Barclays Premier League

Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea



The Reds exacted revenge for Saturday's FA Cup final defeat in fine style by easing to victory over a much-changed Chelsea side as Daniel Agger celebrates his goal



By Alex Byrom

Deputy Football Editor from Anfield


Liverpool thrashed Chelsea with a superb performance to gain revenge for their FA Cup final loss on Saturday, by ending Chelsea's top four hopes. 

The Blues will now have to qualify by beating Bayern Munich (in Munich) if they are to play Champions League football next season, as a defensive horror show allowed Liverpool to score four for the first time since March 2009. 

Essien put through his own net before Terry's slip let in Henderson, and Agger headed in from a corner, whilst Downing also missed a penalty in first half stoppage time, and dspite Ramires's goal Shelvey scored from Turnbull's mistake to seal it. 


? DID YOU KNOW ?

Liverpool have now missed 5 of their 6 penalties this season, becoming the first side to miss five spotkicks in one Premier League season.


Liverpool made four changes from the FA Cup final defeat: There was no Steven Gerrard or Craig Bellamy, the former of which wasn't even on the bench; Enrique and Spearing were also given the night off. Their replacements were: Carragher, Maxi, Shelvey and Carroll who changed the game when he came on on Saturday. 

Chelsea meanwhile, made a staggering eight changes: Only Ivanovic, Terry and Ramires kept their places. Ferreria, Bertrand, Essien, Romeu, Malouda, Turnbull, Sturridge and Torres - back at Anfield - came in to the side. 

In a match full of thirst and thrust, Paulo Ferreira and captain John Terry both saw yellow early on for cynical fouls. 

It took 19 minutes to get the first shot on target and it was the opening goal: A ball was played into Luis Suarez and his cross was put into his own net by Michael Essien to gift the home side the lead. 

Liverpool were now finding space and energy, closing Chelsea down, forcing them into mistakes. Suarez headed Henderson's free kick wide of the post when - unmarked - he should really have hit the target. 

But just seconds later and another defensive laspe gifted Liverpool a second. Maxi's pass was going nowhere near a Reds player, but John Terry inexplicably slipped letting in Jordan Henderson to score his second Liverpool goal with a neat, low shot. His other came in the 3-1 win over Bolton back in August. 

Liverpool were now playing how many expected them to play this season; with purpose, gile and intent. From Downing's corner, Suarez's header was kept out by Turnbull. But Chelsea again were very poor defensively from the resulting corner as it was cleared straight up into the air and Carroll headed it on for Agger to nod down and into the net. 3-0, and game over. 

Liverpool were now playing with freedom; Chelsea just couldn't get near them. Turnbull had to stand up well to deny Maxi from inside the area as Liverpool threatened a cricket score, and the young keeper then brilliantly denied Carroll. 

Fernando Torres thought he' scored against his former club but his shot came back off the bar, and Liverpool survived. 

But then, Downing could have had his first two goals for Liverpool: first he saw his excellent shot come back off the post, before he was given a chance from the penalty spot. Ivanovic elbowed Carroll from Henderson's cross and referee Kevin Friend pointed immediately to the spot, but despite sending Turnbull the wrong way, it came back off the post and away to safety.

Whatever Roberto di Matteo said it certainly galvanised his side, and they reduced the deficit with another goal for Ramires - his fourth goal in seven games firing in from Malouda's centre. 

On 52 minutes, Jamie Carragher, who has scored just once in the last five years, took a shot which was denied by the Chelsea keeper, and from the corner Skrtel was also denied by second choice Blues stopper Ross Turnbull. 


? DID YOU KNOW ?

Stewart Downing is the first man to miss three penalties in a row for his club in all competitions since Juan Pablo Angel for Aston Villa in 2005. 


Chelsea were beginning to dominate, but were struck with the killer blow on the hour mark, with a fourth goal for the Reds. This time it was Turnbull's turn to make a mistake as his poor clearence fell straight to Shelvey who smashed in from 30 yards for his first Liverpool goal. 

The visitors kept plugging away and from Ferreira's cross, Reina just gathered in ahead of Malouda - before the Spanish keeper denied substitute Lukaku. 

With the game sewn up for Kenny's men, he threw on 16 year old wonderkid Raheem Sterling, who should have had his maiden Liverpool goal but fired wide.

Liverpool therefore have won their final home match of the season in style, and need to better neighbours Everton's result to finish above them in seventh, which would constitute a good season for the Kop, cosidering eveything that's happened. They travel to Swansea next. 

Chelsea finish home to Blackburn knowing that whatever result they pickup, it's a sixth place finish for them. Will they rest players again, with the Champions League final ten day's away? They shouldn't do, especially knowing that three of them won't be playing, although they should still have too much for Rovers at Stamford Bridge. 



Tuesday 8th May 2012

Barclays Premier League

Anfield

 

Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea                                       KO 8pm            (HT 3-0)

Essien 19 og         Ramires 50
Henderson 25
Agger 28

Shelvey 61

 

Liverpool:  25. Reina- 7/10, 02. Johnson- 8/10, 23. Carragher (C)- 7.5/10, 05. Agger- 8/10, 37. Skrtel- 8/10, 11. Maxi- 7/10 (Kuyt 83- 3/10), 14. Henderson- 8.5/10, 33. Shelvey- 8.5/10, 19. Downing- 7.5/10 (Sterling 83- 3/10), 09. Carroll- 9/10, 07. Suarez- 8.5/10.

Subs not used:  432. Doni, 16. Coates, 34. Kelly, 20. Spearing, 39. Bellamy

Booked:      Henderson (65), Agger (71)

 

Chelsea:  22. Turnbull- 4.5/10, 19. Ferreira- 5/10, 02. Ivanovic- 4/10, 26. Terry (C)- 4.5/10, 34. Bertrand- 5/10 (Cahill 83- 3/10), 05. Essien- 4.5/10, 06. Romeu- 6/10, 07. Ramires- 7.5/10, 15. Malouda- 7/10, 23. Sturridge- 6.5/10 (Lukaku 68- 2.5/10), 09. Torres- 7/10.

Subs not used:  40. Hilario, 03. Cole, 27. Hutchinson, 08. Lampard, 10. Mata, 21. Kalou. 

Booked:      Ferreira (14), Terry (21), Essien (43), Ivanovic (45+1).

 

My Man of the Match:     Andy Carroll (Liverpool)- Rating 9/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:     Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)- Rating 4/10



Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)- 8.5/10

Attendance: 40,721



Match Facts

Possession: Liverpool- 48%                Chelsea- 52%

Shots: Liverpool- 23                Chelsea- 9

Shots on target: Liverpool- 13                Chelsea- 5

Shots off target: Liverpool- 10                Chelsea- 4

Corners: Liverpool- 7                Chelsea- 4

Fouls: Liverpool- 15                Chelsea- 13

Offside: Liverpool- 2                Chelsea- 1

Assists: Liverpool- Suarez, Carroll, Maxi                Chelsea- Malouda




Kenny Dalglish - Liverpool Manager

"We've got a bit of silverware back in the cupboard after six years; we're back in Europe at the first time of asking [and] we were near to winning the FA Cup, so not a bad first season. I think the players will be happy to finish on a high at Anfield. That performance was on a par with a lot of other performances where we've not got a result, yet we got that [tonight]. I have said many times this season how well we have played but not had the break to win it, on this occasion, maybe with Ivanovic hitting the post we got a bit of luckto win it."


Click here to hear the full thoughts of Kenny Dalglish




Roberto di Matteo - Chelsea Interim Manager

"I have no regrets. We've had three very intense games. To get yourself up after three days, it's a demand for everyone. I thought with fresh legs and personnel we would have a better chance. We've come so far because we've used all the energy and all the players we have in the squad, that's the only way to be in the race for fourth until now and qualify for those two finals. This is a very tough place to come and we found a  very inspired Liverpool side."


Click here for the full interview


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