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Liverpool 1 - 1 Chelsea


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This has been illegally copied and pasted from CFC-Fans.co.uk

anfield.jpgLiverpool 1 - 1 ChelseaPremier League - 19 August - Anfield - 16:00 kick-offChelsea left Liverpool with a hard-fought point, as Frank Lampard's clinically-taken penalty ensured the points were shared at Anfield.The game was typical of a Liverpool Vs Chelsea encounter - few chances but an enjoyable but nail-biting game that was as competitive as expected. With several fascinating match-ups, such as Lampard Vs Gerrard and Terry Vs Torres, it was the outcome of Mourinho Vs Benitez that most fans will have craved the most.In recent times, Anfield has become less of a happy hunting ground for Chelsea, although life-long supports of the West London outfit would not lie that Chelsea have ever found Liverpool the easiest of the season's fixtures. Recent defeats in the League and European Cup on penalties effectively ended Chelsea's hopes of Premier League and European glory, however the success José Mourinho has brought to Chelsea - six trophies in three years - surpasses the three Rafael Benitez has guided Liverpool to in the same period of time.And with the new mellow Mourinho opting not to spark a war of mind games between the two managers, whose relationship has not been the closest since both arrived in England in the summer of 2004, at the conclusion of the game it was Benitez giving his share of criticism to referee Rob Styles after he awarded the visiting team a controversial penalty. Frank Lampard duly scored.But it was Mourinho who gained the psychological upper hand in the title race. On a day that Chelsea went five points ahead of last season's Champions Manchester United, Mourinho wished not to comment on the situation, merely congratulate his team's fighting spirit. _44067493_ab9.jpgFor the game at Anfield, Mourinho opted to make full use of his dynamic squad. New signing Alex; the Brazilian defender who returned from his three-year loan at PSV Eindhoven earlier in the month was granted a place on the bench and would make his first Chelsea appearance late on. A significant change was at the rear of the team, as Michael Essien was drafted into the right-back position and John Terry returned from injury after missing the wins against Birmingham and Reading. Paulo Ferreira was relegated from the squad altogether. Ben Haim resumed at centre-half with Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel Chelsea's midfield pairing for the day. On the flanks were Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right and Florent Malouda on the left, supported by the so-far impressive Ashley Cole who featured on the left side of the defence. Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, Chelsea's two imports from the Cote D'Ivóire, continued as the strike pairing.Liverpool welcomed back captain Steven Gerrard from the midweek win in France in the Champion's League, with Xabi Alonso also returning to the fray after sitting out against Toulouse. Arbeloa continued at left-back, expected to cope with the pace of Wright-Phillips by Rafael Benitez. Dirk Kuyt partnered Fernando Torres; the Spanish striker making his Anfield debut.As with the previous two Premier League outings, the second half proved decisive for last season's Premier League runners up and Carling and FA Cup winners. Whilst not the result that Chelsea fans hoped for, they were quickly reminded by a move-improved Liverpool side since the teams last clashed.This was the 16th meeting of the two sides in three campaigns, with Chelsea leading with seven wins to Liverpool's five. Three draws, all in the Champions League, completed the statistic. This game was, however, to be remembered as the far-from-finest hour in referee Rob Styles' career.When news filtered around Anfield that Manchester United had dropped more points, this time at the hands of Manchester City in the local derby match. both fans welcomed the news and ironically cheered at the expense of their fellow title contenders. At the start of the campaign, United were slight title favourites - now Chelsea lead the way by some margin.The opening exchanges were cagey as neither strike force could break through the other's resilient midfield line-up. But it was Didier Drogba, scorer of that wonderful goal at Stamford Bridge eleven months previous, that had the first chance of the game; a snap-shot from distance after he had robbed Xabi Alonso of the ball in midfield.But following early signs of Chelsea superiority, it was from five minutes in to fifteen minutes in that the Blues came under constant bombardment by the home side. Gerrard looked to unlock the strong Chelsea backline, but was wayward with his passes and saw his efforts cleared by Ben Haim and Lampard. During the spell of Liverpool pressure, Petr Cech was called into action once - merely taking a goalkick long up field towards Didier Drogba, who was pushed by Carragher, although fairly in the referee's eyes.Liverpool had their best chance of the opening third of the first period when Michael Essien cut down Arbeloa on the Chelsea right and found himself in Rob Styles' notebook. This would prove significant later on in the game. Gerrard took the free-kick short to Kuyt but the Liverpool attack broke down and moments later, Xabi Alonso was retreating into his own territory.Seeing Michael Essien - employed to deal with the power of Riise - as the weakling in the Chelsea back four, Gerrard launched a ball between Essien and Ben Haim to find the unmarked Torres after sixteen minutes. With Essien in No Man's Land, Ben Haim was dragged across to cover for his Ghanaian colleague, opening a space at the heart of the Chelsea rearguard. Torres cleverly lost Ben Haim with a quick change of direction and slid the ball underneath the approaching Cech. Agonisingly for Chelsea fans, the shot squirmed across the wet surface and into the net, courtesy of the far post._44067452_chel.jpgAfter twenty one minutes, Chelsea finally managed to break out of their own half. Winning a free-kick after Alonso had brought down Malouda in similar fashion as Essien had done so to Arbeloa ten minutes before, Styles failed to show the Spanish midfielder a yellow card. Replays suggested the tackle was every bit as disgraceful as Essien's earlier challenge.Drogba's shot from the resulting free-kick brought out an immense chorus of jeers from the home crowd as the ball deflected wide off of Riise and out for a corner. Moments later, good work by Drogba and a trademark cross by Ashley Cole was let down by one-too-many touches by Kalou, and his Ivorian compatriot Drogba headed over from 12 yards after Wright-Phillips had exploded down the right-hand-side touchline with a sudden burst of pace. Slowly but surely, the game was being tipped on its head by Chelsea.John Terry went incredibly close five minutes before half-time. Frank Lampard was hacked down by Kuyt, which earned the Dutchman a booking, and the England international's superb cross found its way beyond several players and towards Terry, who with telling contact, surely would have put Chelsea back in the hunt. However, the ball squirmed wide and Chelsea went into the break as they had done the previous league game - behind by a single goal. However, Pennant and Gerrard found themselves in the book before the interval came for reckless challenges on Chelsea players.At half-time, the ineffective Kalou was replaced by Claudio Pizarro for his third appearance in a Chelsea jersey. His presence immediately galvanised the Blues, as a succession of headed chances fell to the Peruvian but first John Obi Mikel. From a Malouda corner, the ball was flicked on brilliantly by the towering leap of Drogba. Unfortunately, the Nigerian had little time to react and sent his header from close range inches over Reina's crossbar. Pizarro's effort was a little more difficult to execute. Wright-Phillips beat Arbeloa with clever footwork and his cross was met at the far post by the former Bayern Munich striker. However, leaning to his left to connect with the ball, the header was a couple of feet away from causing any sort of trouble to the well-positioned Reina.Liverpool won three corners early in the second period, all dealt with by the combination of Ben Haim and John Terry. Ashley Cole found himself in the book moments later thanks to a trailing leg left behind by Fernando Torres. John Terry was not pleased and both players exchanged words.Nearing the hour mark, Liverpool were beginning to get back into the game. However, Terry was looking his old self once again and only Alonso's strike from range could have been classed as a realistic chance; the Spaniard side footing wide of Petr Cech's post. Besides the early save from Riise and the Liverpool goal itself, Cech had found himself less troubled than usual against Liverpool.Then came a moment of controversy. A penalty was awarded to the visiting side on 60 minutes when Malouda went to ground. Replays proved inconclusive, although contact appeared at first glance to be minimal. Nevertheless, the penalty was awarded and Carragher found himself in the book for dissent. Lampard stepped up, and Lampard scored his 92nd Chelsea goal, making him the Blues' equal tenth top-scorer._44067531_chel3.jpgMoments later, Ben Haim was booked for a tackle on Kuyt. Chelsea stars and Liverpool players were beginning to fill up the referee's notebook. Lampard and Terry soon found themselves in the book, Terry booked for a nothing challenge on Torres. The Spanish player backed into Terry and fell down pathetically, to which Terry reacted with disgust.On the touchlines, Mourinho found the antics of Torres and Liverpool's Spanish manager laughable, as the Special One sat smiling. There was a heart-in-mouths moment when Essien appeared to be shown a second yellow card - however he was not sent off. The Fourth Official later confirmed with José Mourinho that the card was for John Terry, even through Styles had already shown Terry the card.More tension followed as Riise hammered a shot wide with his awesome left-footed strike. Cech saved well from Riise again moments later and with eight-minutes remaining, tipped over Dirk Kuyt's opportunist's header.Alex as introduced with 86 minutes showing on the clock for his Chelsea debut, marking the recent addition of Crouch as Chelsea went with five at the back to preserve their point. However, only a Ryan Babel strike managed to pierce the solid-looking backline but the shot rifled into the side-netting. No further chances appeared at either end as the game petered out to a draw.Chelsea were second in the Premier League table with seven points after three touch opening matches. With Portsmouth to come and then a trip to Aston Villa, before Blackburn at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United away, should Chelsea emerge unbeaten in their first seven games, the team will find themselves genuine title contenders for sure._44067526_chel2.jpgSquads and RatingsChelsea(4-4-2) Cech; Essien, Ben-Haim, Terry ©, A Cole; Wright-Phillips (J Cole 76), Mikel, Lampard, Malouda (Alex 85); Kalou (Pizarro h-t), Drogba.Scorer Lampard 61Booked Essien, A Cole, Ben-Haim, Lampard, Terry.Liverpool (4-4-2) Reina; Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Arbeloa; Pennant (Babel 67), Gerrard ©, Alonso, Riise (Crouch 83); Torres, Kuyt.Scorer Torres 15Booked Kuyt, Pennant, Gerrard, Carragher.Chelsea RatingsCech - 6 - A shaky performance in the first-halfBen Haim - 7 - Quietly effective, his first-half error will overshadow a good performance.Terry - 8 - Brilliant performance by the England captain.Essien - 6 - Essien is no defender, but he countered the power of Riise.A. Cole - 7 - Another solid performance by Cole. Got forward when he could.Alex - 7 - - Only on for nine minutes in total, but Alex countered Crouch's height with his own huge frame.Lampard - 7 - Good display by Lampard. Confident penalty.Wright-Phillips - 7 - Whilst playing wide he was excellent and made some excellent crosses.Malouda - 7 - Had a lot of fun running at Finnan.Mikel - 7 - Brilliant display yet again by the Nigerian. Looked solid in the anchor role.Joe Cole - 6 - - His clever passes would have been better utilized early in the game.Kalou - 6 - Ineffective against Liverpool as a striker, would have been better used out wide.Drogba - 7 - Held the ball up well. Looked brilliant alongside Pizarro.Pizarro - 7 - - Solid when he came on, could have scored by difficult chance to take.Referee - 2/10 Liverpool - Stats - Chelsea1 - Goals - 17 - Shots on Target - 28 - Shots off Target - 62 - Blocked Shots - 26 - Corners - 415 - Fouls - 192 - Offsides - 24 - Yellow Cards - 50 - Red Cards - 0 49% - Possession - 51% Star ManChelseaTerry_468x588.jpgJohn TerryViews of the Blues
well what can I say, except thank you Rob Styles!!! He was awful, absolutely fucking shocking, he's one of the worst referee's in English football and that’s quite an accomplishment considering they are all abysmal, but if it wasn't for him we would have lost today because we were absolutely shit. Liverpool battered us today, no question about it and Rob Styles got us out of jail. Still......Was Liverpool’s goal in the 05 champions league Semi over the line? No, so shit happens to everyone. I'm so pleased to get that fixture out of the way. Played 3, Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 0I'm happy with that.
Ickle 'I wanna go to Chelsea' Stevie:"These things happen and some decisions you get, some you don't. I'm sure over the season decisions will even themselves out" - Steven Gerrard, August 11, after haranguing the referee into awarding him a match-winning free-kick at Aston Villa. "I felt the referee didn't play well today. There was a lot of pressure from the Chelsea players and I thought he eventually cracked" - Steven Gerrard, August 19, after we are awarded a match-saving penalty at Anfield.
I've got a horrible feeling the 'gift' yesterday may well bite us on the arse. As per usual, despite not looking for a pen, not claiming for a pen and looking as shocked as rabbits in headlights at the decision, it’s somehow our fault and bad, bad, Chelsea must've got the decision because they 'pressured' Styles. And now we'll have the Scouse 'angels' bleating as if their lives depend on it for weeks to come. Since we wear completely the wrong colour shirts to ever be a ref's bitch, we've never been done any favours anyway, but having such a public display of benevolence from Styles will really mark our card IMO.

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