The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea has been one of the most entertaining of the modern footballing era but it could be set to rack up another level.
The two sides are set to meet as title rivals for the first time since the infamous 2014 game that saw Liverpool’s title chances slip – quite literally – through their fingers.
With the backdrop of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel’s tense relationship, the next installment of the rivalry could be set to unfold.
Jurgen Klopp (left) and Thomas Tuchel (right) could continue their sides’ bitter rivalry
The current Liverpool and Chelsea sides will renew hostilities on Saturday at Anfield
The modern-day rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea can be chaptered by their managers.
First triggered during the era of Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez, then reignited by Frank Lampard and Klopp’s touchline row, it could now be inflamed by the German duo.
As Liverpool prepare to host Chelsea at Anfield this Saturday in the first clash of their title race, eyes will be on the touchline to see if Tuchel will spice up the revived rivalry.
The two German managers have often been compared to each other as Tuchel has followed in Klopp’s footsteps throughout his career, from Mainz to Borussia Dortmund before moving on to high-profile European clubs.
The comparison appears to be a sore spot for the Chelsea boss as Tuchel has been adamant he does not feel he is in the shadow of Klopp and insisted the duo are ‘not half as close as everybody thinks’.
Tuchel’s predecessor Lampard sparked the rivalry last year after his outburst at Klopp during Liverpool’s 5-3 win, which was followed by the Reds lifting their first Premier League trophy.
Lampard appeared triggered after a foul was awarded when Sadio Mane went down outside the area. The free-kick was consequently buried by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Chelsea boss then launched into an expletive-ridden rant at Klopp and his coaching staff after they reportedly told him to ‘shut up’.
‘It’s not a f***ing foul,’ Lampard yelled at Klopp, who proceeded to tell him to ‘calm down’.
‘You can f*** off and all,’ Lampard shouted. ‘Only title you’ve ever won and you think you can give it the big one, f*** off.’
Liverpool lifted their first league title in 30 years after their 5-3 win over Chelsea at Anfield
Jurgen Klopp was on the receiving end of Frank Lampard’s outburst during the 2020 game
The Chelsea boss (centre) admitted he regretted the touchline row but refused to apologise
Trent Alexander-Arnold (right) buried the free-kick from a foul awarded to Sadio Mane
In the aftermath, Lampard admitted that he regretted his outburst but refused to apologise.
The touchline bust-up is merely the latest flare-up in the Liverpool vs Chelsea rivalry.
It can be traced back to when two legends of the clubs arrived on the scene: Mourinho in the blue corner and Benitez in the red.
Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge as ‘The Special One’ and with a proven track record after lifting the Champions League with Porto the previous season. A couple of weeks later Benitez, also with two LaLiga titles and a Europa League under his belt from Valencia, took charge at Anfield.
The rivalry can be traced back to the arrivals of Mourinho (left) and Benitez (right)
Spaniard Benitez arrived weeks after ‘The Special One’ joined Chelsea in 2004
The sides first met in contention for silverware in their debut campaigns during the 2005 Carling Cup final.
Steven Gerrard’s late own-goal in extra time cued a smug celebration from Mourinho in front of the Liverpool supporters. The Portuguese manager strolled down the touchline and put his finger to his mouth to shush them.
Just a few months later, the opportunity for Benitez’s Reds to exact revenge arose.
The two sides met in the Champions League semi-final and Mourinho and Chelsea were left seething when Luis Garcia’s ‘ghost goal’ secured Liverpool victory.
The Reds went on to win the Champions League with their famous comeback over AC Milan in the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.
Mourinho was one of the main protagonists to the rivalry – he shushed Liverpool fans in 2005
Chelsea were less than impressed with Garcia’s hugely controversial goal and were adamant the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
The goal clearly still haunts Mourinho as he claims ‘the crowd scored’ at Anfield.
Ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham in January 2020, the Portuguese coach said: ‘Anfield is a magic place to play, it’s beautiful.
‘They can even score goals that the players don’t score like what happened in 2004-05 when Luis Garcia didn’t score the goal, the crowd scored the goal.’
Liverpool vs Chelsea surpassed Manchester United vs Arsenal to be the defining rivalry of the age as the sides met 16 times in just three seasons.
Mourinho claimed the Anfield crowd scored Luis Garcia’s decisive 2005 ‘ghost goal’
Garcia’s ‘ghost goal’ caused hysteria among Chelsea’s camp in Champions League semi-final
The two clubs went on to meet in three semi-finals, both in Europe and at home, with Liverpool winning each time.
With such a feisty rivalry, how could a player ever switch sides? Ask Fernando Torres.
Gerrard had resisted Mourinho’s attempts to lure him to Stamford Bridge in 2005 but six years later Torres made the remarkable switch.
The £50million move was met with some derision among the Anfield faithful and only intensified the fierce rivalry between the two clubs.
Fernando Torres (right) made the £50m switch to join Liverpool’s rivals Chelsea in 2011
The move intensified the rivalry after causing some derision among the Anfield faithful
Torres flopped at Chelsea failing to find the imperious form he displayed with Liverpool
Torres, who had been in imperious form before injuries started to take their toll, failed at Chelsea to reach the dizzying heights he had at Anfield, leading to him being regarded as one of the Premier League’s biggest flops – much to the delight of the fans of his former side.
However, the Spaniard wasn’t the only one to make the switch as Benitez took charge of Chelsea for one season after being appointed in 2012, winning the Europa League with the Blues.
Two years later, Torres’s replacement in attack Luis Suarez penned his part in the saga.
The Uruguay striker was charged with violent conduct after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in their draw at Anfield in 2013.
Benitez came up against Chelsea many times and went on to manage the Blues in 2012-13
Luis Suarez (right) was charged with violent conduct after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic
But it was a year later at the same venue when tensions hit an all-time high.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool were charging towards their first title in 24 years after an 11-game winning streak had sat them atop the table with a comfortable six-point cushion and three games left to play.
However, in the most crushing chapter of their bitter history, Chelsea sent Liverpool’s title hopes crumbling.
Chelsea’s 2-0 win blew the title race wide open as Gerrard’s slip gifted Demba Ba an unchallenged run towards goal to give the Blues the lead just before half-time, before Willian grabbed their second in stoppage time.
Tensions increased between two clubs when Chelsea halted Liverpool’s title charge in 2014
Steven Gerrard slipped in stoppage time to gift Demba Ba the chance to secure Chelsea’s win
Mourinho didn’t hesitate to show how much it meant to beat his bitter rivals as he bellowed and thumped his chest streaming towards the Chelsea fans.
The wheels then fell off for Liverpool, as Manchester City pipped them to the league title.
Both sides remain unbeaten in their start to the league campaign and neither will be prepared to relinquish their winning streak on Saturday.
As the two sides meet as title rivals for the first time in seven years, we could be set to see yet more fireworks.