The pre-match hype was all about £50M Fernando Torres, the post match hype all about King Kenny.
Liverpool completed a league double over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge thanks to a 69th minute Raul Meireles strike after a cross from Gerrard. Less than a month ago the reds were staring down the barrel of potential relegation. Today, after their 4th straight win, with 4 clean sheets and 7 goals in the process, Dalglish fielded post match questions about the possibility of making it in to the Champions League places.
Admittedly such talk is premature, but the reds have narrowed the gap on 4th place to just 6 points – although Chelsea do still have a game in hand.
Chelsea lined up with one of the most expensive forward lines in football history, a three pronged attack of Drogba, Anelka and new boy Fernando Torres. But despite this Pepe Reina had very little to do all game. Admittedly, neither did Cech, well apart from picking the ball out of his net.
The reds continued with their 3-5-2 formation they first used against Stoke in midweek, Carragher returned to the side after a lengthy lay off with a dislocated shoulder.
Liverpool left Luis Suarez on the bench, and in the end didn’t even need to call for his services.
But Torres almost got a helping hand to a dream start for him, when Maxi Rodriguez played a horrible back pass his way, only for the former red to fire way over the bar. The only other chance of note was a shot that was blocked by Carragher – although it appeared that it was heading easily in to Reina’s hands.
Liverpool should have gone in to the dressing rooms at half time 1-0 up, Maxi Rodriguez missing an open goal and managing to hit the cross bar from about 3 yards out. Moments later Ivanovic and Cech almost came to blows when they both went for the same ball.
Torres was removed on 65 minutes after a miserable start to his Chelsea career – but it salt was about to be rubbed on to his wounds 3 minutes later.
Gerrard found space on the right wing and played a cross in to the box. Ivanovic and Cech both hesitated, no doubt connected their first half mistake, and Meireles made up terrific ground to smash the ball in to the net, in front of the celebrating fans.
Liverpool went through the motions, comfortably seeing out the rest of the game, and as the travelling Kop cheered – Torres sat on the bench looking on.
The media hype was misplaced on a 26 year old Spaniard. It is a 59 year old Glaswegian called Kenny who is restoring pride to one of the ‘real’ big clubs in the World.