Steven Gerrard now believes Chelsea ‘have become a rival’ for one Premier League side

Steven Gerrard suggested that Chelsea have recently become one of Liverpool’s main adversaries.

Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, Gerrard named the Blues whilst listing his former side’s closest enemies in the modern era.

Chelsea and Liverpool forged a footballing hatred not long after Jose Mourinho first stepped foot in the Premier League nearly two decades ago.

He came and toppled the hierarchy that was originally controlled by Manchester United and Arsenal.

At around the same time as Mourinho’s domination, another manager had started his own chapter in the Premier League’s history books.

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The Blues against the Reds

Rafa Benitez took charge of Liverpool in 2004 and pushed them to the pinnacle of European football by reaching two Champions League finals, infamously winning the first.

En route to the fabled night in Istanbul, Benitez’s boys knocked out Chelsea in the semi-finals, doing so again two years later with even more drama than the first encounter.

Photo by John Cocks/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool also defeated Mourinho’s men in the 2006 FA Cup semi-final, a competition the Reds would eventually go on to win.

However, the fiery battles between the two teams died down somewhat when their respective managers parted ways.

Chelsea continued to win silverware under different coaches, but Anfield’s trophy cabinet did not increase much until Jurgen Klopp came to town in 2015.

Since then, Klopp has won nearly every major title available to him.

The FA Cup is the one honour missing, but could be collected when Liverpool face Chelsea in the final next month.

Thomas Tuchel and Klopp have already contested one cup this season, with the Carabao Cup eventually lifted by the latter.

Their repeated meetings prove that the rivalry between the Blues and the Reds is alive once again.

A derby steeped in tradition

However, Gerrard insisted that, although the competition in England has burst into life, nothing quite compares to the hatred Celtic and Rangers have for one another.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“Unless you’re actually in that, you don’t realise how intense it is. Probably for both sides, I can only speak from the Rangers side,” said the current Aston Villa boss.

“More intense than Merseyside, Liverpool Everton?” asked Neville.

“Yeah, because I think Liverpool have got (Manchester) United as rival, and now they’ve got (Manchester) City and Chelsea have become a rival,” replied Gerrard.

“Up there, it’s Celtic versus Rangers and it’s daily and it’s constant.”

There really is nothing like the Old Firm derby, we must admit.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.