a left foot shot past Dave Beasant. Rosenthal could’ve scored four in this game but his profligacy wasn’t particularly a problem at this stage of his career, but was something which would come back to haunt him later on.
With ten minutes before the break, John Barnes cross from the left was headed home by Steve Nicol and Liverpool had a comfortable lead at half-time. When the teams met at Stamford Bridge in December, Liverpool won 5-2. Liverpool were far from clinical on this occasion but Chelsea seemed just as disorganised at the back. With ten minutes to go Ian Rush, who’d scored a brace against this opponent in December, put Nicol through on goal and the Scotsman didn’t pass up the chance to increase his goal tally for the season. Barnes was then involved in the 4th goal as he put Rosenthal through and his cross was headed in by Rush to score his 24th goal of the season.
Kerry Dixon then scored a late consolation goal but the visitors were well beaten. It wasn’t vintage Liverpool as gaps were starting to appear in their once impenetrable armour, but they won the League by 9pts from Aston Villa. Chelsea ended the season in 5th place.