Wednesday 8th April 2009, 7.45pm @ Anfield
UEFA Champions League
Quarter Final 1st Leg
Liverpool have a mountain to climb after the wheels fell off the chariot that had been built in recent weeks. Despite taking an early lead, Chelsea finally got the measure of Liverpool, in this first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Overall Chelsea put in a fine performance and we can have little complaints at the scoreline, even if the officials decisions at times left us somewhat bemused.
Liverpool looked a shadow of their former selves in their quest to land a 6th European title.
The reds started in familiar fashion, straight on the attack, and Kuyt’s chance on the 2 minute mark was deflected by Ivanovic.
On 6 minutes, an Arbeloa cross landed perfectly for Torres who lashed the opener in to send Liverpool 1-0 up.
But the reds straight away took their foot off the pedal. Drogba had a chance to equalise almost immediately but Reina, playing his 50th European Cup game for the reds, was on hand to intervene.
Six minutes before half time Ivanovic headed the equaliser from a Malouda cross.
The second half, kicking towards the Kop, Liverpool’s players simply didn’t turn up.
Carragher did well to clear off the line, and Torres could have done better when he fired over the bar after once again outpacing John Terry.
John Terry then landed a particularly distasteful challenge on Pepe Reina, for which he was handed a yellow, to rule him out of the second leg.
Another set piece and Ivanovic with another headed goal. The reds had given Chelsea far too much time in our own half and conceded countless free kicks and corners unnecessarily.
Less than five minutes had passed before Drogba rubbed salt in to the wounds after dispatching a cross from Malouda.
The reds huffed and puffed in the second half, but the performance failed to match those of recent weeks. With Chelsea still hurting after the reds taking all 6 Premiership points this season, they appeared to simply want to win this more than Liverpool.
As useless and embarrassing as the referee and linesmen were they didn’t change the course of this game. So well played to Chelsea and their fans, although they may want to consider creating their own songs.
Liverpool find themselves 3-1 down at half time in this contest.
Things have been worse. 😉
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Dossena 75), Kuyt, Lucas (Babel 79), Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 67), Gerrard, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Agger, Ngog.
Goals: Torres 6.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Kalou, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba (Anelka 79).
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Carvalho, Belletti, Mancienne, Mikel, Deco.
Booked: Kalou, Terry.
Goals: Ivanovic 39, 62, Drogba 67.
Ref: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark).