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Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool Match Report
Glen Johnson grabbed a late winner at the death to grab 3 points for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Maxi Rodriguez gave the Reds a deserved first-half lead with a clinical finish after a quick Liverpool move. The lead was short lived after half-time as Daniel Sturridge fired home from close range.
On a day when Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles met their former club, it was in fact Chelsea old boy Glen Johnson who had the last laugh on his former employers to give Liverpool a 1-2 win needed.
Manager Kenny Dalglish made 3 changes to the team that faced Swansea. Dirk Kuyt was given the nod as was Craig Bellamy, who Kenny hoped could recreate some of the form he showed during the international break, where he was a key figure for Wales against Norway. The team sheet also saw a surprise inclusion for Maxi Rodriguez, making his first start of the campaign.
The game got off to a lively start, with both teams attacking and Maxi Rodriguez was on target twice but was denied by John Terry and Ivanovic, keeping him out of the way. The Argentine was looking to capitalize on his rare start and show manager Kenny what he has to offer.
Chelsea also provided a threat in goal, with the likes of Juan Mata, Drogba and Lampard all starting and were almost in front on 10 minutes. Florent Malouda brilliantly took a pass from right-back Glen Johnson and headed in a dipping cross at the back post, but Mata couldn’t capitalize, blazing his shot over the face of the goal. John Obi Mikel then attempted a brave effort on goal from 25 yards out, only for his shot to clear the crossbar.
Chelsea then looked to have taken the lead, as many in the stadium and at home thought. Didier Drogba won a free-kick on the edge of the box and rose to take it. The ball appeared to have hit the back of the net, but on second glance it narrowly missed the post and sailed along the outside netting. A concession to the Reds.
Soon it was Liverpool’s turn to threaten Chelsea’s goal again; John Terry lost the ball in a dangerous position to Dirk Kuyt, who released Suarez, fresh from a 4-goal demolition of Uruguay. But the striker was unable to spot the advancing Maxi or Craig Bellamy.
Liverpool quickly made up for earlier missed chances. It was Mikel this time who was dispossessed inside his own half, quick pressure from Charlie Adam allowing Craig Bellamy to grab the ball playing a one-two with Suarez before faking a shot to beat Max down the left, which remained simpler. The task of getting past the goalkeeper Cech. A precise move saw Liverpool finally get a chance back, which has become somewhat of a struggle of late.
The lead then grew to almost two. A defense-splitting pass from Lucas Leiva was sent through by Luis Suarez, but the Uruguayan’s first-time cross was deflected by David Luiz and narrowly slotted into the net.
With Chelsea behind, Villas Boas needed to turn things around. Mikel was replaced by Daniel Sturridge in the first half. The change seemed to have worked, they were quick out of the blocks and created an instant chance. Mata and Lampard combined cleverly to free Drogba, but the forward could only lift the ball over the crossbar.
However, the equalizer came in the 55th minute. Malouda was allowed to advance into the area, before his wayward shot found Sturridge at the back post, who made no mistake and slotted home from close range.
Chelsea were on top and almost made it a double, David Luiz’s shot from the resulting free-kick was expertly saved by Reina with an instinctive save.
Kenny Daglish looked to his bench to strengthen the midfield. Craig Bellamy made way for Jordan Henderson, another player who shone during the international break.
A header from Malouda drew applause from the Chelsea crowd, but that was where the honors ended as Reina saw it slide comfortably wide of the post. The Frenchman then had the best chance of the game to end Chelsea’s second-half dominance, but his shot from close range went well wide.
Former Reds Torres and Meireles then made their bows, greeted by a barrage of jeers from the traveling Kop, drowning out the cheers from the home fans. But it was Liverpool who threatened, a superb piece of skill from Henderson saw him slot past Ashley Cole and then fend off a sliding challenge from John Terry, passing for Downing, who laid Kuyt down, but the Dutchman’s shot was wide. the opposite. Build.
By the 87th minute, the game seemed headed for a draw, with neither team able to land a knockout blow. Until Charlie Adam picked up the ball in the center of midfield and found former Blues Johnson with his trademark left-footed pass. The right-back beat Ashley Cole and steamed into the box finding himself one-on-one with Petr Cech, finishing clinically with his left foot to give Liverpool the lead. A well-earned win at Stamford Bridge for the second year running.
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