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Chelsea 1 (2), Liverpool 0 (1) (AET): First Thoughts

Liverpool defended well but could not score a goal as Chelsea progressed to the Capital One Cup final.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Chelsea 1 Ivanović 94'
Liverpool 0

  • Pre-match thoughts: Kurt Zoma started in place of Gary Cahill after the "disgrace" against League One Bradford City. Liverpool started with the same eleven that impressed in the first leg. Mario Balotelli returned to the matchday squad on the bench in place of Fabio Borini. Joe Allen, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, and Glen Johnson joined Balotelli on the bench. There was no place for Daniel Sturridge who will probably feature in the the weekend game against West Ham United. Steven Gerrard

  • The first five minutes were played at an impressive tempo with Chelsea determined to show a response to a shock home exit in the FA Cup. There was an early claim for a penalty for Chelsea as the ball hit Lucas Leiva's hand, and technically it should have been given. Just after ten minutes, Diego Costa's stamp on Emre Can on the right touchline should have been punished with a red card. Chelsea had the possession without testing Mignolet, but Liverpool looked dangerous on the counter attack.

  • Raheem Sterling capitalised on a mistake to break into Chelsea's area on 17 minutes with a fantastic chance to score, but Kurt Zouma impressively thwarted the Golden Boy. Eden Hazard's influence on the left was beginning to grow for Chelsea. Skrtel Skrtelis(z)ing should have brought a penalty, but the combination of Diego Costa and Chelsea mean that Michael Oliver made the right wrong call. Liverpool should have gone ahead through Alberto Moreno and Philippe Coutinho

  • With ten minutes to go to half time, Liverpool were playing well on the counter attack. There was concentration in defence (mostly), pressure in the opposition half, and clear chances were created. The only problem was that Liverpool weren't ahead. A combination of poor decision-making, unconvincing finishing, and Thibaut Courtois combined to thwart the away side.

  • Half-time thoughts: Three halves of football between Liverpool and Chelsea produced not a shot on target for Simon Mignolet to deal with. Chelsea may have had a penalty but haven't created much apart from threatening moments in both legs. Brendan Rodgers set up his side differently to the first leg and the results were positive.

  • The second half was somewhat disjointed. There were injuries to Cesc Fàbregas and Mamadou Sakho, a yellow card for Lucas, and another stamp from Costa. Ramires and Glen Johnson joined a competitive match in place of the wounded. Eden Hazard danced and danced to flash a powerful shot wide in a warning to Rodgers' side.

  • On the hour mark, the game saw a burst of action at both ends in succession. Diego Costa's deflected shot was saved by the feet of Mignolet, and Raheem Sterling broke immediately on the right where the ball was worked to Gerrard to shoot. Simon Mignolet superbly tackled the nefarious and diabolical Costa. Mario Balotelli came on for Lazar Marković on 71 minutes as Liverpool struggled to create anything except for Steven Gerrard speculative shots from outside the area.

  • 90 minutes thoughts: The last twenty minutes were tense with a few half-chances for either side. Extra time arrived and Liverpool had to score a goal. What was worrying was that Liverpool didn't look like scoring a goal. Mario Balotelli didn't move much at all, Steven Gerrard was tired, and Liverpool's best two young players lacked the finishing touch. Still, Liverpool played well and should have been in the final after 90 minutes.

  • Mourinho was enraged after Lucas wasn't sent off after a foul early in the first half of extra time for a second yellow card. The Chelsea manager would have been pleased to see Branislav Ivanović scoring from the free-kick. The Chelsea defender escaped attention to head home the first goal of the second leg. Jordan Henderson has an excellent chance to equaliser after Sterling danced on the left side to put in a cross that was headed wide by the Liverpool vice-captain.

  • The second half of extra time saw Rickie Lambert come on for Alberto Moreno as Liverpool needed to score a goal to take the game to penalties. Liverpool's attacking movement was non-existent with Gerrard, Balotelli, and Lambert. With Henderson stationed on the right, Liverpool isolated Lucas Leiva defensively in midfield as Gerrard virtually walked through extra time.

  • The late lashed shot over the bar from Rickie Lambert signalled the end. Liverpool couldn't score a goal over 120 minutes and succumbed to defeat.

  • Full-time thoughts: There were many positives for Liverpool, but poor finishing has been a general problem this season. The story of playing well against Chelsea but failing to defeat them continues in the Brendan Rodgers era. Liverpool fought well but came short.

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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.

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