Liverpool saw their very faint chances of finishing 4th extinguished in a lethargic display in the final home game of the season.
The reds failed to do Man United a favour and Chelsea remain at the top of the Premier League table. Combining 120 minutes of football on Thursday night with Liverpool’s wretched season always suggested that the league leaders would have a strong chance against the reds.
It certainly wasn’t helped when Steven Gerrard, not for the first time, delivered a poorly weighted back pass which was pounced upon by an opposition striker. Didier Drogba taking delight in the passback and putting it past Pepe in the 33rd minute.
The reds made two changes. Daniel Agger replacing Glen Johnson at left back and Maxi Rodriguez returning to the side after being cup-tied for Thursday’s game.
Liverpool looked lacking in energy, although until the mistake – neither side appeared to be dominating. An Alberto Aquilani drive amongst the reds best chances in a average first half.
Towards the end of the first half Chelsea screamed for a penalty, but replays suggested that the referee correctly turned down their appeals.
Ten minutes in to the second half and Chelsea struck again. As Carragher lay injured, Mascherano played Lampard onside as Anelka’s cross came through. Benayoun attempted to cover for Carragher but couldn’t quite get back in time and the game was effectively made safe for the Londoners.
As is tradition, the players and families walked around the pitch to thank the fans for their support during a difficult season.
At least Liverpool’s Chelsea-supporting Chairman will have enjoyed his day supporting the blues from his home.
The reds meanwhile face a difficult summer. With the club up for sale – it appears that this will be the third summer in which the club will have no money available for players. The only silver lining of the weekend is that the reds will be competing in European football next season.