Sunday, January 21, 2007

Your Reign Ends HERE

Reds Give José The Blues

English Premiership


LIVERPOOL 2-0 Chelsea

Scorers:
LIV - Kuyt (4min), Pennant (18min);


Match Highlights:





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This is the match where the under-pressure players performed.

This is the match that showed what Liverpool are really about.

This is the match that exposes Chelsea's lack of depth.

This is the match that could spell the end of Chelsea's reign in English Premiership.

In Rafa's 100th game in charge of Liverpool, he saw his side clinically finished Chelsea off in 20 minutes as he now holds the same record as Liverpool's greatest manager, Bill Shankly, with 56 wins. With all the talks of Liverpool not being able to compete with the big boys (me included) and fail to finish team off clinically, this match clearly showed that Liverpool CAN mix with the big boys and have the ability to win them.

Perhaps taking the shine off the gloss was the fact that Chelsea have been missing several key players like Makalele, John Terry and inexplicably, Ricardo Carvalho. They started a makeshift defence of Paulo Ferreira and Michael Essien, which crumbled the moment Liverpool stepped up their gear.

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Dirk Kuyt pounced on Peter Crouch’s knock down and he wrong footed Ferreira and placed the ball beyond Petr Cech, who returned from his long term head injury. Spotted with a scrum cap, surely it wasn’t a good omen to him.

Liverpool continued to pile on pressure and Chelsea had absolutely no answer to it. Drogba was closely watch by Jamie Carragher, who was colossus throughout the match. He organized the defence terrifically but one would have to wonder why Chelsea decides to play long ball game instead of playing it on the ground. It made their work much easier.

Liverpool then got into the driving seat 18 minutes into the match. Jermaine Pennant, who has been doubted as to whether he’s fit to wear the Liverpool shirt, showed why he IS fit to and silenced the critics with a peach of a goal.

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Receiving the ball just outside the box, he decided to have a go and boy, he hit it so sweetly that it sailed past Cech and hit the underside of the bar before going into the net. Anfield erupted and Chelsea were stunned.

With Robben withdrawn from the game following an injury, Chelsea’s squad was stretched thinner this time. Shaun Wright-Phillips was brought on and in fact, did caused some problem in the second half with his searing pace but Liverpool defended resiliently.

Second half, Chelsea did came out with an intent to get at least a goal but the team just didn’t click. The players were all over the place and the link between defence and attack was severely cut out by the brilliant central pairing of Alonso and Gerrard.

You could sense the discontent and impatience when Drogba threw away a free kick awarded to him cheaply. He passed the ball through the legs of Lampard when he’s still not ready and the ball was retrieved by the Liverpool players cue the reaction from the Anfield crowd.


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It really could’ve been a slaughter if only Liverpool took their chances better. Riise had a shot that came off the bar while both Crouch and Kuyt had couple of chances to put the match beyond doubt.

In the end, all that matter was the victory. A sweet one indeed for the Liverpool fans, who have endured the 4-1 thrashing last season and also the 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, which many deemed undeserving.

Now Liverpool have cut down Chelsea’s lead to just 5 points and surely, Rafa Benitez can make the team believe that they can overtake Chelsea. But it’s important to build on this win and continue the excellent form. The players all gave their very best and showed much hunger. It’s hard to pick the man of the match as everyone put up a good performance while the fans where just fantastic.

Sir Alex must be laughing now.


Drogballs: Like, wow. Jermaine Pennant scoring? Am I dreaming? But seriously, what a goal. He hasn't been at his best and many have doubted his ability. But today, Pennant put up a fantastic performance with his intelligent run and tracking back.

I think other than our clinical finishing, the thing that really separates us from Chelsea would have to be the hunger and passion. Liverpool wanted to win more and they came out all guns blazing.

You could see it in the player's face. They wanted it real bad. They wanted to show to all of us that we can take on the big boys without problem. They tracked back, ran tirelessly and defended resiliently.

What's more, a clean sheet for us. In fact, I don't remember Reina having to do any work. Carragher kept Drogba very quiet while we have Aurelio and Finnan marking their wingers. They're always on their back and made it difficult to play their normal game. They resorted to passing long balls but it made it all easier for Liverpool.

It's hard to pick a man of the match but to me, it will have to be Dirk Kuyt. His goal sets up an intriguing game and after that, ran his socks off (as always) and dropped deep to help out the midfield. Finishing might be poor at times but he scored the all important opening goal.


Drogballs' Player Ratings:

Reina (7) - Did nothing. Seriously

Finnan (8) - Good going forward and defended well
Carragher (9) - For stopping Drogba. That alone deserves all credit
Agger (8) - Dealt with the aerial threat well
Aurelio (8) - Under pressure player. But played a blinder!

Pennant (9) - 10 for the goal. 8 for the performance. Well done, lad!
Gerrard (9) - Disciplined performance but dedicated. Tracked back and worked hard
Alonso (8) - Got smacked in his nose but his passing was quality
Riise (8) - Unlucky not to get one goal

Kuyt (9) - MAN OF THE MATCH: Need I say more?
Crouch (8) - Held up ball well and caused problem with his aerial ability

8 comments:

Meg said...

OHYES!
Now THAT'S the Liverpool they all talk about, although past that defence we could've done better. But whatever Chelski and its minnions might moan, we deserved the victory!
Am I the only one who got reminded of Maxi Rodriguez from Pennant's strike?
Oh and, have you seen WHU vs NUFC? Awesome match, unlucky for WHU though. Dumb linesman.

psychohare said...

oh was that West Ham match good? *goes to watch goals*

anyways i totally love that Headliner Drogballs! Jose is surely blueish right now

soccernet has a good headline too LOL
'Pool Sink Chelsea

hahaha! isit just me feeling euphoric, or isit just a great day today!

DROGBALLS said...

Just so proud of the bunch. It's difficult to comprehend that 2 weeks ago, exactly the same squad got tonked by Arsenal at Anfield and now, we looked so good.

That's the beauty of football I guess. That's what hunger and passion makes you. A monster!

Lucas said...

Thank you Liverpool for doing ManU a favor!

DROGBALLS said...

Welcome. Now it's your honour to finish the title race. Hahaha

Blue said...

Hey Drogballs! I feel worse allowing the scousers to talk after 5 head-to-head league wins over pool.

Atleast we have some consolations:
1. It was not at home.
2. It was not our full team
3. We were not beaten by a bunch of teens
4. We didnt concede half a dozen goals, even with this make-shift defence.

And thank you Arsenal for doing Chelsea a favour!

DROGBALLS said...

Well, first of all, well done with that clutching of straws.

Secondly, if you think that football can be reasoned out in point form then watch more football. It's round and it's unpredictable. If football IS about being reasonable, then your Blue team will go on and win the league title for the next few millenniums and Shevchenko will get married to Mourinho.

And lastly, lose graciously. Even your manager, who's notorious for being a sore loser, has given credit and why not you? Whatever your reasons about not having centre back, is it out fault then? It's your team and the management that have failed to foresee the problem and not solve it.

We beat you fair and square. We got out tactics right. We kicked you off the park. Live with it dude. A real supporter is someone who lose with graciousness and give credit to where it is due.

PS: As a football fan, I feel I have the right to talk. Not as if I can't talk after losing 5 TIMES to you lot. Now I get my chance, eh?

Lucas said...

A win is a win is a win...no sore talks Mr.blue!