Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chelsea fails to Shine Against Liverpool at Anfield

Chelsea’s quest to win the premiership title back to back suffered a setback this afternoon as they lost by 2-0 to rejuvenated Liverpool FC. Two first half goals by Fernando Torres were all the Anfield side needed to claim victory in the highly charged match.

Many soccer pundits had expected the Stamford Bridge boys to triumph especially following their current form in the UEFA Champions’ League. Liverpool on the other hand had picked up form recently after a disappointing start this season.

The Blues started the match without Didier Drogba and their midfield talisman, Michael Essien who was nursing an injury. So it was almost certain from the outset that they were going to lose the match.

Liverpool playing a 4-5-1 formation made sure Chelsea did not have enough space to operate in the midfield. They took control of the midfield right from the beginning of the match and took the two golden opportunities that came their way.

Chelsea had a free kick in the 3rd minute of the first half; it was taken by Florent Malouda but was poorly utilized. Liverpool on the other hand got their first free kick in the 5th minute. It was taken by Stephen Gerard but was nodded away by John Obi Mikel.

The Blues mounted some pressure on Liverpool as they tried to get an opener. Surprisingly however, it was the boys from Anfield that got the curtain raiser in the 11th minute courtesy of Fernando Torres who connected a cross from Kuyt to beat goal keeper Petr Cech.

The 20th minute saw Zhirkov getting the first yellow card of the day for fouling Lucas. Stephen Gerard was fouled in the 23rd minute by Ramires, though the resultant free kick did not produce any anxious moment.

In the 28th minute, John Terry’s pull out hit Zhirkov on the arm in the 18 yard box but the referee overlook and refused to award a penalty against the expectations of Liverpool players.

In the 44th minute, Liverpool went on a counter attack after Ramires tripped in the midfield; Fernando Torres successfully displaced the Chelsea defense line and placed the ball behind a confused Petr Cech for their second and final goal.

In 45th minute, Nicolas Anelka lost the opportunity to pull one back for his side. All efforts by the Blues to change the tide of the game proved abortive as Liverpool’s defense line refused to succumb to pressure.

Second half saw Coach Carlo making vital substitutions in a frantic effort to rescue the situation, but it was too late. Didier Drogba was introduced in the 46th minute; Bosingwa replaced Ivanovic in the 70th minute, while Daniel Sturridge replaced Zhirkov in the 75th minute.
Jonjo Shelvey replaced Kuyt in the 84th minute while David Ngog replaced Fernando Torres in the 87th minute. Liverpool was able to successfully defend the two goals till the end of the match.

Chelsea is now only 2 points clear of Manchester United who won their match against Wolves by 2-1 earlier on Saturday. They still remain 5 points clear of Arsenal who lost their match by 1-0 against Newcastle at the Emirates.

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