Sunday, August 19, 2018

Champions League Semi Final Liverpool, 1 Chelsea, 1

For Liverpool the impressive performers were Fabio Aurelio, Martin Skrtel, Dirk Kuyt and especially Xavi Alonso.

The 1st chance of the 1st half was set up by the excellent Xavi Alonso as his pass found Dirk Kuyt in space but his chest control was not as good as it should be and brought out a comfortable save from Petr Cech. Joe Cole had Chelsea's best chance as he was put through by Frank Lampard but he was caught in 2 minds and he fluffed his chance.

Chelsea felt they should have had a penalty when it looked like Jamie Carragher had brought down Drogba in the box but this being the champions league and involving Liverpool, nothing was given.

Liverpool then had another chance when Steve Gerrard played Fernando Torres through but Cech was able to smother his effort. Just as it looked like it was going to be a goalless 1st half, Alonso's quick thinking from a free kick found Kuyt, his cross was intercepted by Lampard but he hesitated and was robbed by Javier Mascherano and Dirk Kuyt with Mascherano making a complete mess of his attempted cross but it fell kindly for Kuyt as Claude Makele made a big error with his attempted clearance and Kuyt put the ball between Cech's legs to make it 1-0.

Liverpool came out with purpose in the 2nd half and played some good football but could not create too many chances but just as it seemed it was going to be yet another 1-0 home leg win between these 2 sides; John Arne Riise decided in all his wisdom to head the ball instead of clearing with his leg and put the ball into his own net with seconds to go in 5 minutes of extra-time.



Beppe Reina 6 He was not duly tested but was solid throughout and stood no chance with the goal

Alvaro Arbeloa 5 He was poor throughout and was culpable for the equalizer as he allowed Kalou to put in a speculative cross.

Fabio Aurellio 6 He had a decent enough game until a groin injury put paid to his participation.

Jamie Carragher 6 He was there again with this last ditch tackles but was very luck to escape without giving a penalty and yellow card that would have ruled him out of the 2nd leg.

Martin Skrtel 6.5 He was up to the task of keeping Drogba quiet and did not put a foot wrong all night. He was the best defender on view.

Dirk Kuyt 6 He gives you far more quantity than he does quality and did not see too much on the ball in the 2nd half.

Javier Mascherano 6 He had a better 2nd half but he is not good on the ball and he should take a bit of blame for the equalizer as he did not stop the cross coming in.

Xavi Alonso 6.5 He was Liverpool's best player on the night but his 2nd half was not as good as his 1st.

Ryan Babel 5.5 He showed glimpses of his potential but again it was another unconvincing display before he was replaced in the 2nd half

Steve Gerrard 5.5 This is the Gerrard that always shows up in games of this magnitude

Fernando Torres 4 He was extremely poor and the chances he had, he fluffed them as he kept on diving trying to win cheap free kicks. Pathetic display from Liverpool's player of the year.


John Arne Riise 3 His own goal was just ridiculous. He should have cleared the ball with his right leg but decided to head it into its own net.

Yossi Benayoun5 He did not do anything worthwhile when he was on the pitch.


Petr Cech 7 He produced some very good saves with the pick of the bunch being a very good tip over from Gerrard in the 2nd half. He was the man of the match.

Paolo Ferreira 5.5 He did not do too much in a good or bad sense.

Ashley Cole 5.5 He made a few mistakes and was not able to go forward as he would have liked but made a vital block from Alonso.

John Terry 6 He made some vital tackles but once in a while the thug in him comes out as he had an unsavory situation when Torres was on the floor he seemed to step on him.

Ricardo Carvalho 6.5 He provided his usual panache in defence and was not found wanting in any department as he helped to keep Torres very quiet.

Florin Malouda 5 He was not effective at all even when he had a good chance, he dithered too long and allowed Mascherano to make a fine block.

Claude Makele 5.5 He did what he normally does but father time is catching up on him.

Frank Lampard 6 He was better in the 1st half and had a very good chance in the 2nd half but his pocket was picked by Carragher.

Michael Ballack 6 He just glides around the place with a lot of class but he did not see too much of the ball from Chelsea's point of view.

Joe Cole 4 In all candor he was hopeless as he gave the ball away cheaply, did not support Drogba at all and was found wanting in all areas.

Didier Drogba 6 He had a decent game as he was always a constant threat to Skrtel and Carragher but his histrionics were getting annoying.


Salomon Kalou 6 His great cross in the dying minutes for the equalizer may have just saved Chelsea's season.

Nicholas Anelka Not sure if he touched the ball during his time on the pitch.

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