Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool – Suarez Makes His Point at the Bridge

By Jonathan Carroll

Liverpool traveled to Stamford Bridge on Sunday looking to extend their good run of form against Chelsea. The reds are unbeaten in five league games but their form has been poor since Brendan Rodgers took over. On current league form Chelsea were clear favorites in this game before kick-off.

In a disjointed first half it was difficult to see what Liverpool were trying to achieve. There was little sign of a pattern of play except passing backwards and in a 3-5-2 formation Liverpool still managed to be outrun by Chelsea in midfield. Joe Allen dallied on the ball early and was duly dispossessed only for Oscar to shoot over when through on Brad Jones.

In the twentieth minute a Juan Mata corner was powerfully headed home by John Terry. Daniel Agger failed to track Terry who was left to pick his spot with a free header. Liverpool failed to threaten at all in the first half with Luis Suarez largely kept quiet and only Steven Gerrard registering a tame shot on target.

In the latter part of the half Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger got in each others way only to allow Mata a free run at goal but the Spaniard thumped his shot over the bar. Liverpool were lucky not to be two nil down.

Joe Allen played as the deepest lying midfielder with Gerrard and Nuri Sahin pushed on in front of him. There was a distinct lack of distribution to the two attacking midfielders. Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson saw plenty of the ball but their options were always limited by a lack of support when on the ball as well as being pressed early by Chelsea.

John Terry picked up what seemed like a serious injury following an accidental collision with Suarez. The total extent of the injury has yet to be determined.

Brad Jones pulled off a good save from a Fernando Torres header in the fifty-sixth minute. Pepe Reina may have his first challenge for his starting spot since arriving at Liverpool due to the form of the Australian keeper. The substitution of Suso for Nuri Sahin added some much-needed impetus into the Anfield side who drew level following a corner from the substitute. Jamie Carragher twisted his neck enough to flick the ball on for the waiting Luis Suarez to nod home from two yards out. The traveling Kop duly celebrated.

Late on a Jose Enrique through ball found Suarez who had timed his run perfectly. Suarez’s touch was faint and allowed Cech to get a touch and ricochet the ball off Suarez for a goal kick. Suarez was again at the heart of things when he sprayed a ball wide to the right to Raheem Sterling. The youngster drove inside Ryan Bertrand and laid it off to Suarez who teed up Enrique whose shot was saved low by Petr Cech.

Enrique’s inclusion over Stewart Downing must be viewed as a vote of no confidence for the Englishman. Basically a left back playing as a winger is trusted more by Rodgers. With youngsters such as Andre Wisdom, Sterling and Suso now regulars and new additions such as Allen and Sahin yet to fully settle in this is still a work in progress. How long this work in progress will last may be determined by future additions to the squad in the January and summer transfer windows or more importantly if there are any quality additions. The need to add another attacking threat and to share the responsibility with Suarez is glaringly obvious. Rodgers’ young team grew stronger as the game went on and they will be glad to have taken a point from Stamford Bridge.

Match Statistics

Chelsea                                       Liverpool

Possession                          48%                                              52%

Shots                                    12                                                  9

Shots on Target                     3                                                   5

Corners                                 4                                                   7

Chelsea

  • 01 Cech – 7
  • 02 Ivanovic – 6
  • 26 Terry (Cahill – 39′ ) – 6
  • 28 Azpilicueta – 7
  • 34 Bertrand – 6
  • 07 Ramires – 5
  • 10 Mata – 6
  • 11 Oscar – 6 (Moses – 77′ )
  • 12 Mikel – 4 (Booked)
  • 17 Hazard – 5
  • 09 Torres – 4 (Sturridge – 82′ )

Substitutes

  • 22 Turnbull
  • 19 Ferreira
  • 24 Cahill
  • 06 Romeu
  • 13 Moses
  • 21 Marin
  • 23 Sturridge

Liverpool

  • 01 Jones – 7
  • 02 Johnson – 8 (Booked)
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 7
  • 05 Agger – 6
  • 23 Carragher – 7
  • 47 Wisdom – 6
  • 04 Sahin – 4 (Suso – 60′ ) – 6
  • 08 Gerrard – 6 (Booked)
  • 24 Allen – 3 (Booked)
  • 31 Sterling – 6
  • 07 Suarez – 7

Substitutes

  • 42 Gulacsi
  • 16 Coates
  • 10 Cole
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing
  • 11 Assaidi
  • 30 Suso
Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 41,627
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