Official lands hammer blow to Liverpool
Champions League Comment by Steve Mcmillan - Daily
So, in the end, neither side could beat the other,
but it is Liverpool who will feel aggrieved this
It was they who went closest and whose enterprise was
the most deserving of victory.
Indeed, they should have had at least one chance to win
the game from the spot, had referee Massimo de Santis
spotted the outstretched arm of William Gallas
connecting with a Jamie Carragher header in the area.
But the visitors held out for a share of the points,
soaking up the Liverpool punches and sticking gamely to
the ropes, leaving the field to a deserved chorus of
"Boring, boring Chelsea", their shameless decision to
hold out for a point belittling their super-star status.
All the talk beforehand was of who'd beaten whom, and
how many times.
We've beaten you once, said Rafael Benitez in the red
corner. Yeah? Well, we've beaten you three times
retorted Jose Mourinho in the blue corner.
This was the big showdown, the Anfield rematch,
champions of one belt against the champions of another.
Let's be fair, though, it wasn't a classic. But then it
was never likely that one side would take a hell of a
beating, although it was Liverpool who held the upper
hand - without delivering the knockout punch.
For all they will feel hard done by, Benitez and his men
must accept the result philosophically. In the cold
light of day, both sides will be glad to walk away with
Liverpool's away victory over Real Betis in the opening
round of group matches has given Benitez's side room for
manoeuvre on the results front, while Chelsea too, will
be confident of picking up the necessary points
Caution was the watchword in a tight first half, and,
although both sides created one or two chances to score,
equally they were happy to keep men behind the ball.
Didier Drogba's challenge on Sami Hyypia gave Liverpool
a decent penalty shout, but that aside the opening 45
minutes can be quickly forgotten.
In the second half, however, Liverpool were eager to
show their credentials as the superior champions.
As usual Steven Gerrard was everywhere, one minute
picking up the ball in the centre, the next chasing
Paulo Ferreira into the corner, the next popping up on
the right to deliver crosses.
Alonso fired an effort wide from 30 yards and Gerrard
flashed a free-kick over as Liverpool turned up the
heat, but the goal did not come. Both champions live to
fight another day.
deserves England chance
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes that Peter
Crouch deserves an England call-up from Sven-Goran
Eriksson because he will bring something 'fresh and
different' to the national side.
Liverpool's giant striker was a handful for Chelsea's
defence all night as both sides cancelled each other out
in a pulsating Champions League draw at Anfield on
The two teams now meet again in the Barclays Premiership
on Merseyside this Sunday with Lampard full of praise
for the way Crouch caused them problems all evening with
his height and his ability to hold the ball up in front
of the watching Swede.
Crouch is now almost certain be selected by Eriksson
when he names his squad for next month's World Cup
qualifiers against Poland and Austria.
Lampard, who came close to breaking the deadlock in
their Group G clash on Wednesday with a rasping 30-yard
free-kick, admitted that Crouch caused them a lot of
"It was a tough game," he conceded. "They put a lot of
balls into Crouch which made it hard.
"Every team gives you different problems and at
Liverpool it was Crouch. First and foremost he is good
at what he does, holding the ball up and trying to bring
people into the game.
"We dealt with it and will go away and look at it.
Everybody brings up different things and Liverpool
brought that threat. We will see what lessons there are
"I could have told you before that Crouch is one of the
best at what he does. He poses a different kind of
threat to what you encounter elsewhere and does it very
well. You know when he is playing he is going to get hit
with a lot of long balls and you have to deal with it.
"He has got great feet and not only does he flick the
ball on but he is a good player with his feet. He will
be pushing for an England place for sure. He is fresh
and different. He played well last night and is someone
we can use."
were better than Chelsea
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez felt Liverpool were the better team in
the goalless draw against Chelsea and said his team
should have had at least one penalty.
Benitez admitted he was happy with the performance of
his team and said they were unlucky not to win. He also
felt the handball from William Gallas at the Kop end
should have resulted in a definite spot kick.
Benitez said: "The penalty was clear watching the
television. The question is when you play against a big
team the small details make the difference. This was a
big detail and it was unbelievable that we didn't get
it. Maybe we could have had another penalty as well but
it wasn't given.
"We played a good game and for me we were better than
Chelsea on the night. We know the difference between us
and them is not that big. We showed people that we can
beat them. We beat them last season and we can beat them
"We wanted to win the game and we tried to play with a
high tempo and Crouch did well holding the ball up for
us. There is a lot of positive things to take from this
game for us."
settles for point
By Paul Higham - Sky Sports
Jose Mourinho was satisfied with the UEFA Champions
League point Chelsea earned at Anfield by holding
Liverpool to a 0-0 draw.
Defences were well and truly on top on Merseyside as the
Premiership champions held the European Champions to a
The Reds had slightly the better of the match, and had
two penalty claims turned down, but Mourinho felt his
side fully deserved their draw.
"I'm not 100 percent (satisfied) but it's a point, so
I'm not crazy with happiness but I'm not very sad," said
"A point in the Champions League away from home is a
"It was a good game because it was competitive.
"It was very close, very tough. In midfield there was
not a lot of space. There was a lot of power in both
"Normally the team who play at home is not happy with a
point but I think they are.
"We tried to play for more - but we didn't lose and we
are in a good situation in the group.
"In the last 15 minutes we tried to win the game and I
think they played the same - they changed nothing.
"Pongolle came on for Cisse but that did not change the
way they played.
"We tried with Wright-Phillips and playing Crespo with
Drogba, but then in the end with the long balls coming
in I put Robert on because he can dominate in the air.
"In the end I thought, ok we have not been beaten and we
go away with a point."
Carragher claims a pen
By Paul Higham - Sky Sports
Jamie Carragher insists Liverpool should have had a
penalty against Chelsea.
The UEFA Champions League holders were held to a
goalless draw at Anfield by the Premiership champions on
Carragher was joined by his team-mates in calling for a
penalty when his header from a second half corner
clearly came off William Gallas' arm, but referee
Massimo de Santis turned down calls for a penalty.
"It was a definite penalty - every time we play them we
should get a penalty but they are never given," said
Carragher, who still remembers a similar incident
involving Tiago in last year's home league game.
"If we had got a penalty there is a 70 percent chance we
would have scored and won the game - but we'll try not
to cry about it too much.
"We do things with dignity at this club and we will just
get on with it."
The England defender admitted that, after facing each
other five teams last term, maybe the two sides were too
"Maybe we know each other too well - there weren't many
chances at either end and it will probably be the same
at Stamford Bridge.
"But winning our first game away is a bonus - and we're
delighted to have four points from two games."
frustrated by dogged Chelsea
Liverpool and Chelsea fought out a goalless draw at
Anfield in a largely scrappy game where chances were few
and far between.
But the home side will feel frustrated that they had
three worthy claims for penalties turned down.
The match was played at a frantic pace throughout but
there was little in the way of real goal scoring
opportunity as both English sides were equal to each
Rafa Benitez's men were the side with the most attacking
intent but although they tried to press throughout they
never made the most of a series of teasing crosses.
The first of their penalty claims came in the 19th
minute when Liverpool's Sami Hyypia appeared to have
been brought down by Didier Drogba on the edge of the
six-yard box following Peter Crouch's headed knockdown,
but the referee Massimo De Santis awarded a corner
Luis Garcia had another spot-kick claim turned down
after 51 minutes after he muscled past John Terry and
Paulo Ferreria into the Chelsea area only to have his
arm pulled back by the Portuguese defender when through
And the Anfield side appealed for yet another penalty
after 58 minutes when William Gallas appeared to handle
the ball after Jamie Carragher headed goalwards from a
In the second half Liverpool were largely restricted to
long-range efforts with Xavier Alonso coming closest
after 82 minutes but his volley from outside the box was
well saved by Petr Cech.
Chelsea, despite all their endeavour, failed to create
any clear-cut chances but they had the first genuine
effort on goal when Frank Lampard's free-kick was turned
round the post by the diving Jose Reina after seven
The England midfielder had another chance to score 10
minutes later but he dragged his left foot shot from the
edge of the box well wide.
Chelsea's only serious shot on goal after half an hour
when Arjen Robben worked his way into the box only to
have his fierce drive brilliantly tipped over by Reina.
Overall the draw was a fair result but on another day
Liverpool may have had the luck of the decisions to win