LIVERPOOL 1 – 1 CHELSEA
Liverpool have fought bravely in their fortress against Chelsea and managed to come away with what they needed – the chance to go to Chelsea’s stadium with an opportunity to progress to the League Cup Final if we win the second leg. That’s all we wanted, ultimately. Losing to Chelsea at Anfield was out of the question, we could not let them crush our hopes of making it to the Final before we had even played the second leg of the Cup tie. Winning would have been nice, but Reds fans always have been quite realistic in our expectations of what we can achieve and a draw was acceptable against a successful team like Chelsea (current Premier League leaders, in 1st place).
I personally am satisfied that we did not lose and that now we can take this a step further, we’ll do what we need to do to progress in this competition once we march off to Stamford Bridge to finish this and make sure that we will be heading off to Wembley once we’re done.
The starting 11 line up was slightly expected and also at the same time, slightly unexpected! We had heard that Steven Gerrard was injured before the Aston Villa game (hamstring problem in a previous game) but that he was working hard to get back to full fitness so that he could play in the Chelsea game. Turns out, that was true. He would appear in the starting 11 line up and it seems he had been rested in the Villa game so he got to play against Chelsea, as expected by fans.
What was so unexpected? Well, it has recently been announced that Daniel Sturridge had returned from seeing medical specialists in America (which Boston Red Sox owner John Henry had introduced him to) and on his return to England, he should already be fully fit and ready to play in competitive matches for Liverpool again. Most Reds fans thought they would see him in the first League Cup tie against his former club (Chelsea).
HOWEVER, we can only assume that Brendan Rodgers just wasn’t prepared to throw Daniel into a Chelsea game as his “comeback” game, or he was just unwilling to change his recent tactics which have been getting victories recently. Either way, we may not see Sturridge again until the second leg at Stamford Bridge now. There’s no denying that he’s fit to play, so it’s all down to the manager as to when his next appearance will be. Reds fans just want it to be as soon as possible. Who’s to say if we might have gotten a win against Chelsea with the help of goals scored by Sturridge if he had played? It could have happened. Which is why sooner is better than later for Daniel’s return. We believe his return will mean very good things for Liverpool, including goals and victories.
The game was VERY affected by Martin Atkinson – the referee, right from the first whistle. He never did show a red card to any player in the entire game (but there were Chelsea players who deserved to have been sent off) and every decision he was making seemed to favour Chelsea and not Liverpool. It was like he was TRYING to help Chelsea, instead of being neutral.
Chelsea played quite a rough game (Diego Costa seems to love physical encounters and attempts them with such regularity, you could safely bet on it happening), but the referee was “looking the other way” (metaphorically) for every time when Chelsea’s players would kick us or pull our shirts or push us to the ground as we had the ball. Also, when we may have tried to retaliate, Chelsea were instantly given the free kick they “deserved”, much in the way that Liverpool deserved a free kick but did not get them. It’s not easy to play against a successful team that also has the referee on their side, it gives them an advantage for most of the game.
Gerrard would receive a yellow card for a foul on Eden Hazard that he obviously didn’t think he should have been given because as the teams went in at half time, Gerrard could be seen on TV, giving the referee a good talking to – you could practically hear him say “THAT WAS NEVER A FOUL you booked me for, REF”, clearly debating the card he had been shown as he left the pitch and went to the changing rooms at Anfield. You know what? Stevie was so RIGHT!
Eden Hazard spent most of this game (dramatically) diving onto the pitch every time a Liverpool player got anywhere near him. He did it so much that in the 17th minute of the game, Emre Can was said to have “fouled” Hazard who had gone down in the penalty area (no surprise that it was HIM) and then Chelsea took the lead when Hazard put the ball in the net, from the penalty spot. Liverpool 0 – 1 Chelsea.
Liverpool then spent most of the game trying to score a goal to make sure that this penalty Hazard had won was not a goal that beat us. Jose Mourinho of course would deploy his “PARKED BUS” tactics, which are ultra-defensive – he puts about 8 men in his own penalty area (instead of just the regular “BACK FOUR” most teams use) and asks them to make sure no goals are conceded. Well, TOUGH LUCK, Jose! We beat your Parked Bus tactics and eventually scored.
Well done Raheem Sterling for being the one that scored against Chelsea. Steven Gerrard would almost get himself on the score sheet too, but his shot would hit the left post and unfortunately not make it into the net. However, we never would do more than equalize (remember we had the referee against us as well as the very defensive tactics being used by Chelsea) so the score would end up as Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea.
We’ve done enough to ensure that we now have a very real chance of reaching the League cup Final. One more victory against Chelsea and we will be on our way to Wembley. That’s certainly better than having already lost by a large goal amount (maybe 3-0 or 4-0) which would have just allowed Chelsea safe passage to the final before even going into the second leg. We’re ready for the next game with them and there is so much at stake, we’re not planning on losing!
Liverpool’s next fixture will be the FA Cup match against Bolton Wanderers , Emile Heskey’s new team! I heard former Liverpool player Heskey scored on his debut for Bolton, he’s got a goal for them already. We’ll face Emile and the Wanderers on Saturday night, 5:30 PM kickoff (UK time).
Until then, just keep walking on with hope in your heart, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[Written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.