Uefa Champions League, Quarter-final second leg
First leg result: Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Tuesday, April 14
Ok, the first leg might have surprised a few people but what will the second leg bring? Hopefully another goal or two for us to put it safe but I daren’t even risk holding my breath over that.
Michael Essien – After keeping Steven Gerrard at bay in the first leg, we’ll be hoping for more of the same to help the break down of the Gerrard-Torres partnership
Fernando Torres – Scored two goals against Blackburn at the weekend, one of which was an absolute screamer, and it only takes a moment of class for him to be on the scoresheet, as we learnt in the first leg.
A result tonight see us reach the semi-finals of the CL for the third consecutive season and the fifth time in the last six seasons. Before today, we’ve won our last seven CL home matches.
This is their 300th match in European competition. They have won 169, lost 64 and drawn 66. Liverpool have won the last two CL away matches and undefeated in four. They’ve scored at least once in each of their last 19 CL matches; last failed to score on 3 November 2007 at home against Olympique Marseille, losing 0-1. Four of 151 teams losing their home leg 1-3 in Europe have recovered and moved on, most recently VfB Stuttgart against Feyenoord in the 1998-99 Uefa Cup.
HEAD TO HEAD
Liverpool and Chelsea will face each other for the 10th time and in the fifth consecutive season in the Champions League. Only Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have met more often in the CL (12 times). The first leg ended in a 1-3 win for us with Branislav Ivanovic scoring twice in only his second CL appearance. Chelsea knocked Liverpool out of the CL in last year’s semi-final: 1-1 and 3-2 AET. In 2004-05 and 2006-07 Liverpool eliminated Chelsea in the last four of Europe’s premier club competition.
Liverpool have failed to score in three of their previous four CL matches at Stamford Bridge. Last season they scored twice in their 3-2 defeat after extra time at Chelsea. Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel providing the goals. This will be our 24th meeting in five seasons in all competitions and our fourth clash this season.
Unlike the cocky scousers, who let’s not forget are 3-1 down before the game even kicks off, I’m not going to start predicting some kind of battering for either side tonight. In fact, given that this is Chelsea versus Liverpool and after the last game there’s no way anyone can know what to expect, I’m going to totally bottle it, bury my head in a pillow or something and pray!
CHELSEA (from): Cech, Hilario, Alex, Carvalho, Ivanovic, A Cole, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Malouda, Mikel, Deco, Anelka, Mancienne, Belletti
LIVERPOOL (from): Steven Gerrard