Monday, 7 February 2011

Reds spoil Fernando's first Blues show

Sports - Football - Premier League - Chelsea 0:1 Liverpool

Fernando Torres' debut for bitter rivals Chelsea proved fruitless as his former side took all three points at Stamford Bridge, continuing the revival under King Kenny and taking the Reds up to sixth for the first time this season after their fourth consecutive win and clean sheet, whilst Chelsea hover in fourth spot, 10 points behind United at the top, whilst Spurs are creeping up on them behind only on goal difference in fifth.

The Spaniard nearly got a dream start when Maxi Rodriguez passed the ball back to his former team mate a couple of minutes into the game, however, he ended up mishitting the ball over the goal creating no worries for Pepe Reina.

The only other chance for £50m-star-striker, the most expensive player in British football, was blocked off by Jamie Carragher later on in the first half, the Liverpool defender putting his body on the line as always, although just making a comeback from a long term injury (shoulder surgery).

After only 66 minutes Fernando's first blue stint ended disappointing for Carlo Ancelotti when he came off for Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou

However, things went from bad to worse for the Blues just minutes later when Raul Meireles latched onto Steven Gerrard's cross and put it into the back of the net past Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech after the two had clashed and caused confusion not for the first time in the match giving both a game they would like to forget very quickly.

Maxi must have been a very relieved man after he had missed a sitter earlier in the first half, hitting a Gerrard cross against the crossbar, not even six yards outside an open goal.

In the end, Liverpool's organisation, resilience and determination paid off, going without new signing Luis Suarez who stayed unused on the bench, making Chelsea's normally all-too-threatening-and-intimidating-looking front trio of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Torres look all-too-ordinary, the home side lacking options in width and creativity.

"He Who Betrays Will Walk Alone" said one of the Liverpool fans' banners and it looked pretty much like that for the 66 minutes Torres was on the pitch.

"We have to give Fernando time to adjust to the shape but I think that he will do it quickly," said Ancelotti. "I took him off as, after 66 minutes and a very busy week, it was good for him to come off," he said on the BBC website.

"Fernando has experience, he has confidence and didn't show problems before the game. He was enthusiastic to play, excited, and it didn't show a problem," added the 51-year-old.

Dalglish's take on the Spaniard was to the point, showing he is in the past as the Reds are concerned: "As this football club has always said, the most important people are the people who are at Liverpool Football Club and that is the way it will always be."

Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa (David Luiz 73), Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel (booked 1, Malouda 72), Lampard; Anelka; Torres (Kalou 66), Drogba.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, McEachran, Sala.

Liverpool: Reina; Carragher, Skrtel, Agger; Kelly, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas (booked 74), Maxi (Aurelio 75); Meireles (scored 68:26, Poulsen 84), Kuyt.
Subs not used: Gulacsi, Suarez, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Ngog.

1st half stats:
Attempts: 5-2
On target: 0-1
Offsides: 3-1
Corners: 2-2
Free kicks: 3-3
59%-41% (20)
51%-49% (HT)

2nd half stats:
Attempts: 10-2
On target: 1-2
Offsides: 2-0
Corners: 2-0
Free kicks: 3-5
49%-51% (80)
52%-48% (FT)

Sky Sports Stats:
Possession: 57.4%-42.6%
Passing Success: 83.7%-78.4%
Tackles/Success: 16/62.5%-21/76.2%
Territorial Advantage: 53.7%-46.3%

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Raul Meireles

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