Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool - Match report 6/2/11
CHELSEA 0-1 LIVERPOOL
Fernando Torres’s debut ended in defeat as former-club Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Raul Meireles scored the only goal of them game to give the Anfield side a well-earned three points and the bragging rights after Monday’s deadline day drama.
Torres had the best chance of the early exchanges after former teammate Maxi Rodriguez appeared to forget what team the Spaniard was on and played him through on goal but the resulting shot sailed over the bar.
The home side had the majority of the possession in the first half but struggled to break down an organised Liverpool side that were more than willing to sit back in their new 3-4-2-1 formation.
The Reds appeared to be getting the better of the £50m man with Lucas easily dispossessing Torres before Agger became the first LFC player to foul the Spaniard, much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
The ex-Red nearly got his revenge minutes later though. Lucas was dispossessed on the halfway line and Torres was sent through one-on-one with Reina but just as the Chelsea striker’s magic moment appeared to have arrived, Jamie Carragher slid in with a last ditch tackle to deny his former teammate.
Liverpool’s best chance came on the half hour mark when Steven Gerrard squared to Maxi Rodriguez, but the Argentine continued his nightmare half by inexplicably hitting the bar from all of three yards.
Chelsea’s three pronged attack were struggling to make an impact as Liverpool’s packed defence neutralised the threat of Torres, Drogba and Anelka during a relatively comfortable first 45 minutes for the visitors.
The tension appeared to be getting to the Chelsea backline when Ivanovic and Cech clashed after confusion over a Martin Kelly in what was a frustrating first half for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
It was a slow start to the second half with neither team creating many chances. Liverpool came close through a long range shot from Glen Johnson whilst Chelsea were limited to set piece opportunities.
Kenny Dalglish’s team appeared to be growing in confidence as they committed more men forward and a foray forward by Johnson resulted in a dangerous freekick for the vistors but Raul Meireles’ cross was easily caught by Cech.
The Portuguese midfielder was on target on 67 minutes though as Liverpool scored the opening goal. Gerrard crossed from the right and after Cech completely missed the ball Meireles was there to score his 4th goal in 5 games.
As the jubilant Reds fans celebrated, the camera panned to a solemn-looking Torres, who had been subbed for Kalou, who may have been regretting his move as he sat on the bench during what was meant to be his dream debut.
The goal did little to change the complexion of the game however, as Chelsea continued to dominate possession without really threatening Pepe Reina’s goal. Carlo Ancelotti decided to bring on David Luiz for his debut as his team desperately searched for an equalizer.
It was Liverpool who came closest to scoring though when Dirk Kuyt slid through substitute Fabio Aurelio who cleverly cut inside John Terry before seeing his effort comfortably saved by Petr Cech.
Fans would have expected a late rally from the home side but Chelsea continued to huff and puff with little result as they struggled to break down a resilient Liverpool side.
There was a late penalty appeal for the champions when Glen Johnson brought down Branislav Ivanovic in the area but their pleas were ignored as Liverpool held on for a famous win at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool now move up to 6th and Chelsea lie 10 points behind leaders Man United.