MX23RW : Saturday, April 10 21:24:07| >> :120:4115:4115:
Oct 5, 1997 at 3pm UK at Anfield
Berger (20', 35', 57'), Fowler (64')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Poyet (85' pen.), Zola (22')
Lambourde (26')

On this day: Patrik Berger hat-trick sinks Chelsea

Seventeen years ago today, Patrik Berger scored a hat-trick to help Liverpool defeat Chelsea 4-2 at Anfield.

A total of 25 footballers from the Czech Republic have played in the Premier League since its inception in 1992.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has arguably had a bigger impact on English football than any of his compatriots, but in terms of outfield players, there is a case for saying that Patrik Berger has been the most impressive to have featured in the top flight.

Such a viewpoint can be backed up by the midfielder's display when Chelsea visited Anfield 17 years ago today. The previous season, Berger scored twice against the West Londoners, but he went one better on this occasion.

His first goal of the afternoon arrived in the 20th minute after Graeme Le Saux had misjudged the flight of a long ball. From there, Berger was able to lift his effort over an advancing Ed De Goey and into the net.

The visitors responded through Gianfranco Zola just two minutes later, but in the 26th minute, Chelsea's chances of taking anything from the game were severely dented when Bernard Lambourde was handed his marching orders for a foul on Steve McManaman.

Liverpool made their numerical advantage count with 35 minutes played as Berger claimed his second goal. Stig Inge Bjornebye's cross from the left found the former Borussia Dortmund man, who fired in from 12 yards out.

He then went on to complete his hat-trick 12 minutes after the restart. McManaman was the architect as he lifted a pass through the centre of the Chelsea defender. Berger raced on to the loose ball and having rounded De Goey, he rolled his shot into an unguarded net to make it 3-1.

Berger turned creator in the 64th minute for Robbie Fowler as the hosts extended their lead even further, although the final say went to Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet, who scored from the penalty spot with five minutes remaining after Jason McAteer had brought down Tore Andre Flo inside the area.

Speaking after the final whistle, Liverpool boss Roy Evans told reporters: "Patrik's threatened to do that from the day he came back into the side. He's been making good runs, but they just haven't come off. I've always felt that, once he got one, the floodgates could open, because he's a natural scorer with great feet, talent, and an eye for goal."

LIVERPOOL: James; Carragher, Babb, Kvarme, Jones (McAteer), Bjornebye; Ince, Berger, McManaman; Fowler, Riedle

CHELSEA: De Goey; Le Saux, Clarke, Lambourde, Sinclair, Petrescu (Flo); Poyet, Wise, Di Matteo; Zola (Gullit), Hughes

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Ex Player and Radio commentator Stan Collymore looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa on February 5, 2012
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