Chelsea vs. Liverpool Recap And Analysis: Honors Even At Stamford Bridge As Game Ends In Stalemate

 
on November 11 2012 1:21 PM
Chelsea vs. Liverpool Recap And Analysis: Honors Even At Stamford Bridge As Game Ends In Stalemate

A first-half headed goal from John Terry was cancelled out by a similar effort from striker Luis Suarez to ensure Sunday's EPL encounter between Chelsea and Liverpool ended all square. 

John Terry opened the scoring with twenty minutes played, breaking free of marker Daniel Agger and getting into the path of a floated corner into the box by Juan Mata to head home and give Chelsea the lead. 

It took a similar goal from Luis Suarez, who headed home after a corner from substitute Suso was knocked back by Jamie Carragher towards the Liverpool front man, to bring the scores level and ensure both teams left the game with a point. 

Whilst Liverpool enjoyed plenty of possession in the first-half of the fixture the attacking problems that have plagued them throughout the season continued as the Reds looked lacking in the final third. 

Chelsea, whilst not controlling the game as much as they would have liked to in the first period, looked much more clinical, with the creativity of Oscar, Mata and Hazard threatening throughout the opening exchanges. 

It wasn't until the second-half that the game opened up, with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers bringing on Suso and switching to a more attacking formation to try and get the goal back to ensure the Reds walked away with at least a point. 

Brendan Rodgers named a somewhat experimental side for the Reds trip to Stamford Bridge, bringing Jamie Carragher into a central defensive trio, with Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique being utilized as wing-backs in order to support an attack spearheaded by Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling. 

Chelsea captain John Terry returned to the starting line-up after completing a four match ban for alleged racist abuse, with the Blues skipper replacing David Luiz who was ruled out with tonsillitis. Fernando Torres was Roberto Di Matteo’s front man of choice for the visit of Liverpool, with the Spanish striker aiming to net his first goal against his former club since moving to West London. 

Liverpool started the game well, passing the ball quickly and controlling possession, but their build-up play quickly broke down in the final third, with a Chelsea defense galvanized by the return of Terry leaving Suarez and Sterling feeding off scraps. 

But it was Chelsea who looked the most dangerous, with clever link-up play amongst the attacking four causing all sorts of problems for the visitors back-line, with a quick one-two between Oscar and Mata allowing the young Brazilian to break clear on goal and fire an effort just over the bar, with Liverpool still offering little going forward. 

The Reds lack of cutting edge cost them with just under twenty minutes on the clock, when a corner won by Torres was looped into the box by Mata, with the ball from the Spaniard finding Terry, who had shirked off his marker Daniel Agger before heading past Brad Jones to score his 50th Chelsea goal and give the home side the lead. 

But Terry’s celebrations were short-lived after a collision with Suarez left the Blues captain with damage to his knee, with the central defender being stretchered off and replaced by Gary Cahill with just ten minutes to go until half-time. 

A header forward by Oscar set up the last chance of the first half, with Mata latching on to the knock down and cutting inside onto his left foot before blazing a shot over the bar to ensure his side’s winning margin remained at one goal going into the break. 

With an hour on the clock and Chelsea still in the lead Brendan Rodgers opted to make his first change of the game, taking off on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin and replacing him with promising Spanish youngster Suso. 

The inclusion of the Under-21’s international switched Liverpool’s formation to a more attacking minded one, with the substitute playing centrally with Sterling and Enrique pushing on to either wing as Johnson shifted to the left to create a back four. 

The result was a much more open and end-to-end game, with Liverpool looking a lot more threatening than in the first period, with Joe Allen and Sterling seeing efforts on goal well-blocked, whilst a looping ball into the box from Mata caused problems for Jones before a shot from distance by Ramires floated over the bar. 

Liverpool’s continued pressure played dividends after 70 minutes, with a corner swung in by Suso being knocked towards the far post by Carragher, finding Luis Suarez who broke free of Ramires before heading past Cech to bring the Reds back level. 

Roberto Di Matteo reacted to conceding by making his  first unforced change of the game, taking off Oscar, who nearly put his side ahead during the first-half, and replacing him with former Wigan Athletic winger Victor Moses. 

Just under ten minutes later Di Matteo made his third and final substitution, ending Fernando Torres’ hopes of scoring against his old club, taking off the former Liverpool man and replacing him with Daniel Sturridge. 

Liverpool nearly got themselves in the lead with three minutes to go in the second-half, with Enrique playing a well-timed ball from the left into the path of Luis Suarez, who went one-on-one with Cech but the Chelsea keeper did well to get a touch onto the ball, knocking it out of the path of the Uruguayan just as he was about to go clear on goal. 

Another good save by Cech ensured the game ended all-level, with the keeper getting down well after Enrique fired a low shot towards his right-hand corner. 

 

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