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Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2 - Prem (May 2 2010)

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LIVERPOOL 0 Chelsea 2

Report by Dave Usher at Anfield

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Scorer(s) –

Half Time - 0-1

Venue - Anfield

Date - Sun 2 May 2010

Star Man – Dirk Kuyt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went into this telling myself I wanted us to lose. I didn't like that I felt that way, but it made sense given what the repercussions a Liverpool win would probably bring. And yet when the game kicked off, I changed my mind. The head may have been telling me we needed to lose this game, but when push came to shove the heart just wouldn't go along with. When we had the ball anywhere near their goal, instinctively I was willing us to score. Then I'd imagine Ferguson, Rooney, Neville & co all willing the same thing, and I didn't know how to feel.

 

I'd forgotten how I'd felt back in 94 when we faced Kenny's Blackburn, but it all came flooding back to me yesterday. Back then, I'd gone into the game convinced I wanted us to lose, but couldn't actively root against us and in the end I just wanted us to win and then leave the title outcome in the lap of the Gods. Same thing happened yesterday, although it was made easier this time because Kenny wasn't in the opposing dug out, and Rovers had nobody of the ilk of Mongo and Drogba in their ranks.

 

All it took to completely sway me yesterday was Drogba rolling around the floor feigning injury after only three minutes. "Fuck this, there's no way I can want these horrible bastards coming to Anfield and winning, no matter what the consequences are." As it turned out, it was inconsequential what I or anyone else wanted, as we were comprehensively outplayed, outclassed and completely over-matched. We had no chance of winning this game, the gulf between the sides was far more depressing than the actual result. They won at a canter, it was men against boys.

 

12 months ago we finished 3 points above Chelsea, a year later we're 21 points behind them. How did that happen? Did they go on a spending spree? No. Money is the excuse usually trotted out for our failings, but it doesn't really wash. Last summer we replaced two players the manager wanted to sell with two he wanted to sign. Unfortunately, that was all we were able to do as no more money was made available, but still, it's not as though Chelsea, United or Arsenal went out and splashed the cash on their team is it? The only significant signing Chelsea made was Zhirkov, who's been little more than a bench player for most of the year. Yet we've seen a 24 point swing.

 

We were four points behind the mancs a year ago, they then lost Tevez and Ronaldo and replaced them with Owen and Valencia, and yet they've increased the gap between them and us to 20 points. How about Arsenal? 14 points behind us last season, 10 points ahead of us this. Just like Chelsea, a 24 point swing. They sold Adebayor and Toure, and only bought Vermailen. We've had one summer where money wasn't made available. The lack of spending last summer justifies the lack of a title, it doesn't even come close to excusing what seems likely to be a 7th place finish.

 

We were just completely under-manned against Chelsea. With Johnson, Torres, Aurelio, Insua and Skrtel unavailable, and legs extremely weary after thursday night's exertions, we just couldn't compete and (Maxi apart) didn't have any quality to bring in and freshen the side up. It was ridiculously easy for Chelsea, and 2-0 flattered us. We competed quite well up until the first goal went in, but then we just fell apart and could have been battered had Chelsea stepped up a gear. The opening goal was pitiful, and summed up our - and Steven Gerrard's - season. You don't play backpasses from that far out when there are a number of people between you and the keeper. It's schoolboy stuff, and Gerrard knows better than that. Still, in a perverse way there is something amusing about it given how much it will have pissed off the United fans who have been giving him shit for so long.

 

The flip side is that it has more or less handed to the title to the chav cunts who spent most of this game taunting him about the bullshit rumours that have plagued him and his wife in recent weeks. Admittedly, we gave John Terry the usual treatment, and it's difficult to take the moral high ground whilst singing about someone's mother. That being said, the stick aimed at Terry ended as soon as the game did, and the Liverpool fans who stayed behind at the end applauded Chelsea off the pitch. They played well, they are worthy champions (assuming they don't blow it next week) and the Anfield crowd acknowledged them, just as they did in 89 when Arsenal clinched the title and in 95 when Blackburn did it.

 

What did Chelsea fans do? Well they stayed behind too, and chanted 'paedo' at Gerrard as he embarked on the lap of honour. They'd just all but sewn up the title, but they were more concerned with abusing a player who'd (albeit accidentally) just given them a big helping hand in doing it. Classless bunch aren't they? Three things to consider here. 1) It isn't true. 2) Even if it were, 16 is legal, and 3) Graeme Rix.

 

Gerrard held his head in his hands as Drogba celebrated, whilst there was a strange feeling around the ground. I didn't see any Liverpool fan who was happy about it, but there wasn't the sense of anger and hurt that there'd normally be either. We'd been doing alright up to that moment, but heads went down and Chelsea could and should have added a couple more before the break. Lampard shot wide from a position he is usually lethal from, and it needed a last ditch challenge from Kyrgiakos to take the ball off Anelka's toes after Lampard had broke into the box again. We were being taken apart, and Mascherano in particular was really having a bad time of it. Chelsea should have had a penalty too when Lucas collided with Kalou. The contact was completely unintentional as Kalou ran across Lucas, but that's a penalty every day of the week, and usually it would also be a red card for Lucas.

 

Alan Wiley initially looked like he was about to give it, but then waved play on. Ancelotti flipped his lid, as did the majority of the Chelsea team. This is a group of players who'll get in a referee's face when they don't win the opening coin toss to decide which way they're kicking, so when they actually do have cause for complaint all hell breaks loose. I just found it funny, I like seeing them get screwed over by refs, as it doesn't happen too often. Still, it was only going to be a temporary reprieve as they were looking dangerous every time they came forward.

 

Things got worse for us when Maxi was forced off through injury just before half time. He'll have been the freshest player in the side having sat out the Atletico game, and he's been playing very well in recent weeks. Babel came on for him, but he barely got a kick against a Chelsea backline that grew more and more comfortable as the game wore on. We just didn't have the firepower to hurt them. Aquilani had gone close early on when his long range effort skimmed the bar, but aside from that he was very quiet, and also produced a contender for the worst shot of the season in the second half. It was no great surprise when he was substituted for Ngog.

 

Chelsea had numerous opportunities to increase their lead in the 2nd half, but had to settle for just one more goal. The reds backline appealed for an offside against Anelka that wasn't given (Mascherano played him on), the former Liverpool striker crossed from the right and Lampard got there ahead of Benayoun to turn the ball past Reina. Carragher had been injured in the build up to it, and wasn't able to track the run of Lampard. Yossi tried, but he reacted a little too late and couldn't get goal side in time. There was no way we were coming back from that, and I just hoped it didn't get any worse.

 

Ayala replaced Carragher, and some of our players looked to have thrown in the towel. This was especially noticeable than when Chelsea launched a counter attack, and five of their players charged forward whilst none of ours attempted to get back. We had three players back when they got the ball, and they had five running at us with no-one bothering to track them. In the end, Lucas and Kuyt both belatedly tried to get back, but no-one else did. That's not something you ever see from us, but it was indicative of the apathy that surrounded the entire day, and perhaps the tiredness in the legs and minds after the Atletico game. Whilst the scores were level, we gave it a go, but when we fell behind heads went down and the fight just wasn't there.

 

Thankfully the scoreline didn't get any worse, and in the last minute we actually forced Cech into a save when Kuyt cut in from the left and had a shot. He more than anyone else continued to give his all, and even spilt blood for the cause when his head was split open after a collision with Terry's gargantuan fod. Being hit with that thing must be like being run over by a truck, and credit to Dirk for coming back from it.

 

The final whistle ended the torture, and for those who stayed behind the big question was would Rafa give any kind of tell tale sign that he was off? He didn't, which is hardly surprising. Having spent all week sidestepping questions about his future, he's hardly going to give anything away by waving goodbye to the fans is he? It was business as usual, he walked around with everyone else, clapped the fans and then left. I didn't see anything unusual from anyone, although Carra and Stevie were way out in front and looked like they just wanted to get it over with and seemed embarrassed about it all.

 

What now? Who knows, Rafa says he expects to have a meeting with new chairman Martin Broughton this week. Quite what will come out of that is anyone's guess. The Chelsea fans chanted "Rafa Benitez, we want you to stay" A sentiment shared at Old Trafford and Goodison Park. The question is whether Chelsea season ticket holder Broughton was singing along with them.

 

 

Team: Reina; Mascherano, Carragher (Ayala), Kyrgiakos, Agger; Lucas, Gerrard; Maxi (Babel), Aquilani (Ngog), Benayoun; Kuyt:

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Hard to read without feeling a sense of anger and dissapointment (and disgust at the Classlass fucks in the away end) about the way this season has gone. No one gets away from this season clean except Pepe. The facts are the ownership debacle has not only ripped the heart out of the playing staff but also the supporters. The question is are we up for the fight next season, my answer would be probably not. We support the club no matter what but whats the point if its run by a load of self serving pricks who neither aknowledge or care about us the loyal fans. In any other business it would drive people away but we all know football is different. If there isnt change at the top of the club this summer the only action left to fans to save the essence of the club is boycott.

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even if there is new ownership it frightens me to think Rafa still in charge next year, i was always sympathetic toward him but now more than any other time this season i feel its time for a change. We may well lose a number of good players along with him but nothing could be worse than the misery we've all endured this season.

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