April 27th, 2014. Almost five years ago, Chelsea hilariously denied Liverpool a long-awaited, and what many felt preordained Premier League title (spoiler alert: they're still waiting) by winning 2-0 at Anfield despite fielding a weakened squad.
This Sunday, Chelsea can repeat those heroics even if Sarri is quite unlikely to approach the game in such a pragmatic/cynical sense as Jose Mourinho did back then.
It was a famous win, a feel-good win, and those who experienced it first-hand want to do it again, including first and foremost César Azpilicueta, who is the only starter from that day who's still with Chelsea.
“When we went there they had the party nearly ready because they were smashing every team in Anfield. We arrived with a very clear idea and we played the game we had to do at that moment.”
“To beat that team, who were getting very good results, and to beat them 2-0 was a very important win for the club and for the fans. Everyone enjoyed that day and hopefully we can replicate it on Sunday.”
It's certainly not an impossible task, as good as Liverpool have been this season. Although neither team were using their full squads, the Blues beat the Reds in the League Cup at Anfield, 2-1 — their only loss at home this season.
But to repeat that feat, we will need to be at least at our best.
“It is not about frustrating Liverpool. It is about playing our game. We know they are fighting for the title, but for us, every point is vital to finish in the top four. This is an important game for us.”
“We know that we are playing against a strong side, but first of all, we need to keep the solidity that we have shown in the last games and defend very well as a team because they are a big threat. Then, if we take our chances, we can win the game.”
“We have proven ourselves already at Anfield this season when we won there in the League Cup. It’s a big game and everyone is looking forward to it.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: Goal