Yes yes yes yes yes! Finally Steven Gerrard and company go back to winning ways, having despatched Chelsea off with 2 late Torres goals, and an attacking impetus conducted by Rafa that has not been seen since… well does it really matter now?
Precious points earned enabled Liverpool to close the gap at the top to 2 points, but Ferguson’s men still has a game in hand (which includes a game against Liverpool. Now that’s one to watch for!).
Did Liverpool deserve the 3 points? Not really sure on this. Does Chelsea deserve to lose? Quite rightly.
The first 15 minutes, Chelsea looked like they’ll be going all out for a win, but their enthusiasm soon died as they sat back to a flat 4-4-2 and played for a draw instead. Having missed a few key players, it was understandable that Phil Scolari took it cautious, but credit to him for bringing in his more attacking players as soon as Liverpool went 1 man up, via a needless and wrongful sending off of Lampard. I didn’t quite agree with the referee but it seems that Liverpool’s luck is coming back already.
Chelsea then looked more threatening with Drogba leading upfront. Pretty soon even Alex joined him as a second striker. Being 1-0 down, you might as well send all your players into attack mode and go all out for an equaliser. Really it doesn’t matter even if you concede a second goal, because losing 2-0 is no different from losing 1-0.
Throughout the game, Riera tormented the left flanks, while Kuyt hounded Chelsea on the right. Alonso and Masch kept vigil in the middle of the park while Carragher kept getting the better of Anelka. Torres had a quiet first 80 minutes by his standards, but being the world class striker that he is, just one chance was required. Terry didn’t warn Alex of Torres’ run from behind, while Chec didn’t protect his near post enough. Good goal, good game.
And the referee booked Steven Gerrard for diving, but he let him off for a potentially dangerous slide on Mikel? Looking at the replay, I thought Gerrard had come into contact with Chelsea’s midfielders before falling down, albeit rather theatrically, but you can’t deny that there was contact being made. I suppose the referee tried to atone for his failure to dish out a yellow during the earlier sliding challenge, thus he waited for an opportunity to book Gerrard.
So Liverpool 2, Chelsea 0. I had even skipped DOTA and declined Han’s invi for a night of ‘Left4Dead’ at Cyberdome as this was a game that I could not miss. As it turned out, the game was not quite the equivalent of last year’s Champions League semi-final that I was hoping for, but I’m content nevertheless. A win for Liverpool makes my day.
Liverpudlian for life.