Match Report: Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 2
Glen Johnson helped Liverpool win 2-1 to give us our second home defeat in a row for the first time in over nine years.
We started the game with former Liverpool pair Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres on the bench.
Within the first two minutes Liverpool were claiming for a free kick and for John Terry to be sent off as Luis Suarez played a through ball towards Rodriguez seeming to be blocked by Terry, but the referee waved play on.
With 10 minutes gone we got out first proper chance of the game, as a ball from the left hand side by Florent Malouda found Juan Mata at the back post, but his ball across the face of goal was cleared by the Liverpool defence before Didier Drogba could get to it.
Both sides continued to press back and forth, with firstly John Obi Mikel having a long range effort for Chelsea that went just over the bar, then Liverpool went down the other end and
Petr Cech was forced to smother the ball before Glen Johnson could get a cross in.
Midway through the half Chelsea fans jumped up to celebrate what they believed to be a goal as Drogba struck a free kick, with Pepe Reina looking like he was well beaten, but fortunately for the Liverpool keeper, the ball hit off the advertising boards and went behind the goal.
Liverpool continued to pressure us with some incisive passing which led to them getting the first goal, as Mikel lost the ball from a Cech pass, giving them possession, which they capitalised on as Bellamy eventually found Rodriguez in space and he tucked the ball over a diving Petr Cech to open the scoring.
The visitors continued to press at our fragile defence, with David Luiz giving away a free kick just outside the box that allowed Suarez to try his luck with the set piece, but his strike flew over the bar.
A minute later Suarez broke the offside trap and raced past David Luiz before attempting to cross the ball into the box, but it deflected off the Brazilian and away for a corner, much to the relief of everyone in blue in Stamford Bridge.
Andre Villas Boas made a change at half time by bringing on Sturridge to replace Mikel, as we pushed forward a lot more in search of a goal.
We should have got level as Frank Lampard found Drogba on the edge of the area. He was aided by a deflection from a Liverpool defender on the ground and got the ball into the box, but his shot went well wide of Reina’s goal.
We finally got our equaliser 10 minutes into the half as John Terry made a forward run with the ball before finding Malouda, who raced on hitting a miscued shot from the edge of the area that was tapped in by Sturridge.
We should have taken the lead a couple of minutes later as Drogba curled in a free kick from just outside the area that was knocked on by the onrushing Branislav Ivanovic, with Reina having to make a spectacular save in order to keep the sides level.
The momentum of the first quarter of an hour of the half helped Stamford Bridge find it’s voice with Malouda racing to the by line before crossing for Drogba, who knocked the ball just wide of Reina’s right hand post.
Liverpool nearly suffered a calamitous error as John Terry launched long in search of Drogba, but before he could get there Reina got his head to the ball just outside his own area, and luckily it broke back to him at the second attempt to clear from danger.
We continued to create, with Ramires finding Mata, who then chipped the ball towards Malouda inside the area, but his overhead kick went wide of Reina’s goal.
Malouda then met a cross from Ivanovic at the back post, but he miscued his shot and, fortunately for the Liverpool defence, there was no player in blue waiting to pounce on the ball.
With less than 10 minutes left, Villas-Boas decided to bring on Meireles and Torres.
But only a few minutes later Liverpool got a second as Kuyt found Johnson free on the right wing. He cut inside past Ashley Cole to put the ball by the outstretched arms of Cech and into the back of the net.
Our second successive loss at home leaves us 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and now equal level in 4th place on 22 points with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, who have yet to play on Monday night with an additional game in hand.
Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep
• 01 Cech
• 02 Ivanovic – yellow card
• 03 Cole
• 04 David Luiz – yellow card
• 26 Terry
• 07 Ramires – yellow card (Meireles 84)
• 08 Lampard
• 12 Mikel (Sturridge 46)
• 15 Malouda
• 10 Mata
• 11 Drogba (Torres 84)
• 22 Turnbull,
• 17 Bosingwa,
• 06 Romeu,
• 16 Meireles,
• 09 Torres,
• 23 Sturridge,
• 39 Anelka
• 25 Reina
• 02 Johnson
• 03 Jose Enrique
• 05 Agger
• 37 Skrtel
• 11 Maxi (Downing 77)
• 21 Lucas – yellow card
• 26 Adam
• 07 Suarez (Carroll 89)
• 18 Kuyt – yellow card
• 39 Bellamy (Henderson 66)
• 32 Doni,
• 23 Carragher,
• 34 Kelly,
• 14 Henderson,
• 19 Downing,
• 20 Spearing,
• 09 Carroll