Liverpool 1 Chelsea 2

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 08 November 2014

Diego Costa Scott a second half winner to secure all three points as Chelsea beat title rivals Liverpool 2-1 on their home turf.

The Londoners have 29 points and sit pretty at the top of the pile, and this win will continue to send shockwaves throughout the division.
A lucky goal for the home side - Emre Can's long-range effort took a severe deflection off Gary Cahill put Liverpool I to the driving seats.

But this Blues side showed just why they are unbeaten in all competition this season, by remaining calm they forced they way back into the game and Cahill was rewarded with the equaliser.

Then it was left to Costa. The Brazil-born Spain striker kept his cool in the second half, despite immense pressure from Martin Skrtel. And when the chance came, he struck a beauty to notch up his 10th of the season.

Early pressure by the home side yielded a corner within 20 seconds of the ref's whistle as both side sought to get a foothold of the ball and possession.

And it was Liverpool who took full advantage on nine minutes. Starting with a ball from Steve Gerrard to Raheem Sterling. The England winger slotted the ball to an unmarked Emre Can where the midfielder let fly from 25-yards. It took a wicked deflection off Gary Cahill, wrong-footing Courtois in the process and zipping past the Belgium goalkeeper to put the Reds 1-0 up.

Martin Sketel was on hand three minutes later to save a goal-bound shot from Diego Coats as the visitors piled on the pressure to restore parity as soon possible.

And that pressure paid off In spades

Following a Hazard corner the ball was headed to Branislav Ivanovic, Simon Mignolet made a brilliant save, but the ball came out to Cahill, who drilled the ball back at Mignolet. But the force of the close-range shot was enough to pierce the goal line. Referee Anthony Taylor must have got the nod from the goal line technology as it took just a second for him to indicate a goL.

Echoes of a certain Champions League semi-final Luis Garcia "ghost goal" sprang to mind. How Mourinho would have wanted that technology on that fateful night in 2005.
Calls for a penalty by the Kop when Cahill's shoulder met the ball was waved away from Taylor while meaty surrounds why he did not send off Skirtel after sipped the back of Costa's head following a foil.

A Philippe Courtinho pile-driver was parried away by Courtois as Liverpool sought the counter-attacking option.

As the game see-sawed, Hazard twice had shots on target hacked away. Taylor was more than lenient with Jordan Henderson who should have got a yellow for twice fouling Oscar in midfield, in quick succession.

Taylor finally decided to finally brandish a yellow, and Sterling was the unlucky recipient two minutes from the break, holding up a run by Ramires and getting an unintentional smack in the mouth by the Brazilian for his efforts.

Neither side made any changes in personnel at half-time and the opening exchanges were timid by the standards of the beginning of the match.

However Taylor decided to even up the yellow card score at least, Ivanovic getting the card for pulling back Sterling.

A brilliant shot by Sterling was expertly save by Courtois as Liverpool's counter attack proved to be their sole tactic.

A clearly floundering Ramires made way for live-wire Willian on 55minutes.
On 66 minutes, Balotelli needlessly upend Oscar on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area. He too get a yellow card for his pains. Chelsea squandered the free-kick.

But two minutes later all hell broke out as Azpiliceita beat the offside trap, latching onto a long cross-field ball by Willian. Despite the ball looking suspiciously as if it had gone out of play, Azpilicueta played on, cut the ball back from the byline. Mignolet could only get a touch on the ball and it fell invitingly to Costa, who drilled home his 10th goal of the season to put the Blues 2-1 ahead.

Both sets of benches jumped up, one, in the Blue corner to celebrate, the other, in the red corner, to berate the linesman.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers instantly brought on Joe Allen and Fabio Borini for Can and Coutinho. Their fans booed Rodgers' decision to replace Courtinho.
He was followed by striker Rickie lambert for ineffectual Balotelli.

With eight minutes on the clock, Oscar entered the ref's book for a lunge on Glen Johnson, which had it connected would certainly have resulted in a straight red.

Costa then became the fourth to receive a yellow, with a sliding challenge on Johnson.
Liverpool should have had a penalty three mi Utes from time when Gerrard's shot clearly hit the left arm of Cahill. Inexplicably Taylor waved play on, and suggested that the defender's chest hit the ball.

Didier Drogba came on for the final minutes, replacing Cost who took a heavy whack from Skrtel.

While Drogba' s introduction was due to injury, Felipe Luis's was tactical. Mourinho trying to eat into five added minutes, took off midfielder Hazard for left back Luis.

And it worked - three points in the bag, Chelsea fans screaming: "we're top of the league," and so they are.

 

 

 

Teams: Liverpool, Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Gerrard,Coutinho, Henderson, Moreno, Can, Sterling, Skrtel, Balotelli
Subs, Jone, Toure, Lambert, Lallana, Luca, Allen, Borini

Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Fabregas, Matic, Oscar, Hazard, Costa
Subs, Cech, Luis, Zouma, Drogba, Mikel, Remy, Willian

 

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