A minute’s applause was held before the game to honor Wales manager Gary Speed after his tragic passing on Sunday.
Andre Villas-Boas made significant changes to his team, nine in total. Fernando Torres started against his former club alongside Romelu Lukaku, and only David Luiz was kept in the side from the defense that had shut out Wolves on Saturday.
We dominated possession and threatened early on as David Luiz set off on a typically buccaneering run which took him into the Liverpool penalty area. Sebastian Coates stuck out a leg to challenge Luiz and brought him down without taking the ball. Phil Dowd, however waved appeals away and booked Luiz for what he considered to have been diving much to the despair of Chelsea fans around.
Liverpool were then given a glorious chance to score at the other end when Alex handled Jose Enrique’s left-wing cross, conceding a penalty. The referee’s decision was not immediate but was ultimately correct.
Andy Carroll stepped up to take the spot-kick but his effort was woefully poor and Ross Turnbull saved comfortably down to his right.
The error seemed to spark both sides into life; Chelsea broke down the other end as Florent Malouda and Lukaku combined well and only a strong last-ditch tackle from Coates stopped him from getting through on Pepe Reina’s goal.
We began the second half much better with a higher tempo and better attacking intent, Romeu hitting a shot that deflected wide off Frank Lampard.
Just as we were looking menacing it was Liverpool who took the lead. Jordan Henderson played a through ball for Bellamy, who sprinted into the box and squared for Maxi Rodriguez, who tapped in from six yards to score his second goal at Stamford Bridge in nine days.
Five minutes later and Liverpool doubled their lead as Bellamy’s free-kick from the left found Kelly unmarked and the youngster nodded in his first goal.
We instantly responded, sending Juan Mata and Nicolas Anelka on for Malouda and Lukaku. They began to press for a way back into the game and a spell of good possession was worked to Ryan Bertrand, and although his cross was met by Torres his header looped up into Reina’s arms.
Dirk Kuyt was brought on for Bellamy with 10 minutes remaining. Andy Carroll’s clumsy challenge gave Alex an opportunity with a 30-yard free-kick but his effort was skewed badly wide as time ran out for us.
After the game Andre Villas Boas said:-
‘It was not good today; our best spell was when we were 2-0 down when we managed to get the width and our crossing right, but for 70 minutes it wasn’t good enough,’
The result was our third loss in four home games, following the league defeat against Kenny Dalglish’s men as well as the 5-3 to Arsenal and with pivotal matches on the horizon, against both Valencia and Manchester City, it’s a situation that needs to be rectified quickly.
Can I just say a special thanks to Hilario yesterday evening as he took time to come across to the Kent Blues children and sign shirts and programmes for them.
One of our disabled members Gary Fisher featured on the True Blues page in last night’s programme after Hilario gave him his One Game, One Community T-shirt before the recent league match against Liverpool.
Gill Reeves CSG disabled rep
• 22 Turnbull
• 04 David Luiz – yellow card
• 17 Bosingwa
• 33 Alex – yellow card
• 34 Bertrand – yellow card
• 06 Romeu
• 08 Lampard
• 15 Malouda – yellow card (Anelka 64)
• 20 McEachran (Ramires 41 – yellow card)
• 09 Torres
• 18 Lukaku (Mata 64)
• 40 Hilario,
• 02 Ivanovic,
• 19 Ferreira,
• 07 Ramires,
• 10 Mata,
• 21 Kalou,
• 39 Anelka
• 25 Reina
• 03 Jose Enrique
• 16 Coates – yellow card
• 23 Carragher
• 34 Kelly
• 11 Maxi (Skrtel 89)
• 14 Henderson
• 20 Spearing
• 21 Lucas (Adam 70)
• 09 Carroll
• 39 Bellamy (Kuyt 79)
• 32 Doni,
• 37 Skrtel,
• 38 Flanagan,
• 19 Downing,
• 26 Adam,
• 07 Suarez,
• 18 Kuyt