Thursday, May 01, 2008

Blues Survives Late Reds Scare

Chelsea Reach First Ever European Cup Final

Chelsea 3 - 2 LIVERPOOL

CHE - Drogba (33, 105), Lampard (pen 98);
LIV - Torres (64), Babel (117);

After years of continuous disappointments in the semi final stage by Liverpool, Chelsea finally had a sweet revenge of their own as they squeezed through into the Moscow final through Didier Drogba's brace and an emotional Frank Lampard's penalty.

For too long their efforts in various cup competition have been thwarted by Liverpool and they finally managed to dispatch the Reds off in style this time round. Back in 2005, they were beaten by a controversial Luis Garcia goal which Jose Mourinho called it 'a goal from outer space'. Then it was the '06 FA Cup semi final before losing to Liverpool on penalty once again last season.

The only difference this time is they play their 2nd leg at Stamford Bridge, which is a considerable advantage for the Blues as they haven't lose a single game there since 2004. Also, Liverpool haven't scored in 8 meetings there and the last winner there was scored by Bruno Cheyrou.

This time round, they broke that hoodoo but it just wasn't enough to get them to the 3rd Champions League finals in 4 years. Quite an amazing feat by Rafa Benitez but it just wasn't to be this time round.

His criticism on Didier Drogba prior to the game could've spurred the Ivorian striker on and he utterly silenced the Spanish tactician with a well-taken goal in the first half. The goal from an acute angle showed his desire to prove his status as one of the most dangerous strikers in football as well as his hunger and ability at this level.

And he wasn't done yet when he finishes off Liverpool late in extra time with a power drive that beats Pepe Reina. The Spanish goalkeeper made a couple of crucial saves to keep Liverpool in the game.

The game was also marred by strange refereeing decisions by the usually reliable Roberto Rosetti of Italy including Michael Essien's piledriver which looked perfectly normal but not in the eyes of the linesman.

The visitors escaped that scare but immediately, Sami Hyypia's mistake gave Chelsea a penalty and up steps Frank Lampard who didn't place the ball in the usual left hand spot. Up against one of the best penalty savers in the world, he showed great courage and composure. Well done.

It marked the collapse of Liverpool in the extra time as they failed to gain the foothold after dominating possession and managed to silence Chelsea in the second half, in which they scored through Spanish hotshot, Fernando Torres.

If there's a glimmer of bright spark in Liverpool's lacklustre 07-08 season, it's the rise of the 'El Nino', more than anything else. His signing have been justified fully and the 20 odd million paid in the summer seemed to have worth every penny. He latched onto Yossi Benayoun's brilliant through pass and slot it past Petr Cech without hesitation.

Great goal from a great player in the making.

Another oddity of the match would be the substitution of Torres right after Lampard had converted his penalty. He was replaced by Ryan Babel and though the super sub later got a goal of his own, it's still quite a puzzling decision, barring any injury on Torres himself.

It is to be a sweet revenge for Chelsea and after Roman Abramovich's heavy investment in the London club for the past 4 seasons, it finally reaped its harvest under Avram Grant, something which Jose Mourinho tried and failed.

Nothing better for a Russian owner to see his team fight it out for the European crown in his own capital city of Moscow.

For Liverpool, it's 4th place secured and a decent run in for this season's Champions League. After all the scares of early exits, they were resilient to the end, made it out and on the way, they met with giants and were able to overcome them.

Sometimes, you could fight for your life for something but it just doesn't go the way you want it. That probably sums it up and all we could say is well done and we're proud of the effort last night. At least now we could get a goal or two at Stamford Bridge and that we're just THIS close to yet another dream European cup final.

Make no mistakes, there is going to be a clearance this summer if DIC completes its task of taking over from the stubborn Tom Hicks. There are some players whom are really, not good enough for Liverpool if the Reds are to mount a serious challenge on the title next season and from this campaign, it's quite clear who will be out of the revolving door.

It'll be an all-English final, as Manchester United had guaranteed it on Tuesday night. It is really an English domination on the domestic front and the two best teams in England are going to fight it out to be the best in Europe. Mouth-watering prospect, isn't it?


join said...

I am proud of the 2 teams , chelsea showed lot of determination to win it and they deserve the win , I hope they give Manu a great fight in moscow

Anonymous said...

this is life..

Angelina said...

I'm so sorry that I missed the game, the thing is that iw never missed a liverpool game on about 5-6 mounths, but now i did, and some how i feel responsibel becouse i missed it! do you understand, Btw! were can i find som new photos on Daniel Agger, all other photos are old! Thanks!

kuyt_kl said...

Torres was injured, Rafa confirmed it.
Maybe it is better for us for chelsea to win the Cup. rather than the Scum beat us to it in final, As our records against them was horrible..

seba said...

i hope chelsea will win the cip...not man united...fuck them..