After The Match 


Chelsea-Liverpool 1-0 (0-0)      Sun Oct 3.                       Premier League
Goals: Cole (64)
Team: Kirkland, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Diao, Alonso, Garcia, Riise, Kewell, Cisse
Subs: Baros (Josemi 71), Hamann (Diao 78), Finnan (Garcia 78)
Not used: Dudek, Warnock
Yellow: Carragher (90)
Red: None
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 42,028

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 5-3
Shots off target: 8-2
Fouls conceded: 14-20
Corners: 11-2
Yellow: 0-1




"We only need
to score one goal
and after we
will be better."

                 Rafael Benitez

0510: Why Benitez's revolution will take 18 months
0310: Mourinho hails "important" win
0310: Rafa: We have work to do
0310: More away day woes for Reds


Why Benitez's revolution will take 18 months

By Mark Lawrenson - Daily Post

One thing was clear at Stamford Bridge - Liverpool never really posed a consistent threat to trouble Chelsea.

There was enough evidence, and most Liverpool supporters would agree, that several members of the squad are just not up to the job.

And enough to know that it will take approximately 18 months before Rafael Benitez will be also to work with a squad of players he is comfortable with.

I'm sorry if that sounds all doom and gloom, and I agree there have been flashes of encouragement at Anfield, but it is an honest assessment of where Liverpool find themselves at the beginning of Benitez's reign.

Looking at the team at Stamford Bridge, only Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Chris Kirkland were of sufficient calibre as players to take the club forward.

Of the rest, the Spanish players are new and so are largely exempt from criticism at this stage as they make their way in England, while Djibril Cisse is in the same boat - even though he continues to frustrate in his lone striker role.

By and large the other players failed to do anything to convince me they are the right choices to drive the club on.

I'm not saying they are bad players, just that they are not going to strengthen Liverpool to the level they want to be at.

There is a world of difference between being a decent Premiership performer and being a major player in the British game.

At the head of that queue is Harry Kewell. You can say what you want about him - about his talent or his ability to run with the ball - but the simple fact is he has never done it for Liverpool.

It is not like he has not had the time or the opportunity to perform consistently, but for whatever reason he remains an enigma.

I am sure Benitez will be working hard to figure out just why a player who should be one of his major creative forces has failed to create a shot or chance in so many games.

Certainly the fact he has made so many changes shows he is unhappy with the application of the players at his disposal, as well as their sluggishness in adapting their style to his preferred tactical plan.

To me the last three matches have just underlined to me what a big job Benitez has on.

Undoubtedly he will want to make changes and bring in new players, but to begin with he cannot do that until January, and even then it is not clear how much money he will have to spend.

With the new stadium on the horizon to swallow up plenty of funding, that's why I believe it will be at least a year and a half before we see real change at Liverpool.

So, what must the manager do in the meantime?

Firstly he has to hope his best goalkeeper can stay fit and his best player can recover from injury as soon as possible. Kirkland will be a great player for Liverpool if he can stay on the pitch, while in Steven Gerrard, he has the type of personality and player who would drive the team on to better results than they are getting at present.

Secondly I also expect him to drop the split-striker system away from home, where Luis Garcia is too lightweight to make an impact. Playing Milan Baros and Cisse up front would at least give opposition defenders more to think about.

Finally I expect he will be working to try and improve the levels of some of his squad to what the expectation and history of the club demand they should be. For all the players, just doing enough to get by at Liverpool will no longer be tolerated.

Mark Lawrenson was talking to NEIL MACDONALD

Mourinho hails "important" win

ITV Football

Jose Mourinho admitted it was "very important" Chelsea had taken all three points against Liverpool to keep up the pressure on leaders Arsenal.

A solitary strike by substitute Joe Cole in the 63rd minute saw Chelsea triumph although they had plenty more chances to add to that tally.

Mourinho told Sky Sports: "It was very important. Liverpool were very difficult and changed their team.

"They were much more aggressive than teams that have come before. They were a difficult side for us."

Mourinho bemoaned the injury situation that had already deprived him of Wayne Bridge, Adrian Mutu and Mateja Kezman and the situation was exacerbated when Didier Drogba limped off in the first half, to be replaced by Cole.

He said: "We were unlucky in some situations. We didn't have many attacking solutions on the bench.

"But we kept our confidence and defensively did very well but we scored the goal and got all three points."

Rafa: We have work to do

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez admitted he has a lot of work to do with his side after the defeat to Chelsea.

The Reds slumped to their third successive away defeat in The Premiership after the 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez was unhappy with his side's attacking play as they failed to really trouble Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech throughout the game.

"If you don't score you need to defend for a lot of the time and it's difficult," admitted Benitez.

"I have seen the team (play) better, the only thing is when we got the ball sometimes we didn't keep enough of the ball. We were stronger in other games.

"We only need to score one goal and after we will be better.

"We defended perhaps 25 or 30 set-pieces and we have done very well. Only one time there was a mistake. Today you have seen nothing special.

"Always you need to work hard, I don't know how much time or how much work, but we need to work, for sure."

More away day woes for Reds

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Chelsea added to Liverpool's away day woes with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Substitute Joe Cole's clever second half goal proved to be enough to give Chelsea all three points to help them close the gap on leaders Arsenal to two points and inflict a third successive Premiership defeat away from home on Liverpool.

Chelsea came racing out of the blocks and Jamie Carragher got in a vital block to deny Damien Duff getting a dangerous cross in, although in doing so he caught team-mate Chris Kirkland who looked to have picked up an injury, but the keeper was able to continue.

The home side continued to call the tune early on with Didier Drogba dragging a shot wide on five minutes before setting up Frank Lampard inside the box only for the midfielder to flash his shot wide of the target.

Chances were few and far between with the game becoming embroiled in a midfield battle and both defences on top.

Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia had a sight of goal on 22 minutes when he rose unmarked at the back post to Xabi Alonso's corner, but he could not direct his header on target.

Djibril Cisse had a half chance five minutes later when he beat John Terry to Harry Kewell's cross only to send his header well wide.

Drogba almost got through on goal on 28 minutes when he beat Josemi to Lampard's through ball, but he ran too wide allowing Kirkland to make a comfortable save.

Chelsea made an opening for Lampard on 34 minutes after a nice interchange between Alexei Smertin and Eidur Gudjohnsen, but the England midfielder failed to test Kirkland in the Liverpool goal.

Cisse, who was ploughing a lone role in attack, was unlucky with curling effort deflected just wide of the post by Chelsea full back Paulo Ferreira.

Chelsea suffered a major blow on 38 minutes when Didier Drogba was forced off with a stomach injury and had to be replaced by Cole.

Lampard missed a great chance to break the deadlock four minutes before the break when Ferreira got down the right and sent over an inviting cross for the midfielder who flashed his diving header well wide.

Cole was determined to make an impression in front of the on-looking Sven Goran Eriksson and five minutes after the restart he fired a shot into the side-netting.

Chelsea went close to opening the scoring on 57 minutes when Cole fired in a shot from the edge of the area which Kirkland palmed up into the air towards goal and was grateful to Harry Kewell, who cleared the ball off the line with his head.

The home side finally found a way through on 64 minutes with Lampard deceived the Liverpool defence with a low free kick into the box and Cole was on hand to expertedly volley the ball past Kirkland.

Carragher denied Chelsea a second goal on 69 minutes with a vital header under his own crossbar from the waiting Cole after Duff had got through and sent a dangerous delivery right across the six-yard box.

Djimi Traore made a crucial block six minutes from time to deny Gudjohnsen a second goal after Geremi had cleverly headed the ball down into the Icelandic's star path six-yards out.

Gudjohnsen wasted a fine opening three minutes from time to wrap up the match taking too long to take his shot and then eventually blazing his left-footed wildly over the crossbar.

Chelsea almost got Liverpool on the break in the last minute with Gudjohsen sending Cole clear on goal, but Hyypia got in a crucial block to keep out the midfielder's shot.

Liverpool substitute Steve Finnan forced Petr Cech into his first serious save of the match in stoppage time with a drilled shot from the right which the Czech keeper pushed out.

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Thor Zakariassen