Luis Garcia retires: His best Liverpool goals

Luis Garcia

The Spaniard was a fans' favourite during his stay on Anfield and has announced his decision to retire from the game after 16 years

Luis Garcia yesterday announced his decision to retire from football after a 16-year career that saw him take in 11 different clubs and score more than 100 goals, but he will be remembered perhaps most fondly on Merseyside for his spell at Liverpool.

The Spaniard produced some critical goals during his three-year spell at the club and here are five of the best from the Anfield archives...

Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (3 May 2005 - Champions League semi-final second leg)

The goal was perhaps the scrappiest of Garcia's glittering array of finishes but, without a doubt, it was the most important.

His fourth minute strike ultimately sent the Reds to the Champions League final in Istanbul, and we all know what happened there, and the fact the goal was littered with controversy made the goal all the more remarkable and memorable.

Garcia capitalised on a loose ball, after a collision between Petr Cech and Milan Baros to nip in and dink the ball goalwards. William Gallas hooked the ball away but it was adjudged to have crossed the line.

Replays have since shown the whole of the ball had not crossed the line and while Chelsea were left aggrieved, Liverpool hung on to reach a first Champions League final in 20 years.

 

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (22 Apr 2006 - FA Cup semi-final)

Garcia came up with the goods when it mattered most again as he knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup at the penultimate hurdle with an outstanding goal.

Aesthetically much more pleasing than his effort a year previously, the midfielder capitalised on hesitancy in the Blues backline to run on and send a looping, left-footed effort into the far corner with Carlo Cudicini rooted to the spot.

Liverpool had already taken the lead through John Arne Riise's first-half strike but were made to sweat by Didier Drogba's late header. Garcia's strike saw the Reds through though, as they went onto win another competition at their rivals' expense.

 

Liverpool 2-1 Juventus (5 Apr 2005 - Champions League quarter-final first leg)

En route to their amazing Champions League win, Garcia also produced a strike just as crucial as the one against Chelsea, but this was also superb and clinical in its execution.

The ball sat up nicely for the Spaniard around 25 yards out, and he dispatched it with a dipping volley over the stranded Gianluigi Buffon to put his side two to the good against a much-fancied Juve outfit after just 25 minutes to secure a vital opening leg win at Anfield.

 

Liverpool 2-1 Everton (20 Mar 2005 - Premier League)

In a typically fiercely-contested Merseyside derby, Liverpool were hell-bent on getting revenge for the 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park earlier in the season to Lee Carsley's strike and just about fended off late pressure to seal a vital win in the race with their rivals for fourth spot.

Steven Gerrard had given the Reds the early advantage but Garcia's strike would prove pivotal as he capitalised on Nigel Martyn's error to nod into the roof of the net, after recent signing Fernando Morientes' powerful strike proved too hot to handle for the former Leeds United stopper.

Despite Joesph Yobo's late consolation, Garcia's effort moved Liverpool to within four points of the Toffees.

Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham (16 Apr 2005 - Premier League)

While the goal, for a change, wasn't a matchwinning one, it got Liverpool right back into this contest on the stroke of half-time but it was the manner in which he slammed the ball home after such neat approach play that made this such a delightful strike.

Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Garcia's turn around the corner left fellow goalscorer Erik Edman in a daze and, having engineered a couple of yards of space for himself, he whipped an unerring strike with his less favoured left foot beyond the stranded Paul Robinson with a minimum of effort.

image: © helly-b

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