Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2 – Mourinho masterclass throws open title race
Steven Gerrard’s mistake leads to Demba Ba scoring the only goal of the game
April 27th, 2014
Liverpool’s eleven-match winning run was brought to an abrupt end on Sunday afternoon as Chelsea contained their lively opponents to return to Stamford Bridge with three precious points.
Jose Mourinho’s hand had been forced with team selection and he went with three defensive midfielders operating in front of a defence including Ashley Cole and Tomas Kalas, with John Terry, Gary Cahill and David Luiz nowhere to be seen.
However, Chelsea stuck manfully to their task and found the breakthrough in the 45th minute when Steven Gerrard slipped on the ball which allowed Demba Ba to race through and slot past Simon Mignolet to send the visitors into the lead.
Previously to this, there had been plenty of huffing and puffing from Liverpool, although Luis Suarez was caged and manager Brendan Rodgers didn’t deem Daniel Sturridge fit enough to line up against his former club.
Indeed, it was Chelsea who created the best scoring chances, with Kalas missing a first-half header to put his team into the lead, while Andre Schurrle’s second-half effort was saved well by Mignolet.
Mark Schwarzer kept out a couple of long-range shots although Liverpool simply weren’t able to fashion clear chances, with Suarez’s strike in injury-time parried over the bar by the Australian as Chelsea held on for the maximum haul.
As the home side pressed forward, Liverpool were caught on the counter-attack, with Fernando Torres bursting through and feeding Willian with an open goal.
The result reduces the gap between Chelsea and Liverpool to two points, although it now means that Manchester City can win the title should they claim victory in their four remaining matches.