Liverpool’s Champions League Dream Over With Draw At Stamford Bridge


Liverpool came to the den of the champions seeking a win which would help them inch closer to United in a last ditch race for a 4th and last Champions League spot. The Blues are already Champions and are just waiting eagerly to lift the trophy in a fortnight’s time while Mourinho stressed that the focus of the team will be unshaken regardless of the fact that they have nothing more to play for.

On the other hand, Brendan Rodgers had all to play for securing a Champions League spot. The season has not gone according to plan for the Merseyside club, especially after a season where they almost clinched the title. Liverpool fans would have expected a title challenge after a valiant display last season, but were hugely disappointed as they struggled to keep pace with the front runners. A Europa League position will not be seen in good graces by the fans and nor the Liverpool management.

Jose fielded a slightly different side where he rested some of his ‘untouchables’ in the form of Azpilicueta, Matic and Gary Cahill. The interesting news came in midfield where he gave the 19 year old Ruben Loftus Cheek, a Chelsea academy product, his first Chelsea start.

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As per tradition, Liverpool gave a customary Guard of Honor to Chelsea at the start of the game and I bet this would have been one of the best moments for each and every Chelsea fan all around the world. Also, Steven Gerrard’s last trip to Stamford Bridge as a Liverpool player spiced up the afternoon.

Both the teams played out a gritty and intense passing football in the start with hard tackles, but the breakthrough came when Chelsea captain John Terry headed the ball into the net to go past David Unsworth as the leading goal scoring defender in the Premier League.

Loftus Cheek’s position initially on the right wing, but he stationed himself in deep midfield alongside Mikel during the game while Fabregas played in an advanced position. The youngster was a handful for the Liverpool midfield where he blocked the threat of Countinho who drives the Liverpool midfield with his frightening pace.

Often youngster when given a chance, tries to impress the manager with back heels or other tricks, but not Loftus Cheek. He was composed all through the game and made meaningful and simple passes, which shows his maturity at such a young age. Although he was taken off at the hour mark for Matic, Jose will be fairly impressed and he could turn into a long term asset for the club.

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Just before half time, the Liverpool captain equalized for the Reds which balanced the score sheet. Steven Gerrard again turning up at the right moment at the right time, losing his marker, puts the ball into the net which made up for quite a farewell gift.

The second half was filled with sloppy play by the home team where there were hints of complacency in some of the players. Liverpool had a majority of the position but failed to test the Chelsea goal as Courtoise did not have much to do through the game.

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The Chelsea fans did not spare Gerrard of the banter as many of them held the so called ‘Slippy G’ posters high up in the air much to the frustration of the Liverpool legend. But that was followed by a moment of beauty, where the whole ground including the Chelsea fans gave a standing ovation and sang Gerrard’s name when he was substituted, which marks the closing of a glorious career.

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With a draw, any hopes of finishing in the top 4 are evaporated and Rodgers and his team has to go back to the drawing board and start preparing for next season provided Rodgers keeps his position as Liverpool’s manager next season.

Chelsea can’t wait to lift the trophy which they totally deserve but Liverpool needs to restructure and motivate themselves for success in the future.

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