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Monday, 8 November 2010
LIVERPOOL 2-0 CHELSEA MATCH REPORT
Always one of the key fixtures of the season, but more so for Liverpool this season after the poor start and Chelsea sitting on top of the league. But with a better run of form in the last couple of weeks Liverpool had found some much needed confidence. So a win for Liverpool against Chelsea would be massive for the coming weeks in Liverpool's season and give them something to build on.
I was very pleased to see Hodgson go with two up front as I think he should do this more often, I was amazed to see Kuyt make this match as I believe he had just returned to training last week. Great to see Gerrard in that deeper role where I think is his best position. Skrtel came in for Kyrgiakos who was unwell and great to see young Kelly come into the side at right back, due to Johnson having a slight injury.
Liverpool were not giving Chelsea any time on the ball as Liverpool pressed them, Lucas especially broke up so many attacks as he had probably his best game for Liverpool. Konchesky and Kelly were solid in defence preventing Chelsea from getting much joy down the flanks. Kuyt's work rate was a perfect foil for Torres as he looked so much happier with having support up front. Just as it looked like the sides were going in 1-0 at half time, Torres struck again. Cole was caught in possession at the half way line and Meireles broke forward before passing wide to Torres, Torres moved into the edge of the Chelsea penalty box being faced by Ivanovic, he then created a yard of space for himself and then curled a superb shot into the top left hand corner of Cech's net, leaving Cech stranded. Pure class from Torres showing everyone that he is still one of the best strikers around.
It was a big goal for Liverpool going in at half time with a 2-0 lead as they knew Chelsea would come back in the second half. The introduction of Drogba for Chelsea for the start of the second half showed Chelsea's intentions. Drogba being on the bench as he was unwell and not 100% fit, but Chelsea having to gamble with the two goal defecit. As expected Chelsea upped their game and laid seige to the Liverpool goal as Liverpool found it hard to keep hold of the ball. But for all Chelsea's possession Liverpool defended brilliantly not giving Chelsea too many chances to get back into it. Zhirkov had a good shot which Reina saved at his near post. But midway through the second half Reina had a brilliant point blank save from Malouda after great work by Drogba. Chelsea kept up the pressure but Liverpool's defence withstood the onslaught with Carragher immense at the back as he battled with Drogba and organised his defence superbly.
Kuyt was so unlucky not to make it three as Cech pulled off the save of the match, Kuyt turned and hit a low shot which looked to be going in but Cech stuck out a right leg diverting the ball past for a corner. Then with minutes to go Anelka hit a shot which went went underneath Reina bouncing up onto the crossbar and looking like a tap in for Drogba before that man Carragher flung himself in front of Drogba sliding the ball into Reina's grateful hands as he could have easily knocked the ball into his own net. Liverpool could have scored a third goal right at the end as Maxi was sent clear inside the Chelsea box but he took too long to shoot and the chance was lost. Liverpool thoroughly deserving of the win and a brilliant team performance against the Champions.
A brilliant result and performance from Liverpool and it just shows what this team is capable of, what a difference a couple of weeks makes. Hopefully now a bit of heat will be taken off Hodgson as I felt too many people were calling for his head without giving him a chance. Obviously it is not like we are going to beat everyone in sight now but it is a start in the right direction and very encouraging with recent results and the current form must be built on. Great to see Torres back to his best, it gives us so much extra when he is in form like that, so dangerous, but what a game from Kuyt hopefully this will be a regular partnership up front. Gerrard dominated the first half and defended brilliantly in the second half when Liverpool never got as much possession. Carragher was his brilliant best as he was running through brick walls for the cause in the name of Drogba. Lucas, best game for the club, he broke up so many Chelsea attacks and never gave a ball away superb performance. Konchesky and young Kelly were rock solid at full back positions. Maxi and Meireles worked so hard out wide and used the ball well. Reina made a couple of key stops as Chelsea pressed. But a superb team performance and hopefully we can build on this great result.
Man Of The Match - Torres there was a few contenders, Gerrard, Carragher, Lucas and Kuyt but I have to go for Torres with his 2 goals and looked back to his best, clinical finishing from Torres