LIVERPOOL 1-3 CHELSEA
Well, well. We had to endure their arrogant rants all day on every news station, every football forum, in fact anywhere they could open their mouths we had to listen to how Chelsea might as well not bother turning up at Anfield. Why? Well because they were going to batter us ‘again’ apparently.
Surely the reverse didn’t happen? Surely we didn’t batter them at Anfield with their famous twelfth man? Where was he tonight by the way, could he not get a ticket?
Fair play, they came straight out at us and within just 6 minutes Torres had put them ahead. Alex had cleared to stop Gerrard but our defence looked all over the place to be honest. Almost instantly, Drobga got the perfect chance to equalise and hit it straight at Reina. Half chance for Essien came next, then Malouda as our response to going a goal behind was pretty much spot on.
The Gerrard breaks, gets Torres away again but Essien clears. Bloody hearts in the mouth stuff really, with our passing looking a little nervous at times and our finishing far from clinical enough. Kalou’s hacked down by Aurelio catching his ankle, predictably it doesn’t draw a card. Lampard’s free-kick goes straight into the wall and even the rebound was given straight back to Liverpool as my frustration increased – patience isn’t my strongest virtue you understand?
More chances go begging and my heart’s almost giving out by this point as first Alex sees his chance end up in Reina’s hands, then Torres dispossesses Lampard, turns and shoots – just over. And obviously by this time we’re all wondering what the hell happened to the Liverpool v Chelsea game because surely this isn’t it? Where’s the tense, tight semi we all expect and what do the players think they’re doing actually playing football? Do they not know this isn’t in the script?
Didier Drogba, who by now I’m ready to batter round the head, gets a massive chance just short of the half hour and blasts it over. And as if my throat wasn’t hoarse by then, Kalou gets himself a silly yellow for kicking the ball away. Then more end to end stuff as first Arbeloa shoots just wide before Chelsea pile on some pressure, with Essien in the thick of it. This was a completely different side to the one Liverpool faced at Anfield in the league and if that didn’t surprise them, then Branislav Ivanovic putting us level just before the break certainly did. I mean, what a time to get his first goal for us. Ivanovic shook off Alonso (who didn’t get him sent off surprisingly), got between two static defenders and headed home.
Little time to settle though as Kuyt gets a chance straight away although Cech gets out quick and does enough as Liverpool resort to hoofing it up the park. Then Drogba whacks a lovely ball from Lampard almost out of the ground before we go in for the break with a more than deserved draw.
Straight off in the 2nd half and Torres gets himself a free-kick which he duly dispatches over everyone’s head even the waiting Alex fortunately, who really should’ve had a call from Cech. They’d come out pretty much as they had in the first half and Riera, who really hadn’t got much off Ivanovic all night got them a corner, with Essien clearing. Ballack, who used to be well up for these games, showed his age a bit as he struggled with Gerrard’s pace here and there, although fortunately, we still did a much better job on Gerrard than the Liverpool players managed on Lampard, who was causing them all sorts of problems.
More nail biting ensued as Jamie Carragher clears a Didier Drogba shot off the line but at least the Ivorian was getting closer I guess. Another let-off for Liverpool who by now were by far the more nervous of the two teams. Then it all seemed to be happening as first Torres gets away but blasts over, Essien goes down although fortunately gets up fairly quickly. A panicked, sliced clearance gives us a corner then Terry goes up with Reina and when he goes down heavy clutching his arm, it looked all too familiar and all too predictable. But like I said already, this wasn’t your usual, predictable Liverpool v Chelsea tie, and the Chelsea captain wasn’t stretchered off or bandaged up, he was simply given a yellow for the challenge the minute he was on his feet. He’d said before the game he wouldn’t let missing the second leg put him off and he’d stood by his words.
Then, just after the hour, our unlikely hero in Branislav Ivanovic popped up with his second. Get fucking in! Needless to say my shouting and ranting almost equalled that of the Fat Spanish Waiter’s by this time. And as if the delirium wasn’t bad enough then, Didier Drogba only goes and buries our third. He may well have deserved a bloody good kick up the arse in the first half but he came good when it mattered. Fucking beauty!
This is what I’m talking about! This is what we need to be doing when we play them, fighting for every ball, giving them nothing, no space, no time, not a bloody minute to strangle the shit out of our game. Meanwhile they’re looking for inspiration, but it looks as if ‘inspiration’, just like ‘the twelfth man’ failed to get a ticket tonight.
Oh hang on though, 93 minutes gone and Cech finally gets to make his first save of the second half. Nope, too late, it’s all over. Have some of that!!
Reina; Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio; Lucas, Xabi Alonso; Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera; Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Ngog, Benayoun, Babel, Hyypia, Agger, Dossena.
Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole; Ballack, Essien, Lampard; Kalou, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Hilario, Carvalho, Mikel, Deco, Belletti, Anelka, Mancienne