A Moment in Time

Carlo Cudicini celebrates his 44th birthday today, and to mark the occasion we recall an afternoon in 2001 when the Italian saved a penalty - and kept a clean sheet - in a huge win for the Blues...

 

CHELSEA V LIVERPOOL, SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER 2001, PREMIER LEAGUE, STAMFORD BRIDGE

Given our impressive record against the top sides that season - Manchester United were beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford just a few weeks previously - optimism was high among those Chelsea supporters packed inside the Bridge on a freezing cold afternoon when the Merseysiders, who were without the injured Michael Owen, rolled into town.

The home fans' confidence seemed well placed when Graeme Le Saux fired us into a third-minute lead, prodding home from a rebound after his initial strike had been pushed against the post by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

 

Always a man for the big occasion, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made it 2-0 with a wonderful clipped finish midway through the first half. 

 

Liverpool were handed a lifeline five minutes after the break when they were awarded a penalty following a foul by Mario Melchiot on John Arne Riise. Up stepped Gary Mcallister, but Cudicini was equal to the Scotsman's strike and made the save to preserve our two-goal advantage.

 

The convincing nature of our victory owed much to the quality of our midfield display and here Mario Stanic tussles for possession with Liverpool's Danny Murphy.

 

After Sam Dalla Bona had extended our lead further, a magnificent collective display was capped in the 90th minute when Eidur Gudjohnsen blasted the ball home in front of a jubilant Matthew Harding Stand.

The victory ensured Liverpool were without a win in SW6 since the exact same date in 1989.