It has been 17 years since Luis Garcia scored his famous “ghost goal” against Chelsea and fans are still not sure if the ball has crossed the finish line.
Garcia’s goal propelled Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, where he would come three fewer goals to beat Milan on penalties in one of the greatest games in history.
Liverpool could book a spot for yet another Champions League final tonight if they beat Villarreal in the second leg of the semi-final, with Jurgen Klopp’s side leading 2-0 from the first leg at Anfield.
In 2005, it was Chelsea who were Liverpool’s opponents in their last four games.
The first leg at Stamford Bridge ended in a goalless draw leaving the draw delicately poised towards the return leg at Anfield.
And it came to life just four minutes into the reverse match on Merseyside.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard played a chipped through ball over the top of Chelsea’s defense, which striker Milan Baros attempted to reach before Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Baros manages to get a touch on the ball before being knocked down by Cech in front of Kop.
As the home fans begged for a penalty and a red card, Garcia hooked on the loose ball and directed a shot on goal that deflected Chelsea captain John Terry.
William Gallas ran back to the door to make a desperate pass on the line as Garcia walked away to celebrate.
After a few moments of confusion, Slovak referee Lubos Michel signaled that the goal had been given, sending Anfield into a state of euphoria.
Rafael Benitez’s side would then go 1-0 on aggregate to secure their spot in the Istanbul final.
The goal remains extremely controversial to this day, with Chelsea and Liverpool fans disagreeing over whether the ball crossed the finish line.
Chelsea manager that day, Jose Mourinho, dubbed it the “ghost goal” after the game and insisted it shouldn’t be given.
“It was a goal that came from the moon, from the stands of Anfield,” said Mourinho at the time.
“I felt the power of Anfield, it was great. I felt he didn’t interfere with my players but maybe he interfered with other people and maybe he interfered with the result.”
Mourinho doubled down on those claims in 2019, telling beIN Sports: “Anfield is a magical place to play, it’s a beautiful place to play.
“They can also score goals that the players don’t score, as happened in 2005.
“It wasn’t Garcia who scored the goal, it was the audience who scored the goal, but now that’s not possible with VAR and goal line technology.”
Did the goal have to be given? Let us know your thoughts.