Liverpool (Torres 89′, 90′ + 4) 2-0 Chelsea
Stadium: Anfield Stadium, England
Competition: English Premier League
Date: 1 February 2009
Kickoff: 16:00 GMT, 11:00 ET
Liverpool needed 2 late goals to get past 10-man Chelsea in an ill-tempered and controversial match at Anfield. Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the liveblog and feel free to leave comments below.
The last time these two teams met, Liverpool famously ended Chelsea’s record 86-match home unbeaten streak. Behind Xabi Alonso’s goal, Liverpool dominated Chelsea as the Blues seemed unable to mount much offense on that day. Liverpool’s tremendous victory catapulted them to first-place and they were thrust into an unfamiliar position: Premier League Championship favorite. Heavy may be the head that wears the crown, but Liverpool managed to hold onto first place until recently, when a combination of poor play, Rafa Benitez’s ill-timed and distracting rants, and an inability to win at home have knocked them off their perch. Now they come into this match in a more familiar position, albeit one that they haven’t been in for a while: third place.
As for Chelsea, they seemed dead and buried after a demoralizing loss to Manchester United. Big Phil Scolari looked overmatched and actually made Chelsea fans wistful for the Avram Grant Era. Didier Drogba looked like he had already had one foot out the door, and Joe Cole went down with a season-ending injury. However, they’ve managed to scratch their way into second place, and could go top of the league with a win and a United loss. They’ll get a chance to answer a lot of questions about their character with a win at Anfield.
Who will win between these two giants? Tune in and find out!
We’ve teamed up with Boylesports in advance of this weekend’s crunch fixture Liverpool Vs. Chelsea and they have made the following Torrific offer available to Soccerlens readers:
Match: Liverpool v Chelsea
Competition: Premier League
Date: Sunday 1st February 2009
If Fernando Torres scores the LAST goal of the game, Boylesports will REFUND all LOSING SINGLE BETS on this match.
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- Max refund: â‚¬300 ( or Currency Equiv ) per customer
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- Applies to bets placed PRIOR TO KICK-OFF only – 90 minutes play
Liverpool Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Gerrard (c), Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Benayoun, Babel, Lucas, Ngog.
Obviously, the big news is that Keane has been dropped completely. Liverpool will make three changes from the side that drew with Wigan in midweek. Benayoun, Babel, and Lucas drop to the bench for Alonso, Riera, and Kuyt. Liverpool fans probably wish Lucas, who committed the key penalty that allowed Wigan to equalize, had been dropped along with Keane, but no such luck for them.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry (c), A. Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Malouda, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Drogba, Ferreria, Deco, Mancienne, Stoch.
Chelsea make no changes from the side that defeated Middlesbrough in midweek. Once again, Anelka will start as the lone striker ahead of Drogba, who continues to reside in Scolari’s doghouse. Carvalho continues to nurse an injury, and obviously, the big loss is Joe Cole, who is out for the year with a knee injury.
90′ + 6 There’s the whistle and we’re done! What a match! Thanks to everyone who followed along! I’m off to get ready for the Super Bowl! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!
90′ + 5 Torres is off and he gets a huge ovation from the crowd. Ngog is on to replace him.
90′ + 4 GOAL! Torres strikes again! Cole makes a mistake and Benayoun pounces on the ball. His shot is blocked, but Torres cleans it up and puts it past Cech!
90′ + 2 Alex with the challenge on Torres, and Liverpool will have another good chance on the edge of the box.
90′ + 1 Oh boy. Liverpool slow it down and stall on the corner. Bosingwa comes up and blatantly push-kicks Benayoun in the back with his cleats! Damn! That was a UFC move! How did he not get booked for that?!
90′ Gerrard nearly ruins it for anyone who bet on Torres as he fires a shot on target that Cech is able to deflect out for a corner. Five minutes will be added on, and I’m sure Rafa will be upset about that.
89′ GOAL! Wow! Gerrard springs Aurelio, who makes a run down the left wing and he lifts a great cross into the box for Torres. He beats Alex to the near post, and he heads it past Cech for what surely has to be the winning goal! Wow! What a heartbreaker for Chelsea!
87′ Carragher tries to tee up Kuyt with a cross from the left wing into the center of goal. Kuyt tries an overhead kick, but it’s well off target .
85′ Babel tries a long-range shot, but he’s well wide of the near post.
84′ Kalou will come off and he’ll be replaced by Stoch. Interesting…
83′ Pass into the box for Torres. Terry heads it away and it’s out to Benayoun. He volleys it, and it’s slightly over the bar. He’s been a difference maker so far. Meanwhile, Mascherano will come off and Babel will replace him. Well, Rafa is going for the win. Got to give him credit for that.
82′ Drogba with an indifferent cross that isn’t even close to the mark. That’s not going to get you out of the doghouse.
81′ Poor giveaway from Ballack, and Torres gets it. He tries to shoot, but Ballack redeems himself and blocks it. Alonso sends it to Kuyt, who is on the edge of the box, but stout defending from Chelsea as Cole knocks it away.
80′ Benayoun makes a nice run across the box and he fires a great shot that Cech pushes away for the corner. Nothing doing on the corner.
79′ Torres with a nice overhead kick that Cech is able to hold onto despite Kuyt breathing down his neck.
78′ Kalou goes down a little easily and draws the foul. This match seems to be denigrating into a flop-fest.
76′ Torres goes down in the box and complains that Terry threw him down. No call from the refs and Liverpool really seem to be trying to get that penalty.
75′ Kalou gets a chance and he fires a shot on target that Reina easily saves.
74′ Riera is off and Benayoun is coming on for Liverpool.
73′ Cole concedes the corner and Gerrard sends it in. It takes a wicked deflection and Torres looks like he handles it in order to set up his shot. It’s out for another corner, and Chelsea want the hand-ball, but to no avail. We do it again, and Bosingwa knocks it out for another corner. Take three, and Torres is called for a foul.
70′ Gerrard goes down in the box and the ref shows the card! It looks like it could be Mikel or Terry, which would mean another sending off. But no! He gives it to Gerrard for diving! Now, both sides hate Riley!
69′ Nothing doing on the corner as Alex knocks it away. He’s been immense today and Chelsea will make two substitutions. Anelka and Malouda are off and Drogba and Deco are on.
68′ Gerrard goes down in the box, and he wants a penalty, but Riley isn’t going for it. Arbeloa lifts a great cross from the right wing towards Riera, and Cech whiffs on it. Bosingwa concedes the corner and Gerrard sends it into the box. Alonso has a great shot that Cech deflects. It strikes the crossbar and Cech has to knock it out to concede the corner.
67′ Chelsea get a free kick from about 40 yards out or so. Malouda sends it in, but it’s knocked away. Bosingwa tries to lob it into the box for Ballack, but Reina asserts himself and takes it.
65′ They’re about 30 yards out or so, well within Gerrard’s range. He shoots it, but Terry is able to block it. Mascherano heads it on target, but it’s over the crossbar. They show the replay and it looks like Lampard got a raw deal. He got the ball and it was Alonso that drew the contact by coming in high.
64′ I guess Chelsea are going to park everyone behind the ball to preserve this draw. I’m sure Rafa will have something to say about that. Alonso shoots it from outside the box, and it hits Mikel in the arm. Riley gives the free kick and Liverpool will have a chance here.
63′ Mikel shoots it from long range, but it’s way over the crossbar.
62′ So much for Riley being too lenient. Alonso is off the pitch, receiving medical attention.
60′ Oh boy. This will be a talking point for everyone. Lampard and Alonso go for the ball and Lampard slides in and catches Alonso’s cleat. Lampard gets A STRAIGHT RED CARD and he’s off! Wow. I don’t think he deserved that. Yellow, maybe, but not red! Terry also gets booked for dissent, and he’s suspended for his next match.
57′ Gerrard loses the ball and fouls Kalou. Gerrard starts complaining, and now Riley calls the Liverpool skipper over for a chat. I actually feel like Riley’s been too lenient today.
56′ Skrtel draws a foul from Anelka near the center-line. They take it quickly, and Arbeloa feeds Kuyt inside the box, and he takes a tumble after Terry challenges him. Liverpool want a penalty, but no dice. Looks like Terry got the ball on that one .
53′ Great move from Gerrard as he receives a cross from Mascherano. He heads it to Torres who fires a shot, but it’s blocked by Alex.
52′ Corner goes into the box and Alex muffs his clearance. It goes right to Kuyt, who tries to shoot, but it’s wide of the mark. Mikel then commits a foul on Arbeloa as he makes his run down the right wing. He’s booked for his troubles.
51′ Another cheap giveaway from Chelsea, this time in the attacking half as Kalou tries to get cute and attempts a back-heel that gets taken away. Back the other way, and Kuyt’s cross from deep down the right wing is over Gerrard’s head, but Bosingwa chests it out for a corner.
50′ Riera tries to get past Bosingwa, but the right back does his best impersonation of a brick wall and takes it away.
49′ Riera sends in a cross from the left wing, and it looks like it may have hit Alex on the arm, but no hand-ball call from the ref.
48′ Kalou is back on the pitch, and he looks like he’s okay. Drogba is up, though, and warming up.
46′ Liverpool kick off and the second half is underway. No changes for either side at halftime. Alonso commits a foul on Kalou, and Alonso is booked. Kalou is down on the pitch, and he’s getting medical attention.
46′ Chelsea are looking, more and more, like a team that can’t beat the elite teams in the Premiership. They lost to Arsenal and Liverpool at home. They needed a late goal to earn a point against United at home and then got blown out at Old Trafford. They’ll need to do something against Liverpool if they want to convince people that they’re a title contender.
Liverpool are playing them off the pitch right now, but haven’t able to put it into the net. Chelsea haven’t really come close to scoring, and they might need to bring in Drogba and hope that he’s motivated. Cech looks shaky and Gerrard and Torres seem to be having their way with the Chelsea defense. Chelsea haven’t been able to string three passes together, and look off their game. We’ll see what adjustments they make at halftime, but it’s actually a pretty exciting match, despite the scoreline.
45′ + 2 Free kick for Chelsea in a dangerous area as Lampard tees it up from deep down the right wing. He tries to serve it up to Anelka, but Liverpool clear it away. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime! See you in the second half!
45′ + 1 Gerrard makes a great run into the box and sends it through to Riera. He looks like he has the shot, but he decides to give it back to Gerrard. It’s a poor pass back, and Chelsea clear it away. Not sure why Riera that. He looked like he was through on goal.
45′ Chelsea have been very sloppy with their passing. As I write that, Terry gives it away with an errant pass. Ugh.
44′ Torres and Mikel get into it and Riley has to call them both over for a talking-to. Someone’s getting sent off in this match. I can feel it.
43′ They take the corner short, and Bosingwa concedes another one. This corner comes into the box, and Cech punches it out. He doesn’t seem to have any confidence in his ability to catch it. Maybe they should have held onto to Cudicini after all.
42′ Riera makes a great move in the box and fires a shot that Cech spills once again. Cole knocks it out for a corner and very nearly put it in his own net. Cech has been very shaky today.
41′ Aurelio sends it into the box for Torres, who is working on Alex. He turns and tries to shoot it, but Alex makes a strong tackle to dispossess him. Good defense from the youngster. Alonso knees it up and tries to half-volley it, but it lacks power and Cech handles it easily.
39′ Anelka heads it up in the box, and goes barreling into Carragher to win the ball back. He turns and fires a hard shot on target, but Skrtel gives up his body and blocks it. It looks like it may have hit his arm, but no call from the ref. If anything, it hit his shoulder, but Skrtel turned his body away, so I can understand why they didn’t call him for the handball.
38′ Poor giveaway from Ballack, that, luckily for him, doesn’t lead to anything. He keeps playing like this, and Chelsea fans will be calling for Deco. Didn’t think that would happen anytime soon.
36′ Skrtel commits the foul on Anelka as Chelsea go on the counterattack. Lampard is a good 45 yards away and he sends it into the box, but Liverpool clear it easily.
34′ Great play from Liverpool as Gerrard springs Torres down the left wing. He sends an excellent cross into the box that Terry whiffs on. Luckily for Chelsea, Riera whiffs on it, too. Otherwise that could have been a goal.
33′ Chelsea win a corner after Aurelio deflects it out. Lampard swings it in towards Terry, who gets his head on it. It’s over the crossbar, though, and doesn’t trouble Reina.
31′ Gerrard takes it away and sends it into the box for Torres. He turns and fires a shot on target, but Alex makes a great sliding tackle to knock it away. That had “goal” written all over it.
30′ Lots of pressure from Liverpool here, but they can’t find a way through Chelsea’s defense. Finally Mikel takes it away, and everyone seems to be waiting for him to make a mistake, like he did in the United match. Luckily for Chelsea fans, he is able to send it back to Alex, who gives it to Cech.
28′ Kuyt makes a strong run down the right wing, as Cole is out of position after being involved in a one-two with Lampard near the Liverpool box. Kuyt tries to cross into the box for Gerrard, but it’s poor and Terry knocks it away. We see Keane in the stands, so he’s still Liverpool property as of right now.
26′ Malouda fouls Mascherano and Liverpool with the quick restart that catches Chelsea off-guard. Torres and Gerrard play a nice one-two in the box. Torres’s return pass is slightly behind Gerrard, and he can’t get square to put any power behind his shot. Cech is able to pounce on it before Kuyt, and Chelsea are out of trouble.
25′ Neither team has established much of a rhythm on offense. Ballack sends a dangerous looking cross from the right into the box for Anelka. He can’t get it on target, though.
22′ Ashley Cole goes into the book for a shove on Kuyt. Not sure Cole deserved that, but Riley needs to get control of this match, because tempers are really flaring out there.
21′ Hicks and Gillette are both in the stands, but they are sitting in completely different sections of the stadium. Maybe they filed restraining orders against each other.
20′ Mascherano fouls Mikel and Riley has had enough. He calls Mascherano over and gives him a yellow. It was a pretty clumsy tackle, and Mascherano fully deserved to get booked. He has that same sarcastic smile that he did when he got sent off at Old Trafford last season.
19′ Mascherano takes a long-range shot, and Cech can’t hold onto it. Luckily for him, no red shirts were around him, otherwise that could have been a great opportunity. The shot didn’t seem that hard, I’m surprised Cech had such a problem with it.
18′ Mascherano tackles Mikel from behind, and Ballack hits Mascherano with a very subtle kick from behind. Riley calls them both over and tells them both to cool it.
15′ Almost a howler from Terry, as his clearance is poor and hits Torres, giving Liverpool a chance inside the box. Torres tries to cross it to the far post to Kuyt, but it’s out for a goal kick. Gerrard was open at the top of the box, but Torres just didn’t see him.
12′ Gerrard swings in his corner and Cech punches it up in the air dangerously. He is able to catch it before anyone can pounce on it, though.
11′ Nice over-head lob into the box for Kalou, who is called off-side. Back the other way, and Alonso takes a long range shot that Cech is able to knock out for a corner. He scored from a similar spot in the earlier match.
10′ Mascherano gets revenge on Ballack with a little shot of his own near the center-line. I’d bet on Ballack if those two got into it.
9′ Kalou makes a strong run into the box, but Skrtel makes a good tackle to take the ball away from him. Maybe his controversial goal celebration represented his belief that he had been a prisoner on Scolari’s bench all season. Right?
7′ Mascherano takes it away from Ballack, and Ballack lashes out with the foul. Liverpool will have a free kick from about 35 yards out. He lifts a pass towards the end-line where Alonso and Riera are lurking, but it’s too long for those guys to get to and it’s out for a goal-kick.
5′ Free kick from about 40 yards out on the right wing and Lampard tries to find Terry at the far post. He gets his header on target, but it’s weak and Reina takes it easily. Liverpool comes back the other way and Riera sends a nice cross into the box that Kuyt flicks towards Gerrard. He tries to volley it on goal, but he is called for a foul against Terry.
4′ Fox Soccer Channel went away from the Inter game so that they could start this match on-time. I can already hear the complaints from the Italian fans. Bosingwa takes a shot from Riera, and he’s down on the pitch. Gerrard adds salt to the wound by kicking the ball directly into the downed Bosingwa’s gut. I’m surprised he didn’t get booked for that.
2′ Liverpool go on the counterattack and Torres feeds Gerrard in the box. He tries to shoot, but it’s blocked and bounces harmlessly to Cech. Kuyt springs Arbeloa down the right wing, but A. Cole makes a great play to knock it away for a throw-in.
1′ Chelsea kick off and we’re underway! Mike Riley is our ref. Early foul as Ashley Cole gets a free kick in Liverpool territory. Bosingwa tries a long-range shot, but it’s blocked.
0′ Terry and Gerrard exchange pleasantries at midfield. I wonder if John Terry said something along the lines of: “If you guys don’t want Keane, can we have him?”
0′ OK, I have a different feed going, so we should miss anything. The wonders of the Internet! Thank God Al Gore invented it.
0′ Looks like Fox Soccer Channel is running late today. Inter Milan and Torino is on and they’re only in the 80th minute (it’s seven minutes before the Liverpool/Chelsea match is supposed to kick off). So, I apologize in advance for any delays, but it’s out of my hands.
0′ My prediction for the match, 1-1 draw with Gerrard scoring the last goal, and you can take that to the bank! Unless it’s completely wrong, of course.
0′ It will be interesting to see how Kalou plays today. He scored twice against Middlesbrough, so his confidence should be sky-high. The last time these two teams played, however, Kalou played on the left wing and was absolutely terrible as it was clear that Chelsea missed Joe Cole. They have Lampard playing on the left today, which should also be interesting.
0′ The big news is that Robbie Keane has been left off the 18 man roster completely, amid rumors that he is on his way back to Tottenham with Aaron Lennon going the other way. Wow. I actually think that swap would be good for both teams, although you have to wonder how Keane is going to fit into a Spurs side that already has Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, and Bent. Oh well. It beats getting the stink-eye from Benitez on a regular basis, I guess.
0′ Who am I kidding? I won money on Lyoto Machida and Georges St. Pierre last night. Go on and take advantage of that offer! I won’t judge you.
0′ Looks like we have teamed up with Boyle Sport to give you readers a special prop bet relating to this match. Please be informed that this should not be taken as any endorsement, from me, of sports gambling of any kind.
0′ Hello everyone and welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the big Liverpool/Chelsea match! I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger.
Well, it’s hard to say that Liverpool didn’t deserve this victory. They generated far more chances on goal and were unlucky not to be ahead in the first half. Torres picked a great time to rediscover his scoring touch, as he, no doubt, saved us from another week of bizarre rants from Rafa. They’re back in the title race now, and all their baggage coming into this match (Keane, lack of form, Benitez, takeovers) is seemingly forgotten.
As for Chelsea, you have to feel for them, since they were so close to getting a point. However, they really had no business even being in a position to steal a draw in this match. Lampard didn’t deserve to be sent off, but they didn’t do much with him on the pitch, so it’s not like it was a devastating loss. They barely troubled Reina all afternoon, and their defense couldn’t hold it together at the very end. Ballack, Kalou, Malouda (or “Kalouda” as I will now refer to the two of them), and Ashley Cole all looked bad, and Cech suddenly looks very ordinary in goal. They don’t look like title contenders at the moment, and they’ll have a lot of issues to deal with if they want to get back in this race.
Man of the Match:
He picked a great time to rediscover his scoring touch, didn’t he? As for the other Liverpool players, Gerrard was his usual self and Benayoun played really well upon coming into the game. As for Chelsea, it’s hard to find anything positive about their performance, but Alex had a good game until he gave up Torres’ first goal.
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