4 10 2009

Chelsea vs Liverpool. Chelsea needed to win to go top. Liverpool needed to win to go above Chelsea! A great game to end the weekend. And it had all the makings of a good game; the first half certainly did. It was quite fizzy! It was fizzy, it was red and it was blue! It was almost like Pepsi and quite cloyingly sweet like the fizzy drink too with neither Liverpool or Chelsea making obvious any animosity that they might have for each other. Both teams looked good with both having had seen a goal from the corner of their eye.The half ended 0-0 quite like I expected. It had everything in it but the goal. It had a few corners, a few interesting free kicks, a few seemingly innocuous defensive challenges that are routinely blown out of proportion.

The second half started with the renewed vigor of a baby awakening for a well deserved midday nap. Essien was proving to be a regular thorn in Liverpool’s side while Gerrard continued to target a spectator behind the Chelsea net for the second time in about 25 minutes with exceptionally unfaltering aim! Meanwhile, Drogba did find some time in his already over burgeoning schedule to assume a prone position that he usually does at least a couple of times in every match!

What was notable to the relief of most Liverpool fans was that the reds seem to have abandoned their less than efficacious zonal marking which had brought them nothing but grief recently. Just having said that, Anelka had to put a sock in my mouth by scoring on the hour putting Chelsea 1-0 up and putting Liverpool under an inordinate amount of pressure. Liverpool needed self effacement in the form of a goal or two or there would be stern words said in the dressing room and the board room. The current scoreline wouldn’t do Liverpool’s league position or my fantasy teams league position any good!

Come the 67th minute, Riera was withdrawn for Yossi Benayoun. The latter has been among the goals recently. Meanwhile, Drogba kept rolling on the floor each time he was touched by the softest of feather light glances. Benayoun was proving to be quite the proverbial handful but the rest of the Liverpool team, including, captain fantastic, Steven Gerrard, were as innocuous as a daisy in ten feet of snow.

The sand was running empty in the hour glass and Liverpool looked exceedingly distraught as Chelsea made it a point to flaunt their bench strength with substitutions that did little to allay Liverpool’s current situation as did a yellow card to Steven Gerrard. Liverpool came close to a goal in the 81st minute with Liverpool zinged Chelsea with a combination of Benayoun and Babel’s (a second half sub) pace and Gerrards guile.

The clock continued to tick in Chelsea’s favor while Liverpool made another frantic substitution of Aurelio (in) for Insua (out). As the sands of time eventually ran out for Liverpool, Florent Malouda hammered the last nail into Liverpool’s coffin with Chelsea’s second goal.

I was extremely disappointed with Liverpool’s highly ineffectual display over the last two matches. 2-0 loss at Florence and 2-0 loss at Stamford bridge. Liverpool increasingly look like a top four or top five team instead of probable champions.



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