Location: Sixty-Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty-Eight
not that it had an impact on the game, but i was puzzled by benitez's subs again. riise ended up playing centre back with traore left back? pongolle was eventually introduced but somehow that waster Garcia was left on the pitch for the whole game......... again!
we had plenty of posession but nobody up front. you can't slide a ball through to Crouch cause he's not fast enough. only way we looked like scoring was from outside the box.
i didn't see the first half though and i heard we were good for that. still, i'm not yet to be won over by benitez
Sixty-Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty-Eight
Clear blue water, as wide as the ocean, now separates Chelsea from the rest of the Premiership fleet. Nine points clear, brimming with intelligence and industry, Jose Mourinho's record-breaking Uncatchables are truly a class apart. The Romanovs were the talk of Russia, not Roman Abramovich, the last time Chelsea enjoyed a victory as large as this at Liverpool.
Midfield maestro: Frank Lampard celebrates at Anfield
Anfield's DJ had played U2's Vertigo before kick-off. Wishful thinking. Chelsea's head for heights is strong indeed, particularly with Frank Lampard dominant from box to box, John Terry a leader by loud word and stirring deed in defence and Didier Drogba a muscular destroyer of Liverpool's back-line.
If Mourinho might have preferred Rhapsody in Blue as the accompaniment for Chelsea's exertions, Feel the Force would have been more accurate. Far from a creature of beguiling beauty, Chelsea are more a fast-moving beast of a team who prey mercilessly on opponent's weaknesses. No wonder they wear a menacing lion on their crest.
Drogba had a field day running at Sami Hyypia and Djimi Traore, the weak links in Liverpool's defence, helping to create goals for Lampard (a penalty), Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Geremi. Chelsea's increasing control, which resembled a slip-knot being tightened as Liverpool slumped to their heaviest home defeat since 1969, was also rooted in Mourinho's canny tactics.
Aware that Liverpool would launch long balls to Peter Crouch, Mourinho stationed Claude Makelele in front of the target man. Despite the disparity in heights, Makelele leapt and blocked prodigiously, often frustrating Crouch. At one point, the 6ft 7in Crouch complained to Graham Poll that the diminutive Makelele was short-pulling.
In possession, Chelsea kept pulling fast ones, beginning in the 25th minute when Drogba's pace drew a foul from Traore. Classic gamesmanship followed Poll's award of a spot-kick. Jamie Carragher sought to psyche out Lampard, even whispering "good luck" as he ran in to address the penalty. Pepe Reina guessed correctly, but Lampard's kick was too quick and it skidded under the Spaniard's despairing body.
Having bizarrely had his weight questioned by the Kop in midweek, the lean machine that is Lampard clearly enjoyed reminding Liverpool fans of his heavyweight talent. His badge-kissing, finger-pointing dance of celebration along the front of the Kop brought inevitable sanction from Poll.
Lampard was not the only England international in flying form. Steven Gerrard was magnificent, raging against the fading of the red light in the Premiership, willing his team to believe they could live with Chelsea. Within 10 minutes of Lampard's goal, Gerrard was supplying an emphatic riposte, sprinting in to finish off John Arne Riise's corner with a powerful drive from right to left. Game on. For a while.
Briefly, Liverpool dreamt that they could handle Chelsea. Gerrard executed a wonderful challenge on Terry. Xabi Alonso piled into Michael Essien. But Liverpool's back door was never securely fastened, and once again Hyypia was caught out. When Asier Del Horno's delivery found Drogba, the striker deceived Hyypia to race into the area. His cutback was placed for Duff, who comfortably swept the ball home.
A game high on tempo, soon became higher on temperature when Alonso and Drogba squared up, Carragher joined in and Poll brandished some yellows to cool the reds and blues. Tested physically, technically or tactically, Chelsea are equal to any challenge. They certainly outwitted Liverpool, who must be kicking themselves for failing to land a run-through striker like Michael Owen. Crouch spends so long with his back to goal that he looks almost startled when finally facing the opponents' net.
Just after the hour, the day darkened further for Liverpool. Del Horno again ushered Drogba down the left, and again he made good ground, rounded Reina and moved the ball across. Joe Cole applied the coup de grace. As
Mourinho danced like a Latin David Pleat on the pitch, Benitez was also up out of his dug-out, screaming at the officials that Cole must have been offside. Liverpool's complaints rang hollow.
With nine minutes remaining the queues for the exits thickened. Del Horno again released Drogba, whose centre was missed by Arjen Robben but not Geremi: 4-1 to the Chelsea and didn't their fans revel in the moment. "Gerrard, Gerrard, what's the score?" they inquired of the midfielder who spurned their advances last summer. "Boring, boring Chelsea," they reprised, managing to sing with tongues firmly in cheek. Boring? No. Catchable? Definitely no.
Interesting article by Alan Hansen (Liverpool Legend)
Ridicule of Chelsea is based on jealousy
By Alan Hansen (Filed: 03/10/2005)
It was not the score that mattered but the performance that Chelsea delivered; which was the stuff of champions.
The truth was that the 4-1 victory at Anfield rather flattered them -Liverpool were chasing the game and throwing men forward, leaving gaps to be exploited - but it was the way Chelsea won that was so impressive.
I have never thought the money surrounding the club was an issue and despite what some people say, they are a very long way from being boring. Money cannot buy you the work-rate and the discipline this side demonstrate week in, week out.
Look carefully and you see a fabulous team boasting almost every attribute you could want as a manager. Chelsea come at you from every angle and they come at you with pace. They are inventive and they show a great spirit. The kind of resilience they demonstrated when Steven Gerrard equalised was something Roman Abramovich cannot buy.
Liverpool looked briefly as if they might have taken control of the game and Chelsea, as champions do, responded by never threatening to panic. They simply kept on playing their natural game.
The kind of ridicule they have been receiving is based largely on jealousy. The only comeback that most critics have had against the side Jose Mourinho has created is to say they are boring. It is hardly something likely to keep the Chelsea manager awake.
Teams in Chelsea's position actively need people to have a go at them because it simply adds fuel to their game. In the Liverpool dressing room of Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish, we loved to be written off. It guarded against complacency and it motivated us.
In 1981 the Football League introduced three points for a win and this was supposed to be the end of Liverpool. We were 10th in the championship at Christmas and were being written off as a limited, counter-attacking team. In the new year we embarked on a run that was typical of the Liverpool teams of the time, which ended with us regaining the title. And, yes, that criticism gave us a big boost.
In contrast to their performance in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Liverpool's display was littered with mistakes. Chelsea's first goal was gifted to them with a single, clumsy tackle on Didier Drogba. You could not afford to do it against an average side, but against Chelsea it was fatal.
Drogba was man of the match but the jury is still out on whether he will make a genuine impact at Stamford Bridge. The way he flicked the ball past Sami Hyypia to set up the second goal was something that would come off perhaps once in 100 attempts. There will be criticism of Hyypia, but it should be said he has been one of the best and most consistent members of Rafael Benitez's side over the last six months.
But Hyypia lacks pace and as a defender he cannot allow someone like Drogba to run at him. He cannot channel the attacker away from goal, he has to stand up to him and tackle and this lack of pace means he cannot leave space behind him.
Pace is not an absolute requirement in a defender. When I broke into the Liverpool side my defensive partner was Phil Thompson, who was relatively slow but had wonderful positioning. But with the changes to the rules of the game it is far more important than it was.
Most defenders have a phobia about pace and about balls that are hit over the top. Yesterday this was an area where Liverpool hardly threatened Chelsea. They lacked pace in defence and in attack, where the Chelsea back four could quite comfortably leave space behind Peter Crouch - and as a defender that is a massive boost.
Crouch has played around six matches for Liverpool now and it is hard to recall a single chance the 6ft 7in striker has had with his head. The chance that fell to him yesterday was one he created himself and which resulted in a shot over the bar.
There was very little support from the wings and because there was no pace the defender's great fear of a ball knocked over the top was a ploy that could not be used.
Crouch would be more effective if there was a second striker for him to play off and that is why the return of Michael Owen would have been such a positive addition to Benitez's armoury.
Owen would have given the Liverpool midfield greater options and the ball over the top suddenly becomes a real weapon. It is true that in Djibril Cisse, Benitez does have a striker with pace but he does not look to have the touch and control needed at this level.
Sleep brings no reward,
And the dawn cuts like a sword,
Fear is the key.
don't mind him sound, he just thought it would look cool to use the word kudos in a sentence.
chelsea's win flattered them to an extent and the game was really dictated by unforced errors. jimmy traore is one shit player, compare him to del horno or gallas who you know are solid and comfotable when the ball is near them. i think mourinho decided to attack liverpool with a little more down the flanks and on the ground yesterday, hittting long balls didn't work on wednesday so he changed it. this is the differnence between the sides, liverpool cannot do that with the players they have. once the game went to 3-1 it was over even with 30 mins left as liverpool didn't have the guile or players to get past an 8 man defence(to be fair not many would). i think it was the quality of the players that decided the result for once and not hard graft. riise trying to hit the ball with his left when he had a right footed tap in summed it up.
its a bit frustrating to watch our league form. benitez might be a good manager but i dont think he's the one who's adapting to english football whatever bout the players. hyypia is utter crap.too slow and not as sharp as he used to be. garcia is average. new non spanish players are needed.
If ever a result was the death knell for competition in the PL this year, then this was it. The league as a whole really needed someone to take points off Chelsea. Liverpool started well enough but no side really looked like making the breakthrough. Then Djimi decides to have a kick at Drogba. If I tackled like that on a Sunday morning, I'd be fuckin dropped- and rightly so. Djimi suffers from the same affliction as a lot of young footballers, in that he has no brain. None. At All!
When Liverpool equalised it looked like game on but yet another defensive error gifted a goal to Chelsea. With that Liverpool started to chase the game and left themselves well exposed. Chelsea scored with pretty much every attack. Now this may have flattered them somewhat but you dont score 4 goals by chance. Liverpool were toothless in attack. Crouch was again menacing but no-body even got into the box for set pieces, never mind got up to support him. Rafa is being very rigid tactically at the moment and some of the subs yesterday were Houllier-esque they made so little sense.
BTW, while all credit must go the Chelsea, whoever wrote that piece about Lampard bossing midfield would want his head read. He was totally anonymous again- he should give half his wages to Makalele.