YNWA takes a look back at past memorable home League encounters as we prepare to welcome Chelsea for their 67th visit in the League on Sunday, the 22nd time we will have faced them in all competitions under Rafael Benítez. Our overall home League record against the Blues is exceptional, reading 43 wins, fourteen draws and only nine defeats to date, although we have been beaten in three of the last five Anfield encounters in the League.
Fernando Torres bagged his first reds goal in August 2007 as we were held to a 1-1 draw thanks to a ludicrous penalty awarded by referee Rob Styles against Steve Finnan. Peter Crouch was playing his hundredth game for the club.
Most recent win
We won convincingly, 2-0, in January 2007, thanks to Jermaine Pennant's first reds goal, which followed an early Dirk Kuyt strike. This secured Rafael Benítez's 56th win in his hundredth League game in charge, so equalling Bill Shankly's record.
We clinched our seventh League title with a 2-1 win in April 1966, thanks to a Roger Hunt brace.
Joe Cole bagged the only goal of the game on New Year's Day 2005, largely against the run of play. He had previously scored the only goal at Stamford Bridge as the Blues secured only their second ever League double over us, and first since 1919. Xabi Alonso had his ankle broken in this game. Nine months later we suffered our worst home defeat since December 1969 as we were thumped 4-1 with Steven Gerrard drawing us level after Djimi Traoré had conceded a penalty to hand the Blues the lead.
The opening game of the season in August 2003 brought a 2-1 defeat, with Michael Owen scoring a twice-taken penalty, our 300th League goal since Gérard Houllier took sole charge. Steve Finnan and Harry Kewell made their official reds debuts in this game.
Patrik Berger not so Blue
We won 5-1 in September 1996 with Patrik Berger netting a brace, to add to an Andy Myers own goal and strikes from John Barnes and Robbie Fowler. This was the 129th consecutive reds game Robbie had played in, but he then sat out a European Cup Winners' Cup second leg against Finns Myllykosken Pallo-47. Eleven months later, Berger scored his only reds hat-trick in our 4-2 win, with Robbie Fowler netting late on. Stig Inge Bjørnebye played his hundredth League game for us, while Chelsea's Bernard Lambourde was sent off with the score still level at 1-1.
Winning and losing runs
Bob Paisley secured his hundredth League victory as reds boss in October 1978 as goals from David Johnson and Kenny Dalglish gave us a 2-0 win. This was Bob's 179th League game as Manager, five games less than it took Bill Shankly to achieve the same feat, with many of his wins coming in the Second Division. We suffered our fourteenth consecutive League game without a win in March 1954, with Eric Anderson scoring a late equaliser to ensure we got something out of the game. Unsurprisingly given such a terrible run, we were relegated that season having finished bottom.
We lost 2-1 in February 1992, with Ronnie Rosenthal netting for the reds after Vinnie Jones had put the visitors ahead. Rosenthal then hit the bar when clean through before Dennis Wise put the Blues ahead again, with Bruce Grobbelaar saving a late spot-kick taken by Wise. Graeme Souness received his Manager of the Month award prior to the game as we suffered our first defeat in fourteen League fixtures. This was Chelsea's first League win at Anfield since December 1935.
Billy Liddell scored direct from a corner on his League debut in September 1946. He in fact scored twice, with Bill Jones bagging his first two reds goals. Willie Fagan also struck twice, with Jack Balmer rounding out the scoring in our 7-4 win. Keeper Charlie Ashcroft made the first of his 89 reds appearances in this game, with Bob Paisley also making his first League outing. Seven years earlier, Cyril Done netted in his first reds game to hand us a 1-0 win, but the season was soon abandoned.
Bill Kinghorn made his reds bow in a 2-1 win in August 1938, with future boss Phil Taylor netting twice. We recorded our biggest ever win over the Blues in April 1935, as we thumped them 6-0, with Victor Wright and South African Berry Nieuwenhuys grabbing two apiece. Fred Howe and Lance Carr also scored. This partly made up for our 4-1 defeat in that season's earlier League game at Stamford Bridge. Centre-half Tom ‘Tiny' Bradshaw was making his 200th League appearance for the club, while left-half John Browning was making his senior bow. Left-half Tom Bromilow made his reds debut in October 1919, when Chelsea completed their first League double over the reds by winning 1-0.
Late, late goals
Vladimír Šmicer struck a dramatic last-gasp winner from Emile Heskey's cross in March 2002, to keep our League title hopes alive. Seven months later, Chelsea again succumbed to a last-minute winner, as Michael Owen finally broke the deadlock after Heskey's strike came back off an upright.
Legendary forward Gordon Hodgson played his 377th and final reds game as we lost 3-2 in December 1935, with Fred Howe and Berry Nieuwenhuys on the scoresheet. He had previously scored a hat-trick as we saw off the West London outfit 3-1 in September 1930.
Fred Pagnam scored a first-half hat-trick as we won 3-2 in February 1915. James Stewart scored three in our 5-1 trouncing in January 1910, with Jack Parkinson netting the other two.
Other memorable encounters
Chelsea had both Marcel Desailly and Dennis Wise sent off in October 1999, for last-gasp challenges on Michael Owen and Erik Meijer respectively. David Thompson pounced from a free-kick to net the game's only goal. Pierluigi Casiraghi netted his only Chelsea goal a year earlier. Phil Babb attempted to prevent the goal but only succeeded in wrapping his legs around a post at the Anfield Road end, causing grown men around the ground to wince in sympathy, and he was taken off shortly after. Jamie Redknapp equalised for the reds late on.
In September 1992, Dean Saunders, who scored, injured Paul Elliott in a challenge that ended his career, for which Deano was later unsuccessfully sued. Jamie Redknapp netted our other goal. We came from behind to win 2-1 in a live televised Sunday game in December 1987 thanks to a John Aldridge penalty and goal from Steve McMahon, who notched in his third consecutive match. Danny Shone, Jimmy Walsh and Joseph Keetley all struck in January 1924 as we won 3-1. This was Keetley's second and final reds goal.