Liverpool gained a small element of revenge for their FA Cup final defeat by beating Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield on Tuesday.
While Liverpool deserve credit for their performance, the scoreline owed much to some inept Chelsea defending that saw the hosts 3-0 up by half-time. Goals from Jordan Henderson, Daniel Agger, Jonjo Shelvey, and an own goal from Michael Essien were enough to put Chelsea to the sword, despite Ramires' second-half effort.
Both sides featured several changes from the lineups that started at Wembley, with Chelsea bringing in eight players into their team.
It was Liverpool that grabbed the lead 19 minutes in with a goal that hinted at the calamity to come in Chelsea's defense. Luis Suarez got the better of John Terry far too easily down the right as he was allowed to continue his run into the penalty area along the byline. The Uruguayan chipped the ball back across goal where it struck Essien and went into the unguarded net.
Just a short time later it was 2-0 with Terry's culpability even more to the fore. Instead of making a simple interception, the Chelsea captain slipped to the turf allowing Jordan Henderson to run clear and slide the ball past reserve goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.
Less than five minutes later, with not even half-an-hour on the clock, Liverpool made it 3-0. A corner from the left was headed back across goal by Andy Carroll to find Agger completely unmarked in front of goal, who stooped to head into the net.
The first-half could have been even more disastrous for Chelsea had Liverpool not missed a penalty in injury time. Branislav Ivanovic stuck his elbow into the chest of Carroll in the box, but Stewart Downing's spot kick came back off the post. The miss was Liverpool's fifth from the six penalties they have been awarded in the Premier League this season, while it left Downing still without a league goal for the Reds.
Chelsea did pull a goal back early in the second period. A free-kick swung in from the top-right corner of the box from Florent Malouda striking Ramires in the thigh and tamely making its way over the goal line off a forlorn Pepe Reina.
But that brief spark of optimism was quickly extinguished as Chelsea once again proved the masters of their own downfall. This time Turnbull was at fault as his clearance from the left of his area landed straight at the feet of Jonjo Shelvey. The former-Charlton midfielder didn't panic with an open goal at his mercy as he thundered the ball into the back of the net from close to 30 yards out.
That proved to be the last of the goals in an action-packed night at Anfield. The result ends Chelsea's hopes of Champions League qualification through the league. With everything now resting on the Champions League final against Bayern Munich later this month, interim-boss Roberto Di Matteo could come to regret the volume of changes to his starting 11.