written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com
With Liverpool stuttering with draws at home and Chelsea’s recent poor form, this match was vital for both teams to get a positive result so they keep in touch with the leading group. Liverpool have had good results against Chelsea in recent years and they managed to do the double over them last season. Dalglish is unbeaten as manager against Chelsea so confidence was good going into the match.
Kenny made three changes to his side with Bellamy, Kuyt and Maxi making his first league start of the season, Andy Carroll had to settle for a place on the bench alongside summer signings Downing and Jordan Henderson, the fit again Jamie Carragher was also named as a substitute. Former Liverpool favourites Meireles and Torres were also named as substitutes for Chelsea.
Liverpool started on the attack with Maxi making two good early runs. Chelsea reacted with Mata volleying dangerously across goal. Then Mikel fired over from 25 yards.
Liverpool were looking dangerous on the attack and Bellamy combined well with Suarez but Cech thwarted them. Drogba looked to have scored from a free-kick but the ball rippled the net from behind.
The next chance came when Kuyt dispossessed Terry before Suarez failed to find Bellamy and Maxi at the back post. But then in the 34th minute Liverpool broke the deadlock when Adam dispossessed Mikel before Bellamy took over, executing a one-two with Suarez before finding Maxi on the edge of the 6 yard box who finished clinically before celebrating in front of the jubilant travelling support.
Liverpool almost made it two when Lucas sent Suarez clear but his attempted cross deflected off Luiz into the side netting.
Liverpool maybe felt they should have had more than a one goal lead after their superb first half performance. Chelsea made one change at the break with Sturridge replacing Mikel.
Chelsea started the second half with intent and Drogba saw an effort bend over. Then Mata danced into the box before Skrtel ushered away the danger. But the game had changed and Liverpool were struggling to get forward now and Chelsea got their reward with the equaliser when Sturridge beat Reina from close range from a scuffed Malouda shot.
Seconds later Reina pulled off the save of the match from a glancing header by Ivanovic. Dalglish brought on Henderson for Bellamy as he tried to strengthen the midfield that was starting to struggle to stem the Chelsea tide.
The change did seem to make a difference although Liverpool were still not threatening the Chelsea goal. Malouda had a great chance in the 75th minute but he volleyed wide from close range. Then a great run down the right by Henderson ended up with Kuyt firing just wide.
Just as it looked like the match would end a draw, Adam sprayed a pass out to the right to Johnson who skinned Cole before racing into the penalty area and then superbly slotted a left foot shot past the helpless Cech. Liverpool held out for the remaining minutes to record an important win.
Surprised to see Maxi come back into the side, but what a masterstroke, with the Argentine scoring the first goal. I was also pleased to see Bellamy and Kuyt start the match with their work rate and pace. Liverpool played superb especially in the first half with their pressing game and the way the team continued to work for each other when under pressure in the second half was tremendous. The defence was resilient and Lucas and Adam combined brilliantly in the midfield with Kuyt tireless as ever and Bellamy was always a threat and was brilliant at the first goal. Suarez caused the Chelsea defence all sorts of problems, but overall it was a great team performance and a deserved victory.
Man Of The Match – Adam – best performance this season, passed superbly and worked his socks off, played a crucial part in both goals.