UEFA Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg
Tuesday 22nd April 2008 @ 7.45pm
The reds suffered 94th minute heartbreak in the 1st Leg at Anfield after a game that should have seen the reds over the horizon, and packing their bags for Moscow.
Liverpool went ahead just before the half-time break through a Dirk Kuyt goal, but should have put a number of other chances away in a game in which Torres, was unusually, off-target. In the 94th minute Chelsea got lucky, and snatched a draw against the run of play for the second time this season at Anfield, when John Arne Riise headed an own goal past Pepe Reina.
The game started cagey with Chelsea winning the toss and making the reds kick towards the Kop in the first half. Chelsea started off with some decent possession, but the best chances were falling to the reds. Torres and Kuyt were both guilty of squandering great goalscoring opportunities, but Kuyt eventually fired home from close range after some excellent dogged build up play by the Dutchman.
It was deserved by the reds.
The second half began and Liverpool were in total control. Gerrard fired a volley that Petr Cech tipped over the bar, before Torres once again had another chance to grab his first goal of the tie.
A groin injury to Fabio Aurelio meant Riise was sent on to replace the Brazilian.
The game opened up more towards the end of the second half, but Chelsea were still failing to create any realistic openings even though Anelka had been sent on to partner ‘Emile’ Drogba.
In the 94th minute Kalou managed to reach the bye-line and fire in a cross right in to the six yard box. Riise, unsure about clearing with his unfavoured right foot opted to try and head the ball, but his connection sent the ball past Reina.
The tie turns round in an instant. It was a sucker punch and the reds will have to pick themselves up. If Liverpool are to make it to Moscow, yet again they will have to do it the hard way. The reds must score at Chelsea or our involvement in the competition is over. But as Steven Gerrard said:
‘We haven’t played at Chelsea with Fernando Torres yet.’
Liverpool fans are in for another European nail-biter.
ur sympathies. But this is Europe. And we are Liverpool. And this is what we do.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Riise 61), Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel (Benayoun 75), Gerrard, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Hyypia, Crouch, Pennant, Lucas.
Goals: Kuyt 43.
Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Makelele, Ballack (Anelka 86), Joe Cole (Kalou 63), Drogba, Malouda.
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Shevchenko, Obi, Alex, Belletti.
Goals: Riise 90 og.
Ref: Konrad Plautz (Austria).
Updated LFC Stats