Chelsea vs Liverpool (Champions League)

Woohoooo! Chelsea won! Playing the second leg at home certainly payed off for Chelsea. I have been so excited about this result that I couldn’t get myself to sit still and type this! A super match. Chelsea played the first half like Champions. I suspect in the second half they sent in lookalikes wrongly assuming that Liverpool would continue to play the same lack lustre game and that the goal by Didier Drogba would be enough to secure their place in the final. Underestimating Liverpool in any competition is a mistake but underestimating them in the Champions League is dangerous and usually fatal. Torres made them pay by putting the ball past Cech and leveling the scores off a great pass by Yossi Benayoun. This is where it gets scary for a Chelsea supporter, knowing how Liverpool rarely ever lose after leveling in the Champions League. Let me rephrase that, Liverpool never lose to an English club in the Champions League. Luckily, we got through to the second half with the scores still level, though there were quite a few chances created by Liverpool who looked way more threatening than the distracted Chelsea squad. I think the best thing to happen for Chelsea was the full time whistle which woke them up from their stupor. Avram Grant substituted Anelka for Joe Cole and I hoped he knew what he was doing. He surely did, as Anelka proved later on in extra time. I think maybe, just maybe, Avram Grant is some sort of a genius, after all Chelsea still are in with a chance for a double. I am just not going to think of the Carling Cup final.
Anyway, extra time was the best part of this match with one pretty bizarre decision and FYI Liverpool fans, I am not talking about the penalty. I mean the disallowed Essien goal which I am guessing would have been a big talking point if Chelsea had lost the game. Ballack won us a penalty just seconds after the disallowed goal and Frank Lampard (what a real life hero he is!), stepped up to take the penalty.
Lampard playing in this match showed his commitment to his team and to step up to take the penalty showed character and bravery.
But to allow Frank to take the crucial penalty showed his team’s faith in him and just how close knit the Chelsea players are despite all the rumours about discord in the dressing room. Lampard didn’t let his team down, he rarely does, and scored a fantastic penalty dedicating it to his mum and it brought tears to my eyes. For me Chelsea had won but the game was far from over.
In the 15th minute of extra time, Anelka beat the offside trap and escaped behind Riise.
He made it to the dead-ball line before pulling the ball back to Drogba who scored another great goal (inspired substitution by Avram Grant?) . With the scoreline 3-1 at the end of the first half of extra time, I was pretty sure the game was over but then a little voice in my head said, “this is Liverpool in the Champions League, it’s not over till it’s over!” So, I did the only thing I could… I prayed.
I realised within two minutes into the second half of extra time that the lil voice was correct as
Liverpool went all out and there was a claim for a penalty by Hyppia who was challenged by Drogba but the referee (who was close to the action), didn’t think there was enough to it. Liverpool having been declined the penalty, made me wrongly assume again that this time the game was over and done with. Just then, Babel shoots from 30 yards and scores! Cech should have saved that! Anyway, I calm myself with the fact that Chelsea are still ahead 3-1 and 4-2 on aggregate and there are only 3 minutes to go. Shevechenko comes on in place of the fantastic Frank Lampard and Gerrard who never gives up, is blocked by Ashley Cole. The whistle blows and Chelsea are through to the Final of the Champions League in Moscow. Woohooooooooooooo!


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