Match Report: Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea - A Great Performance

Chelsea came away from Anfield tonight with arguably the best performance of the season to beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions League Quarte...

Chelsea came away from Anfield tonight with arguably the best performance of the season to beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions League Quarter Final 1st leg. Two Fantastic headers from Branislav Ivanovic and a killer blow from Didier Drogba has put us in a great position to progress through to the Semi-Finals.

Chelsea started on paper with a 4-3-3 formation, but from the first moment of the game it was plain to see we had matched Liverpools formation. Frank Lampard played higher up the pitch supporting Drogba with Ballack playing more central and Essien (As highlighted by me in an earlier preview post) man marking Gerrard.

As expected Liverpool dominated possession of the ball as we looked to settle and had their first chance in the 2nd min as from a cross the ball fell to Kuyt who's shot was deflected wide off of Ivanovic's head which would of been disallowed for offside anyway. But, Liverpool took the lead in the 5th minute when some sloppy defending and a rushed clearance from Alex fell to Kuyt who's backheal playing in Arbeloa on the right who pulled the ball square to Torres on the penalty spot who slotted home first time into the bottom right hand corner - Cech no chance. This was dissapointing for me as we had dropped off 10 yards and got punished. At this point our passing game hadn't really got going.

But more or less soon after the goal we seemed to settle, this lead to our first chance of the game. Kalou steals the ball in midfield from Aurelio and plays in Drogba who goes for power and blasts the ball into Reina who comes out and blocks it with his chest and the ball is cleared. Should at this point be 1-1 as should of slotted past him. But, signs are now encouraging.

We are now pressing Liverpool higher up the pitch and forcing them into errors. On ten mins Lampard plays in Malouda inside the left corner of the box and his shot is blocked. Fifteen mins in a televisual stat shows possession so far Liverpool 65% 0 Chelsea 35%.

The game is now possession with us having the ball, then Liverpool backwards and forwards. Referee is doing well and game is flowing. 23rd min we have another chance, Kalou feeds Drogba who passes out wide left to Malouda who sort of mis-hits his shot 2 foot wide. These three are playing and working well together and forcing their defence onto the back foot. We are now well back into the game.

25th minute, Lampard loses ball 3o yards out to Torres who gets to the edge of the box, checks back on himself and looks to curl one into the top right hand corner but goes over the bar. This is only second piece of action that is real note from Torres. Been quiet since the goal. Where is Gerrard! LOL.

27th minute, Liverpool possession results in a shot from Lucas that would of been more suited to Rugby as it flies 40ft over the bar.

28th minute, after some tidy play Ballack plays in Drogba who takes a touch to take him inside the box, sets himself 10 yards out with Skrtel beaten and fires over the crossbar. Easier to score should now be 2-1 Chelsea.

30th minute, Kalou booked for kicking the ball away, silly booking to give away.

31st minute, Reira gets in behind back four in left hand channel fires a cross like a rocket over everyone in box bounces once and goes out for a throw. Ivanovic has done a great job on him so far and kept him quiet.

34th minute, after some possession, Arbeloa steps inside a challenge edge of box and curls one 5ft wide with his weaker foot - Cech has it covered doesn't really look like it worried him.

38th minute GOAL 1-1. Chelsea corner whipped in by the impressive Malouda and Ivanovic rises after losing Alonso on the 6 yard line and from inbetween Reira and Skrtel, scores header stright down Reina's throat who gets a hand to it but can't keep it out. Well deserved. 1-1.

39th minute, 30 seconds after the goal ball played up front, Terry misses tackle on edge of box, Kuyt through on goal but Cech out quickly makes a great save and deflects the ball wide. Great save!

42nd minute, Lampard wins the ball in midfield and plays in Drogba on the left hand side, he gets to edge of box and tries to chip Reina instead of pulling back to edge of box for Lampard totally unmarked. Wasted chance!

43rd minute, First time we see Gerrard lose Essien and he has a crack from 25 yards and pulls it 10ft wide.

Half time 1-1. Great first half perfomance. Apart from goal Torres quiet and being well marshalled by Terry and Alex. Gerrard nowhere to be seen Essien well on top and Lampard beginning to pull the strings in midfield. BUT, Drogba should of put us at least 3-1 up at half time.

Second Half - no substitutions.

49th minute, from a corner Gerrard again shoots wide. Comfortable for Cech and never looking like giving him a problem.

50th minute, Aurelio plays a loose ball from left back across his back four, Drogba takes it down and plays a 1-2 with Lampard and ball falls to Drogba just inside left hand side of box, Skrtel dives in but Drogba stands up as Reina comes rushing out. Drogba sees him and slides the ball past him but Carragher gets back and clears a foot off of the line. Should now be 4-1.

52nd minute, ball falls to Lampard who's shot 25 yards out with his left foot is comfortable for Reina.

53rd minute, Torres and Gerrard link up as Gerrard heads into Torres left side of the box and he fires over as being closed down by Alex. Comfortable again for Cech. At this point TV stat shows Gerrard only 18 completed passes in the game so far? Job done so far by Essien.

57th minute, stat shows Essien 32 passes complete - tells its own story.

59th minute, cross comes in half cleared and played back into Liverpool area who let the ball bounce, Terry gets free of his marker and charges into Reina head first but comes worse off. Both down and receive treatment as Liverpool protest especially Alonso. Terry given yellow card and will now miss 2nd leg. Silly booking again.

62 minute GOAL 2-1 Chelsea. Another corner this time from Lampard. Ivanovic beats the zonal marking again as ball flies over the heads of Reira, Torres, Alonso and Gerrard and heads into the far corner. Reina no chance! Great header again and great goal.

66th minute, GOAL 3-1 Chelsea. Ballack slides a ball between two Liverpool players down left hand channel and Malouda looks up and fires a cross hard and low between the penalty spot and six yard line to the on rushing and hungry Drogba who slots home 3-2. Reina no chance again and great pass, cross and finish. Looks like Chelsea of old and about time.

70th Minute, Lampard wins ball deep in own half and feeds Kalou who takes on Aurelio and forcres him back to edge of box, Kalou runs across back four and plays in Malouda on left corner of box, shot easily covered/saved by Reina. Stat pops up on screen Chelsea attempts at goal 16 and 9 on target. Not bad for an away side!!

73rd minute. Aurelio booked for tackle from behind on Kalou.

74th minute weird and confusing change by Liverpool. Aurelio off and Dossena on.

75th Minute. Cross comes in the box and Cech rises and easily catches the ball and takes pressure off back four. Being doing this all game, looking back to his best. But we seem to be sitting back alot more now allowing Liverpool space to mount pressure on us.

79th Minute. Hard working and well played Drogba replaced by Anelka. Babel on for Lucas.

84th Minute Gerrard now playing more deeper and playing more or less on half way line - JOB DONE.

88th Minute Essien plays ball to onrushing Lampard right hand edge of box, Lamps looks up to see Reina come charging out to close down the angle and blocks Lampard's shot, throw in Chelsea.

90th Minute - 3 mins added time.

91st Minute Lampard breaks with Kalou left and Anelka on right and feeds Kalou just inside the box but first touch let's him down. If only a good first touch another chance on goal for Chelsea.

93rd minute. Long range effort from Alonso top right hand corner easily tipped over bar by Cech. Corner comes in cleared by Essien and whistle blows full time 3-1 CHELSEA.

A fantastic performance tonight. Essien won his battle with Gerrard and Alex and JT won theirs with Torres and kept both their main men quiet. Liverpool looked like lack of ideas without these two. Lampard very effective pushed on higher up the pitch. Kalou and Malouda played their part too along with Drogba. Everyone stepped upto the challenge and played great. Proud of them all tonight and will make the other teams left in the competition stand up and take notice. Only sour note is JT is booked and misses the 2nd leg.

Just another note to add our bench tonight was: Hilario, Mancienne, Belletti, Mikel, Deco, Carvalho and Anelka - only four players who have already won the Champions League in their careers! Not bad eh!. Roll on the second leg at the Bridge on Tuesday!

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