After The Match 

            


Liverpool-Chelsea 1-4 (1-2)            02.10.05                      PL
Goals: Gerrard (36)
Lampard (pen 27), Duff (43), Cole (63), Geremi (82)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Hamann, Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Alonso, Riise, Crouch
Subs: Sissoko (Hamann 67), Pongolle (Hyypia 71),
Cisse (Traore 81)
Not used: Carson, Sinama Pongolle
Yellow: Carragher (53)    Cole (9), Lampard (27), Drogba (53)
Red: None
Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire)
Attendance: 44,235

 
TEAM STATS
Shots on target: 5-5
Shots off target: 6-2
Fouls conceded: 15-17
Corners: 4-2
Yellow: 1-3
Red:

 

 

0-0
HEADLINES "...I don't
think the gap
is 4-1."

     Steven Gerrard

0410: It could take years to peg back Chelsea
0310: Reds missing out on that knockout blow
0310: Sami sick after Drogba show
0310: Gerrard refusing to throw in the title towel
0210: Benitez: We know we must improve
0210: Jose: We deserve more respect
0210: Reds Kop a hiding as Blues run riot
 


OCTOBER 4
It could take years to peg back Chelsea

By Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo

I can't see anyone catching Chelsea this season - and I'm worried about the prospects of doing so for the next few years.

They have so much strength and resources, it's going to take a monumental effort for anyone to take their title from them.

Every club, not just Liverpool, must be concerned about how Chelsea can be stopped.

The only hope for the chasing pack this year is how Jose Mourinho's side will react if they suffer a defeat.

Perhaps a jolt in confidence would trig-ger a slide in form.

Even then, I'm not sure they will endure a bad run. They are such a formidable side with so much depth to their squad, they would soon recover.

Liverpool, sadly, won't be able to catch them this season, although I don't think that was ever top of the agenda.

I thought Rafa Benitez's team played as well as they could in the Champions League fixture, whereas Chelsea left plenty of room for improvement. I feared Mourinho's side would up their game on Sunday, and so it proved.

In the Premiership game, Liverpool were punished for their mistakes.

You have to say Chelsea were just too good. They have a lot of great players in each position. There comes a time when you've got to give credit where it's due, as much as it may hurt to do so.

If Liverpool had gone to a tough venue, dug in when they had to and then broke to score four goals, we'd all be overjoyed.

At the highest level, you can't make the kind of mistakes Liverpool were guilty of. Chelsea don't give anyone a sniff, which is why they're so hard to play against.

I know there's little to be gained in looking at what might have been, but I do look at some of Liverpool's recent fixtures and think what would have happened if Michael Owen had been signed.

It's my view the 0-0 in Europe would have been a 1-0 win if Owen was on the pitch.

That's why it surprises me a little when I hear anyone say there should be no regrets about not re-signing Michael.

You always have to look to the future and work with what you've got, but when it's clear Liverpool need a goalscorer I think the club could rue missing out on Michael as the season progresses.

That's not the only area the side needs to improve, but a defeat to Chelsea needs to be put into perspective.

I never felt Liverpool would be title contenders this season anyway, and it's a bit unfair on the manager they have been expected to catch Chelsea at all. He's still in the process of building a side.

The realistic aim for Liverpool has always been the top four. It's essential they get into the Champions League spot, having missed out on instant qualification last time.

That's still within their capabilities and they shouldn't allow their confidence to be affected by one bad defeat.

Now is a time for digging in and trying to be positive.

Liverpool have two games in hand on the rest. They are tough fixtures, but if they had six more points, the table wouldn't look as bad as it does today.


OCTOBER 3
Reds missing out on that knockout blow

Analysis by David Prentice - Liverpool Echo

Rafa Benitez said it was like 'Seconds Out, round two' heading into the second clash with Chelsea inside a week.

But instead of the two prize fighters we saw sparring on Wednesday, yesterday's confrontation turned into a total mismatch.

While this wasn't quite a knockout defeat for Benitez's European champions, they were left staggering against the ropes, short of a knockout punch once again and with a cruelly exposed glass jaw.

Most frustrating is that the points for so long only looked like ever staying at Anfield. Make no mistake, this result could so easily have been reversed.

The Reds dominated for long periods and controlled most of the ball, especially in the first half. But once again their inability to finish opponents off in the final third represented their lack of knockout punch and again cost them maximum points.

Benitez, in his defence, reshuffled his pack opting for John Arne Riise instead of Djibril Cisse in an effort to get more width down the left, but with Luis Garcia again constantly cutting inside on the opposite wing the same lack of service that starved lone front-man Peter Crouch on Wednesday was destined to see the Reds again fall short.

No doubt the plaudits will deservedly ring out once more for Crouch as the beanpole forward caused Chelsea problems in the air and on the ground. But the fact remains that he is simply not adding the knockout punch.

The Reds ' 4- 5- 1 system, favoured right across the Premiership this season, may work when you have an out and out goalscorer leading the line - a Drogba, Reyes or Van Nistelrooy - but Benitez must ask himself: Is Crouch ever going to be that player?

His contributions in the seven games he's featured in so far this campaign have made him quickly stand out and become a favourite with fans, but the fact remains that he is yet to score.

It's a point made all the more significant when you look at the stats of the now completely out of favour Djibril Cisse, who has scored seven goals in a red shirt despite only starting six games since the summer.

There is no good grooming a prize fighter if he doesn't have a knockout punch!

Meanwhile, at the other end the Reds' 'glass jaw' left them wide open for punishment as first Djimi Traore, then Sami Hyypia's schoolboy defending allowed Chelsea to take hold of a game they were not even competing in.

With two weeks now to stew on this humiliation, Benitez needs to come back with some strong answers when Blackburn arrive at Anfield on October 15 - or once again it could well be the Champions League which holds any hope of excitement for the Red half of the city.


OCTOBER 3
Sami sick after Drogba show

TEAMtalk

Facing Didier Drogba at his Sunday best can be enough to make any defender feel sick - and that is literally how Liverpool's Sami Hyypia felt after his showdown with the man from Ivory Coast.

Hyypia had spent 24 hours in his sickbed and had not eaten all weekend before having to step out against Drogba and his unbeaten Chelsea team-mates at Anfield on Sunday.

The outcome was not one Reds fans will care to remember. Drogba produced his best display in a Chelsea shirt and was named man of the match after helping set up all the Londoners' goals in a ruthless 4-1 Premiership win.

Hyypia lasted until the 71st minute before being spared more pain, and revealed: "When I came off the pitch, I went straight to the toilet to throw up, I had been unwell for a couple of days. My whole family had been sick.

"It wasn't the best preparation for a game like this, it made it more difficult for me. I was low on energy because I hadn't eaten anything for a couple of days.

"But I don't make excuses, if I go onto the pitch I try 100% and this day wasn't up to my standards."

There were plenty more glum faces around Anfield as Chelsea sent Liverpool spinning to their worst home league defeat since Manchester United produced an identical scoreline in 1969.

And Drogba's awesome display for a club who are not yet convinced about his quality, ensured an eighth successive league win for the champions, putting them 17 points clear of Liverpool already.

And Hyypia was left wondering why there are such contrasts in Drogba's play.

He said: "Drogba is a good player. I remember facing him when he was at Marseille in the Uefa Cup a couple of years ago and he was a good player then but in England he hasn't really shown what he can do, but against us this time he was in good form.

"I don't know about Drogba, it's up to him. If he wants to play like this every week, he'll be fine but sometimes you see him playing and he isn't doing the things that are his strengths.

"It's up to him, if he wants to be that good every week then he can be. I don't know the guy at all so I can't answer why there's a difference, maybe it depends on what mood he's in.

"He's a strong man and it's difficult to to play against him like that."

Hyypia, who admitted he "had to get his stomach sorted out before the international break" still insisted that Liverpool's overall display was not as bad as the scoreline suggests.

He said: "You might have seen the next champions. They played well and won but there are still a few other good teams around. But they will be top or near, no doubt.

"But nobody here is slicing their wrists open because of this result, if you make mistakes against a good team like Chelsea, this can happen.

"This has been a missed opportunity, everyone else in the country wanted us to win so we've let them all down a little bit.

"But we must not forget how well we started the game, it was just a pity that we let them score too easily. Their second goal didn't help when it came just before the break."

He added: "If you go a goal down against Chelsea, it's always difficult, but when it happens twice and after you have equalised, it's even harder. We came out after the break and gave it everything and they had to fight but once they got their third, it was all over.

"Of course we're disappointed with the result, but we can bounce back. If we didn't do that we might as well stop playing football. We will look ahead, regain our confidence and start playing well again.

"Chelsea are always difficult opponents but they scored their goals from our mistakes.

"They are ruthless and a good team, and this time we made too many mistakes and they punished us for that.

"We produced too many mistakes but we have to be positive now and look forward now to the next one."


OCTOBER 3
Gerrard refusing to throw
in the title towel


By Mark Platt - LFC Official Website

Steven Gerrard is refusing to concede the title, despite Liverpool's emphatic 4-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on Sunday.

Gerrard netted his first Premiership goal of the season but goals from Lampard, Duff, Drogba and Geremi consigned the Reds to their worst home loss in 36 years.

The skipper admits it will now be very difficult to overhaul the reigning champions and current runaway league leaders buts insists the shattering scoreline at Anfield was not a true reflection of the game.

"We're a long way behind but I'm not going to concede any title in October," says a deeply disappointed Gerrard. "I'm the captain of the club and it's my job to drive the lads on. I don't think there's a massive gap between the teams and I don't think the gap is 4-1.

"We played really well and the scoreline does not give a true reflection of the game. We were disappointed to come in 2-1 down. We were still in it but we were punished twice when we were chasing the game.

"Every team in Europe has weaknesses but they have very few and they are hard to find. They don't leave much space and they are a great side."


OCTOBER 2
Benitez: We know we must improve

By Rob Lancaster - Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes his side have performed better than their results suggest after they slipped to a disappointing 4-1 defeat at home to Chelsea.

The Blues became the first side to score four past Liverpool at Anfield in The Premier League to leave The Reds with just seven points from their first six games.

However, the former Valencia coach is unconcerned by the club's worst start to a season in 13 years as he feels missed opportunities have cost them points this term.

"The most important thing is we lost three points," the Spaniard stated. "We conceded goals but we tried until the end and that is the most important thing.

"We have had good games but the difference between a win and a draw is sometimes one opportunity.

"We know we need to improve, but we are playing much better than our results say."

Benitez felt some late mistakes meant his players were on the wrong end of a one-sided scoreline after getting off to a good start in the opening half.

"We must be disappointed because in the first half we started really well," said the former Valencia coach.

"For the first 25 minutes we played very well, and for the first half I saw a very good Liverpool. It is a pity at the end because some mistakes changed the game.

"We conceded a goal before the end of the first half and then it was difficult to score against them, we tried but when we conceded the third goal it was impossible.


OCTOBER 2
Jose: We deserve more respect

By Rob Lancaster - Sky Sports

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes it is time his team got the respect they deserved after they dismantled Liverpool at Anfield.

The Blues thumped the home side 4-1 in The Premier League clash, just four days after the two teams fought out a 0-0 draw in Europe.

The reigning league champions came in for some harsh criticism after a disappointing display in midweek and they showed their true colours with an awesome team performance on Sunday.

"Eight matches, eight victories and 18 goals, I think it is time to respect my players a little bit more, and Chelsea Football Club and it's supporters," stated Mourinho after the victory.

"I'm saying that we are a very good football team with everything a club should have; big ambition, big mentality, team spirit, organisation, defensive quality and individual players."

"We're not the perfect team and I'm not saying we are the best team in the world, but I think we deserve a little bit more respect."

On Manchester United and Arsenal's title challenge, the former Porto boss added: "We're in front and they have to chase us, but they have the quality to do that. They will try everything to catch us.

The heavy home defeat leaves Liverpool 17 points back of the current leaders, although Mourinho feels The Reds are still tough opponents and are not a bad side based on just one result.

"Just because they lost does not make them a bad team," he commented. "They are a very good team, very difficult to beat and I think nobody enjoys playing against them.

"The result was a consequence of what happened in the second half, they lost legs and position."


OCTOBER 2
Reds Kop a hiding as Blues run riot

By Rob Lancaster - Sky Sports

Chelsea moved nine points clear at the top of The Premiership as Didier Drogba inspired them to a resounding 4-1 win over Liverpool.

The reigning champions made it eight wins from eight this season with a hard-fought win to record their third straight league success at Anfield.

Damien Duff's goal just before the end of the first half put The Blues back in front after Steven Gerrard had cancelled out Frank Lampard's penalty.

Tap-in from Joe Cole, who struck the winner in the corresponding fixture last season, and substitute Geremi wrapped up the three points as Jose Mourinho's men responded to criticism after their midweek display in emphatic fashion.

After a disappointing 0-0 draw in their UEFA Champions League clash on Wednesday, the second meeting of the two teams in the space of four days turned out to be a much better spectacle.

The opening exchanges gave little insight into what was to follow and it appeared a second stalemate could be on the cards until Djimi Traore slammed a clearance straight at Drogba and hauled down the forward in the area in an attempt to atone for his error.

Jose Reina developed a reputation for saving penalties in La Liga, but the Spaniard shot stopper was unluckily beaten by Lampard's spot kick as the ball slipped underneath his body.

The goal, the first Liverpool had conceded at home in The Premiership this season, broke the game open as the midweek stalemate quickly became a distant memory.

It came as no surprise that the Reds' equaliser came from a set-piece of their own as John Arne Riise's left-wing corner found a way through to Gerrard, via a flick off Jamie Carragher's head.

Despite the tight angle, the hosts' skipper managed to find the bottom corner of the net to draw his team level and bring the Kop back to life.

However, a moment of magic from Drogba silenced the home fans just before the break as Chelsea went back in front.

The Ivory Coast front-man escaped the attention of Sami Hyypia on the left flank with a neat turn and then laid the ball into Duff, who slid the ball into the net after nearly making a mess of the chance with a heavy first touch.

Chasing the game for a second time, Liverpool rushed out of the blocks at the start of the second half.

Riise's reluctance to use his right foot when presented with a great opportunity to level matters straight after the break meant a great chance went begging, while there were shouts for a penalty from the Kop when Ricardo Carvalho appeared to nudge Peter Crouch in the air.

Yet Chelsea managed to weather the storm and grabbed a goal of their own just after the hour mark, albeit in somewhat fortunate circumstances.

Drogba, who had blazed a great chance wide just after the interval, was again at the fore as his mis-hit shot rolled invitingly into the path of Cole, who couldn't miss from close range.

With a two-goal advantage and time running out, Chelsea were content to sit back and soak up pressure for the rest of the match, confident in the thought that they had not conceded two goals in a single game since April.

Peter Crouch spurned an excellent chance of grabbing his first goal in a Reds' shirt when he blazed over under pressure, but Liverpool failed to create much and their misery was complete when they were cut open again in the closing stages.

Drogba caught out a sleeping Steve Finnan at right back to cross into the middle for Geremi to ram home into the top of the net after Arjen Robben had failed to connect at the front post.

The fourth goal gave Chelsea their best win at Anfield in 98 years and means Liverpool's hopes of challenging for the title appear to already be over at the start of October.


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Thor Zakariassen