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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chelsea vs Liverpool CL 08-09: Analysis and Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Monday, April 13th, 2009)

With a view to overturning a 3-1 deficit, Liverpool is going to visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday (14 April 2009) in the second round Champions league quarter final match. Thanks to their 3-1 humiliation in the first round home leg, Liverpool is now left with a seemingly incredible task of putting 3 goals without conceding any against Chelsea at their home turf which was one of the most fearful fortresses in Europe even until the beginning of the current season. However, Chelsea does not seem to be as fearful at home as they were over the last few seasons, but the Blues hold on to a clear advantage ahead of the second round showdown with Liverpool. So, Liverpool now has to turn the seemingly impossible task into possible, if they are to make to the last four of the competition.

Match: Chelsea vs Liverpool, Quarter Final, UEFA Champions League 08-09

Date: 14 April 2009, Tuesday

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England

Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)

Live on: Sky Sports TV Channel, BBC Radio Five Live

Liverpool was humiliated when they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in front of home crowd, but the Reds came back to their high-flying form against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend as the Benitez boys routed Blackburn 4-0 at home. So, Liverpool has perhaps recovered their confidence lost through the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea recently. Still, there are many who are not very optimistic about Liverpool’s mission of clinching an excellent come-from-back victory over Chelsea on Tuesday. If Liverpool can make their fifth semi final appearance in five Champions League seasons, the Reds can dedicate their achievement to those 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in Hillsborough disaster during a FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest in 1989 as the tragedy marks its 20th year on the day after the second round match against Chelsea.

However, I already mentioned that the task would not be an easy one for Liverpool. Moreover, Chelsea’s 16-match unbeaten streak at home in Champions league would definitely add to the worries of Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. In fact, Chelsea won all of their last 7 home games in Europe, an indication of Chelsea’s scintillating form in Europe. However, Liverpool’s worry could be lessen given that Chelsea captain John Terry would not be able to play the second round match due to suspension, and thus, making a void in Chelsea’s central defense. In his absence, Alex would pair up with Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho who is now totally fit to feature in the starting eleven of Chelsea in the visit of Liverpool. Still, Terry’s absence is a big blow for the Blues and a big relief for the Liverpool strikers.

Chelsea’s struggling 4-3 victory over Bolton Wanderers at the weekend could also make the Reds hopeful. In fact, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink was very much angry at Chelsea’s vulnerable performance during the second half of the 4-3 win over Blackburn when Chelsea saw their 4-0 lead being decreased to 4-3 in just nine minutes, resulting into a hard-fought finish. Chelsea defense looked really very fragile which must have generated some worries for Hiddink and his boys ahead of the home match against Liverpool.

Ahead of the crucial match, Liverpool can take inspiration from their historic come-from-back victory over AC Milan in the Champions League 2004-05 final. The Reds were 3-0 down at the half time, but the spirited Liverpool put 3 goals in the second half, before winning the match on tie-breaker, and thus, clinching their 5th Champions league title. However, Liverpool’s recent scoring form on the road in Europe against English opponent is not that much satisfactory as they failed to score in 8 of their 17 games against premier league opponents in Champions league. In those games, Liverpool could score only 13 times. On the other hand, Chelsea lost only 2 of their 14 games against English rivals in Europe with both the defeats being against Liverpool on the road.

Chelsea could relish on the excellent scoring form of Ivorian striker Didier Drogba who has scored four out of their last four Champions league appearances for Chelsea. So, you can see that Drogba will be very crucial for the Blues against Liverpool. Moreover, Michael Essien also displayed a superb performance in the first round tie with the Reds, restricting Gerrard with sheer success. In the absence of Terry, Ricardo Carvalho must take a big responsibility of Chelsea defense to nullify the Liverpool attacks.

Manager Rafael Benitez has indicated that he is ready to risk Captain Steven Gerrard for the trip to West London. Gerrard sat out their 4-0 win over Blackburn as he was recovering from groin injury and it is not yet confirmed if they player would be full-fit for the second round showdown. However, Benitez has said that he would feature Gerrard, despite having some minor danger in doing so.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some live score and update websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match between Chelsea and Liverpool:

Live Score

Goalzz

Live Football Scores

Goal.com

Footie Scorez

Well, Chelsea is clearly favorite, considering their 3-1 lead and the home match advantage. However, given Liverpool’s ability of pulling off come-from-back victory and never-give-up mentality, I am not going to write off the Reds, but still I would like to say that if Chelsea does not show their worst performance of the season, Liverpool is less likely to score three goals at Stamford Bridge. Anyway, one thing is for sure that there are lots of indications available for the football fans to experience a classic match between the two premier league rivals.

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