Chelsea 0 – 1 Liverpool (Raul Meireles, 69)
Always one of the more hyped games in the Premier League, Liverpool prevented Chelsea from re-joining the title race with a hard earned 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, a stadium that not too long ago was an impenetrable fortress. Most of the buzz tonight was created by the Fernando Torres debut in Blue, facing the club he scored so many goals for since 2007. Maybe our headline is a tad harsh, but in general, Torres hardly did anything positive for Chelsea this evening. Maybe nerves, or just a bad day in generally a bad year for Torres.
Liverpool? Kenny Dalglish has led the Reds to sixth in the Premier League, only six points behind Chelsea at fourth. There’s still tons of work to be done, but the confidence, swagger and a slight of intimidation factor has returned to a team that seems in complete shambles at times under Roy Hodgson.
There wasn’t anything brilliant or Divine about Liverpool’s play – A very defensive lineup with Kuyt as the lone man up top and a very tight middle. Raul Meireles, Liverpool’s best player since Dalglish has arrived, scored his fourth goal in the last five matches, winning their fourth consecutive match without conceding once. No Suarez this time. Dalglish didn’t need him tonight, as his starting role was delayed another week.
Chelsea couldn’t create too many chances against three centre backs, managing only one shot on goal, the only time that really had Reina bothered. Liverpool, despite hanging back most of the match, had better opportunties, including one incredible miss by Maxi Rodriguez in the first half, missing in front of a wide open goal from 2 yards.
Chelsea have the better side, but not the bigger club, as fans debated this week. Torres will find his groove pretty fast I believe. He’s too good of a player, and he has managed 9 goals this season on a depressed team. The rest of Chelsea, especially Essien, Lampard and Malouda, all three looking shades of their early season selves, are in need of a huge improvement if they have any hopes of defending their title this season. Hell, if they keep this up, their Champions League place might be in jeopardy.