Jump to content

Blues all but end Liverpool's European ambitions


Recommended Posts

Liverpool are all but mathematically ruled out of Champions League qualification after John Terry and Steven Gerrard exchanged blows on a nostalgic day at Stamford Bridge.

With the Premier League title already assured after last weekend's nervy defeat of Crystal Palace, the Blues took an early lead when Terry headed home Cesc Fabregas' fifth-minute corner, only for the unmarked Gerrard to restore parity on the verge of half-time.

In a game that mirrors the Blues' season, Chelsea were magnificent in the first half, playing with the same vim and vigour which won them voluminous plaudits prior to Christmas, whilst they reverted back to their more mechanical side after the interval.

Played inside a cauldron of vociferous noise, Stamford Bridge was in buoyant mood as a carnivalesque atmosphere - and a Liverpool guard of honour - saluted the champions as they emerged prior to kick-off.

Amongst the Chelsea starting eleven were Filipe Luis, Kurt Zouma and John Mikel Obi, Premier League player of the year Eden Hazard, as well as young Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was rewarded for an exceptional season at Under 21 level with his full first-team début.

And, alongside Mikel, he played a composed part, breaking up numerous Liverpool attacks and stifling their creative hub of Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho during his impressive hour on the pitch. Not once did he look out of place amongst a championship-clinching side.

With Fabregas seemingly refreshed after a midweek break and pulling the strings, Chelsea soared through the gears early on, giving no indication of any charitable intent between old friends José Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers.

Needing a win to be in with a slight chance of Champions League football next season, the Merseysiders were pegged back and under severe pressure right from the off, and it was no surprise when they fell victim to a well-worked corner routine.

From Fabregas' inswinging delivery - for what would be his eighteenth league assist this term - Terry lost his marker and eased a header past Simon Mignolet. That Terry goal - his fifth in the Premier League this season and his 39th in the competition overall - makes him the highest-scoring defender since the League's inception in 1992, surpassing David Unsworth.

A deft flick from Loic Remy played in Fabregas as Chelsea looked to build on their early lead, only to see the Spaniard denied from an acute angle by Mignolet, whilst another set-piece caused chaos in the Liverpool penalty area as Willian's delivery somehow evaded a whole host of blue and red bodies in the penalty area.

Chelsea should have taken their lead into the break, but a combination of carelessness, complacency and downright dire defending allowed Gerrard a nostalgic moment as he headed home - unmarked, after losing the attention of Mikel - at the near post on 44 minutes to even the scores. That all stemmed from a needless free-kick conceded by Branislav Ivanovic, who was one of a handful of Blues players already on the beach in mind if not in body.

Liverpool might even have taken a lead early into the second period as Raheem Sterling and Coutinho's interchange on the edge of the box saw the latter side-foot a volley into Thibaut Courtois' side-netting. At the other end, Chelsea may have made a further impression on the scoreline as Willian's drive was fingertipped wide by Mignolet.

A demasked Fabregas then weaved his way through the Liverpool defence with a slaloming run before tamely firing straight at the goalkeeper as the game reached something of a lull, but there was a display of class from the Chelsea fans in the form of a generous standing ovation for a true legend of the Premier League, as an age-old adversary in Gerrard, in his final appearance at Stamford Bridge, trudged off the pitch after facing the Blues for one last time.

And whilst Liverpool - in desperate need of the goal that would move them to within four points of Manchester United - showed great urgency in the final throes, but for one deflected Raheem Sterling cross and a partly-smothered Coutinho drive, Courtois stood defiant and made two good saves as he quickly readjusted himself to hold on.

The full-time whistle sounded to a chorus of appreciation for the Blues, who, in avoiding defeat today, look well-placed to defend their unbeaten home Premier League record with only Sunderland left to face at Stamford Bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

PRECISE is what a perfect report should be

I think you need a little bit of opinion in there too, though, Ron.

Good one.

Can't believe the English media has made that game all about Gerrard.

Thanks. Well, this is their last chance to have a wank over him...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 0 members are here!

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

talk chelse forums

We get it, advertisements are annoying!
Talk Chelsea relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible, we need to run ad's to make sure we can stay online because over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this website and help us by switching your ad blocker off.

Thank You