Saturday, 8 November 2014

Chelsea Seal Anfield Win

Liverpool's run of three games in a week ended miserably with a 2-1 defeat at home to unbeaten Chelsea who as a result sit 15 points ahead of the Reds ahead of the international break with Brendan Rodgers making sweeping changes from the midweek loss in Madrid.

Emre Can retained his place and could have made an instant impact inside the first minute when a shot at goal took a wicked deflection before going over the bar, the early chance served as a warning which Chelsea failed to heed. The German midfielder tried his luck again in the ninth minute and again his chance drew a wicked deflection but when the ball cannoned off Gary Cahill it sailed past Thibault Courtois to the joy of the home crowd.

However, Liverpool's lead lasted just five minutes as a lapse in defence saw Gary Cahill equalise after Simon Mignolet saved a John Terry header from a corner, Cahill tapped in the rebound which Mignolet looked to have saved but the goal decision system showed he had done so behind the line and so the goal was given.

Liverpool looked to have regained the lead in the 19th minute when Philippe Coutinho found Mario Balotelli but despite firing past Courtois in the Chelsea goal, the strike was denied by an offside decision but the Brazilian had a chance of his own when a clever run and shot drew a diving save from Courtois.

Chelsea came close to taking the lead with two chances from Eden Hazard late in the half both drawing saves from Mignolet who ensured the sides would go into the interval on level terms, Diego Costa had a superb chance in the 51st minute when he connected to Eden Hazard's cross with an overhead kick travelling over the bar.

Raheem Sterling looked to put Liverpool ahead after a mazy run into the box saw him force a good save from Thibault Courtois and Chelsea countered with Eden Hazard whose shot was blocked by Steven Gerrard.

Chelsea did get lucky though in the 66th minute when Cesar Azplicueta swept a cross in and drew a parry from Simon Mignolet with the ball falling to Diego Costa who fired past the Belgian to give the league leaders a 2-1 lead. Liverpool made a double change with Fabio Borini and Joe Allen replacing goalscorer Emre Can and Phillipe Coutinho.

Jordan Henderson looked to draw Liverpool level with a close range shot after a nice run and cross from Joe Allen but the shot deflected wide of the target another change saw Rickie Lambert replace Mario Balotelli. Liverpool were unfortunate not to be awarded a late penalty when Steven Gerrard's shot looked to have hit the arm of Gary Cahill but referee Anthony Taylor signalled play on.

Chelsea held on and moved clear at the top while maintaining their unbeaten record while Liverpool remained in seventh ahead of the three o'clock games.