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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020
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“WE GO AGAIN.” So goes the Reds’ mantra and they were all set to take a run at Jose Mourinho’s injury-hit Chelsea.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail patrick@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Welcome along to our live coverage of Liverpool versus Chelsea. Let me start off by informing you that Reds fans are loving the ‘tribute’ statue to David Moyes outside Anfield.

 

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield Liverpool fans pose for pictures with the Moyes statue, erected by bookies Paddy Power. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Here are your teams, starting with Liverpool. Very much a 4-3-3 despite Luis Suarez being the only recognised striker.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Skrtel, Sakho, Johnson; Gerrard, Allen, Lucas, Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez.

And what of Chelsea? They hand a Premier League debut to 20-year-old defender Tomas Kalas.

Chelsea: Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Kalas, Cole; Lampard, Mikel, Matic; Salah, Ba, Schurrle.

The Liverpool fans have given their team a rousing welcome to Anfield.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield You can't see inside the tinted windows but the Liverpool players are PUMPED. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Meanwhile, over at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland are 3-0 up on Cardiff. They shall climb out of the relegation zone once they wrap up the points.

Wonder what Luis is listening to?

ALLEN Source: Sky Sports

Joe Allen: “We’ve got to be confident we can [blitz Chelsea]. We’ve done it against some top teams this year and that has been the key to some of our successes.”

Allen added, “We’re confident we can go on and achieve greatness this year.”

Not so long ago the former Swansea man was being encouraged to head towards the Anfield exit door.

Chelsea KICK-OFF

1 min - Sterling raids up the right wing but concedes a free for tugging Azpilicueta back.

3 mins - Coutinho finds his way blocked up the left so hits up Gerrard to switch the attack. Liverpool fans in good voice. Schurrle draws an early Johnson foul.

4 mins - Play finally underway are Schurrle finally gets treatment. Allen covers well to cut out a Salah run up the right wing.

6mins - First save of the match. Mignolet gets down well and parries a Cole drive off to the left and out of danger with Ba lurking.

8 mins - Very brave, very forceful sliding tackle on Sterling by Kalas. Gerrard takes the resulting corner. Pre-worked dink out to Johnson at the edge of the box. His shot earns another corner that is headed clear.

10 mins - Coutinho blazes wide after Suarez floats in a beautiful cross to the back post.

13 mins - Off the line! Cole clears a header off the line. Sakho hooks it back and Suarez smashes back across goal. Sakho gets a poke but sends it over.

15 mins - All Liverpool again and Gerrard has a pop that is blocked/deflected by Kalas. Ba very much up front on his own at the moment.

17 mins - ‘Pool fans and players with what they see as Chelsea time wasting. I suspect they are just trying to take the sting out of Liverpool’s usual flying starts.

20 mins - Demba Ba takes an extra touches, close down whatever space he had and hits Skrtel with his shot. Chelsea slowly showing signs of life.

23 mins - Sterling crumples in a heap after ‘Azpi’ has a bite at his ankles. When I type bite I mean kick. Another Liverpool corner but the Blues head clear.

Suarez then wins a free after Cole clatters him while challenging for a header.

26 mins - Chelsea clear the free but cannot get out of their half. After three minutes under the cosh they break. Schurrle gets to the halfway line, looks about and, seeing no-one in support, passes back to Schwarzer.

29 mins - Fernando Torres looks on from the bench as Ba makes a nuisance of himself — to both sets of supporters. Salah then tries to slide him in but Flanagan reads the ploy and clears.

Ashley Cole is screaming for Suarez to be booked after the Uruguayan up-ends himself over Ivanovic with little or no help from the Serbian.

34 mins - Jose loving the hoodie and body-warmer look on the sidelines. Salah plucks an ambitious Mikel pass out of the sky and earns a corner. Lampard takes but it is too close to Mignolet.

36 mins - Ba earns Chelsea another corner as Chelsea counter well. Another waste, for Chelsea, as Mignolet tips clear and referee Atkinson blows up for a phantom foul.

38 mins - Chelsea are livid as Flanagan blocks a Salah shot with his arm. No given.

39 mins - Liverpool storm forward after that let-off and Coutinho’s tricky cross needs Schwarzer to slide out and claim just ahead of Suarez’ feet. Liverpool then get another corner but it comes to nothing.

42 mins - Yellow card for Frank ‘Lamps’ Lampard as he clatters Sterling. Liverpool pressing for a goal before half-time.

44 mins - Mignolet, with a hare-brained idea, Supermans from his six yard line to tip away an Ashley Cole cross with no-one near him.

INJURY TIME: Ba wins another corner for his side as he tangles with Sakho. Doing well, that chap.

KALAS UNMARKED SIX YARD OUT but he flashes his header wide!

GOAL!! Demba Ba for Chelsea

Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea (Ba ’47)

Clanger from Gerrard, who slips and allows Ba a run clear on goal. The former Toon striker keeps his composure to slot home through Schwarzer’s legs.

45 +4 mins - Late corner for ‘Pool but it is dealt with.

HALF-TIME

This tweet from Paul Hayward popped up seconds before Gerrard’s slip-up:

Sky Sports capture the moment that could change it all for the Reds…

 

Liverpool KICK-OFF

69% possession for Liverpool in the first-half but, as Real Madrid proved against Bayern Munich, hogging the ball means little against good counter-attacking sides.

46 mins - Suarez sent spinning to the deck after a late nip at the heels by Ivanovic.

48 mins – Johnson tries to go past Schurrle three times in short succession but eventually has his pockets picked. ‘Pool break again, though, and earn another penalty. ‘G’ whips but Chelsea head clear again.

50 mins - All Liverpool for the opening five but the 10-men of Chelsea [Ba is chilling out on halfway] are tightly packed and cutting out space for passes in behind.

51 mins - Kalas lucky not to concede a free or penalty as he bumps Sterling off the ball.

KALAS1 Source: Sky Sports

52 mins - Chelsea string five passes together before Lampard chips out of play.

55 mins - Jose hydrates on the sidelines as Rodgers looks pensive, with arms folded. Sturridge is in reserve should he need him.

56 mins - Gerrard has a deflected shot comfortably saved by Schwarzer.

58 mins - Joe Allen rasps a shot on the volley and Schawarzer gets down smartly to save. Meanwhile, this guy is on…

STURRIDGE

Substitution for Chelsea: Willian on for Salah.

62 mins - Schurrle draws a great, low, diving save from Mignolet after cutting inside Johnson. Great battle that.

64 mins - Ivanovic steals the ball and breaks from the edge of his box, finds Willian and Ba eventually has a shot blocked by Skrtel.

66 mins - Suarez with a sublime piece of chest control on the right wing but his cross is cleared. Allen wins possession and his daisy-cutter is held by Schwarzer.

67 mins - Must be the fifth time Gerrard has shot from range but Schwarzer has caught each attempt. Skrtel then clambers all over Ba to win a header.

69 mins - Suarez takes to standing beside Schwarzer for his kick outs. The industrious, lively Schurrle is fouled by Coutinho and Chelsea whip in a free that is easily cleared.

71 mins - Chelsea lacking numbers in attack so each time a pass goes astray or a shot is blocked, Liverpool are able to stream forward without much opposition until they get within 40 yards of their goal.

73 mins - Gerrard’s dink over the top, into the Chelsea box, is hacked clear by Willian. The corner is cleared but the ball comes back into the box, Suarez volleys into the dangerzone and ping-pongs about before Johnson’s shot is blocked.

75 mins - Heavy whistles as Mikel lies on the pitch complaining of cramp. Oh, Schurrle is having a seat too. Gary Cahill is being given instructions by Mourinho ahead of his imminent introduction.

76 mins - Gerrard whips a shot 10 yards wide.

Chelsea substitution: Cahill on for Schurrle.

79 mins - Chelsea have given up all pretensions of attacking. Mikel with a shameful headed clearance off the back of his bonce. Liverpool get the ball wide. It is whipped in to Gerrard but his header is straight at Schwarzer. Personal duel between the veteran and the VETERAN.

81 mins - Surely time for Torres to come on for Chelsea? Ba’s race is clearly run. Dangerous Coutinho cross and it just evades Suarez at the back post.

Liverpool substitution: Aspas on for Flanagan.

82 mins - Ouch, close for Sterling. He gets behind the Blues defence but is denied by Schwarzer. Liverpool then have corners on either flank but both are cleared before Chelsea break through Ba. It comes to nothing. Seven minutes plus injury time remain.

84 mins - Here comes Torres for Ba. Loud, loud boos for the former Reds hero.

85 mins - Liverpool fans urging their side on but a lot of anxious faces in the crowd.

86 mins - Gerrard really should stop shooting from range [this may prove prophetic...] as he wangs another shot well wide from 25-ish yards out.

88 mins - Another attack breaks down as Rodgers shouts encouragements from just outside his dug-out. 30 seconds after that stray pass went out of play, Schwarzer takes his goal-kick.

89 mins - Johnson disgusted by a loose Coutinho pass and Alan Hansen shakes his head in that dismissive Alan Hansen way in the crowd.

90 mins - Willian takes a Torres pass in the Liverpool box and heads for the corner flag. Matic then wins a throw-in deep in the Reds half.

INJURY TIME: Plus four minutes…

90 mins + 2 - Long period of possession before Gerrard wins a dubious corner.

SCHWARZER WITH A HUGE SAVE!

The Aussie denied Suarez with a great stop, up over his head, after his punched clearance didn’t go far enough.

90 mins +3 - Cole booked for time-wasting over a throw-in. Torres then creams Skrtel. Foul.

GOAL CHELSEA!! Willian

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea (’93)

Chelsea pounce on the break. Torres streaks clear but chooses to square to Willian who taps in from 10 yards out. It sparks a Mourinho run down the sidelines…

90 + 5mins - That is that. Whistle blown at Anfield.

FULL-TIME

It ain’t over until it’s over. Attention turns to Man City’s visit to Crystal Palace now. Could be a three-point gap for City if they win. Chelsea are two points off the pace now.

Full time: Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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