Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Chelsea's title ambitions nose-dived following a Bruno Cheyrou goal for Liverpool which saw the Londoners drift further behind leaders Manchester United.

The statistics tell the story, for Chelsea, three attempts on goal with seven offsides against them.

Liverpool's tactic of flooding the midfield worked masterfully, especially against Chelsea's diamond shape.

Chelsea are now seven points behind United and in truth don't look like catching the champions, not even the consolation of seeing Liverpool reduced to ten men four minutes from the end, following a second yellow card for El Hadji Diouf, helped the Londoners.

Hernan Crespo returned to the side for all of 12 minutes when he limped off with a calf strain.

With no top scorer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, bizarrely dropped, Chelsea looked to Eidur Gudjohnsen to help Adrian Mutu out of his goal drought to ill-effect.

Liverpool had one chance on target and scored the only goal of the game on 32 minutes.

A quick break saw Cheyrou pass the ball wide to Emile Heskey on the right. The England striker pitched in a excellent ball across the back of the Chelsea defence and Cheyrou kept on running and dispatched a low left-footer past the despairing dive of Carlo Cudicini "Beating Chelsea was a great achievement, we have being through a difficult period. That victory was for our fans," said Liverpool boss Gerald Houllier.

"As for the sending-off, I did not see it, but I saw the replay and there was no malice involved. He told me he did not foul him," he added.

Chelsea's new stars have fallen from their previous high-calibre performances, with perhaps Claude Makelele the only player to be maintaining his.

"Chelsea are having a bad patch and they ran out of ideas," said Houllier. "But we showed great determination after losing Jerzy Dudek to injury and Diouf to two yellows." Chelsea's best chance fell to out-of-sorts Mutu, who saw his header from a Geremi corner rebound off the angle of post and crossbar on 80 minutes.

A couple of half shouts for penalties from Mutu late on were ignored by the referee and Liverpool ran out deserved winners.

Perhaps the fact that the last time Chelsea did the league double over Liverpool was in 1919 was proof enough that this was not going to be the Blues' night.