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Liverpool 0, Chelsea 2: First Thoughts

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Chelsea frustrate Liverpool from start to finish at Anfield to put a damper on title hopes with a comfortable, controlled 2-0 win.

Clive Brunskill

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 0
Chelsea 2: Ba 45+3', Willian 90+4'

  • Pre-match was a sight to behold. Pictures and videos of the bus coming in, Anfield in full voice as the teams came out, and a terrific version of You'll Never Walk Alone. Occasion was set.
  • Unfortunately the football wasn't, as Chelsea set up to stifle the match and prevent Liverpool from repeating the types of home performances that have seen them blow the opposition out of the water. The hosts had plenty of possession but very few chances, while Jose Mourinho's side were happy to break when given the chance.
  • Philippe Coutinho's volley and Mamadou Sakho's skied effort were about as good as it got other than a curling shot from Luis Suarez that was comfortably over Mark Schwarzer's goal.
  • Chelsea's best chances all came late; first when Jon Flanagan handled a Mohamed Salah shot, with Martin Atkinson waving it off, and then on a Tomas Kalas open header that spun harmlessly wide. Unfortunately their third gave them the lead--Steven Gerrard took a loose touch on a pass from Sakho in the middle of the pitch, and Demba Ba pounced into space past Gerrard to beat Simon Mignolet and give the visitors the lead. Catastrophe.
  • Daniel Sturridge came on for Lucas just before the hour mark to provide more attacking impetus, but things were more or less the same. Liverpool's regression to aimless crosses continued, and Chelsea maintained their defensive shape and solidity.
  • Gerrard's shots from distance barely troubled Schwarzer, and were more a sign of frustration and desperation than any actual offensive threat.
  • A WILD ASPAS APPEARS AND PLAYS A TREMENDOUS ONE-TWO!!1! And then passes it straight to a Chelsea player, but oh, how he lived!
  • Strange sense of inevitability as the final minutes played out--Liverpool out of ideas and flummoxed, Chelsea cool and composed as their opponents punched wildly and unsuccessfully. The late Suarez shot straight at Schwarzer was pushed away without much bother, and minutes later Fernando Torres laid off for Willian to tap in to an empty net for a 2-0 win.
  • Not gone, but title chances are now out of Liverpool's hands. Need six more points, and this one can't be forgotten soon enough.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.