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Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea


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Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea


Sunday 7 November 2010, Anfield.

Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool shocked Premier League leaders Chelsea at Anfield.

The out-of-sorts Spanish striker was in his element against Chelsea, and fired home in composed fashion after eleven minutes to give the hosts the lead. And he demonstrated his sublime quality when he cut inside and bent a sumptuous strike beyond the stranded Petr Cech to double the hosts' lead on the strike of half-time.

Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka forced good saves out of Pepe Reina whilst headed chances for Ramires and late substitute Daniel Sturridge summed up Chelsea's second half performance; close, but not close enough. The Blues' first half showing had been poor, though it was perhaps through their complacency that they allowed Liverpool's resurgence to continue, with individual mistakes key to their downfall.

Going forward, Carlo Ancelotti's side were insipid and failed to demonstrate the same cutting edge that saw them put four goals past Spartak Moscow on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. An improved performance after the interval may slightly appease the damage inflicted by the result - which incidentally reduces Chelsea's lead to a mere two points - but a seemingly half-hearted display from his team will no doubt cause concern for the Italian.

However with Chelsea missing two of the world's greatest midfield players in Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, and with Didier Drogba only fit enough for the bench due to illness, it came as little surprise they lacked their usual incisiveness and flair. For Liverpool, a third successive Premier League win ensures their revival continues as they climb into the top half of the table for the first time this term, whilst Fernando Torres' sixth and seventh goals in eight games against the Blues ensured his magnificent Anfield record of 44 goals in 47 matches was further improved.

There was an element of uncharacteristically poor defending from Chelsea as Liverpool took the lead, with Dirk Kuyt's lofted pass brought down expertly by Torres before the Spaniard finished over the advancing Cech. Alex was guilty of allowing Torres to enter the penalty area, whilst John Terry was somewhat casual in his attempts to clear the ball as the Liverpool striker showed greater commitment and desire to get to the ball.

Salomon Kalou threatened an instant equaliser as Ashley Cole's centre was met by the Ivorian but gathered by the grateful arms of Pepe Reina. But Chelsea were limited to that solitary chance as Liverpool's goal gave them a shot in the arm, and further supplemented the growing confidence at Anfield after a string of successive victories.

With the half-hour mark approaching, Cech had to gather a spilt Raul Meireles shot, but it was a minute before half-time that the Portuguese would make a more notable contribution. Ashley Cole slipped on half-way, allowing Meireles to feed Torres, who made no mistake in doubling Liverpool's lead. Even with another half of football to play, it seemed as if Roy Hodgson's side had secured the victory with Chelsea looking lethargic and labourious in their build-up play.

The second half was a marked improvement, instigated by the presence of Drogba, who had been left out of the starting line-up due to injury. The Ivorian bent a free-kick wide before Ramires headed narrowly over as Chelsea showed signs of a revival; Florent Malouda's shot saved instinctively at close range by Reina after more excellent work from Chelsea's talismanic striker. Then, the unusually impotent Yuri Zhirkov finally demonstrated his quality by producing a decent save out of the Liverpool goalkeeper after some net combination play on the edge of the Reds' penalty area as Chelsea sought a route back into the game.

But Chelsea were left frustrated and only Cech's outstretched right foot denied Dirk Kuyt from adding insult to injury - the Blues keeper brilliantly keeping his side in the game though time was fast running out. The introductions of José Bosingwa and Daniel Sturridge did offer some further attacking potency but Liverpool's stubborn resistance was not to be beaten as Sturridge could only head wide late on.

A bad day for Ancelotti's men was best demonstrated when Nicolas Anelka's shot crept under Reina's body and on to the underside of the bar, before Jamie Carragher slid in to deny Drogba a tap-in and a nervous conclusion to the game from a Liverpool perspective.

The full-time whistle was sounded to a mixture of relief and jubilation inside Anfield as Chelsea's away day blues continue - Carlo Ancelotti's men have now lost two of their six games away from Stamford Bridge, having failed to score on three of those occasions. This weekend may prove to be a missed opportunity for the West London outfit given Arsenal's shock 1-0 home loss to Newcastle - thankfully a midweek Manchester derby may stop both City and United from building a head of steam as the title race takes another dramatic turn.

To say an improvement is needed at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday against Fulham is an understatement.


Liverpool (4-4-1-1): Reina; Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky;Meireles (Spearing 90+1), Lucas, Gerrard ©, Rodriguez; Kuyt (Shelvey 83); Torres (Ngog 87)

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic (Bosingwa 69), Alex, Terry ©, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov (Sturridge 75); Kalou (Drogba 46), Anelka, Malouda.

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Liverpool's number 37, Martin Skrtel

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An accurate reflection there Blue Lion -you have a bit of a typo though ''Nicholas Anelka forced good saves out of Nicholas Anelka'' :)

Basically Carlo fucked up - Drogba should have been on from the start -should have sent on Brains (Kalou) as a supersub and Malouda should have been bollocked after 10 mins for playing so deep. Fair play to Torres though -took his chances very well.

Its a must win against Fulham now....

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