News24

Chelsea on brink of title

2010-05-02 16:47

Liverpool - Chelsea are on the brink of their first Premier League title in four years after Steven Gerrard's mistake helped the leaders secure a vital 2-0 win at Liverpool on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are now four points clear of second-placed Manchester United and, even if the champions keep the title race alive with a win at Sunderland later on Sunday, the Blues will be crowned kings of English football if they beat Wigan at home next weekend.

Gerrard had used his programme notes to insist that the hosts would not throw in the towel against Chelsea, even though a Liverpool victory would have aided the title aspirations of bitter rivals United.

Yet the England midfielder's horrendous back pass allowed Didier Drogba to score his 26th Premier League goal of the campaign before Frank Lampard wrapped up a comfortable victory after more lacklustre defending from Rafa Benitez's team.

This game had long since been earmarked as a must-win for Chelsea and a match that would test both their title-winning mentality and mettle. They delivered on both counts.

Rumours of a conspiracy had been sweeping Merseyside in the days before that Liverpool would not mind losing to Chelsea as it would help prevent United from winning a record 19th title.

A banner draped over the Centenary Stand at Anfield before the game "Cockneys For A Day" did little to dispel that theory.

But those suggestions should have been laid to rest inside the opening three minutes, Javier Mascherano's shot from 25-yards deflecting narrowly wide for a corner as Liverpool made the brighter start.

Chelsea were strangely lethargic considering the prize that was at stake.

Despite early attempts by Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka, it was Liverpool who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening exchanges as Alberto Aquilani went close to delivering a crushing blow to Ancelotti with a cracking 25-yard effort that clipped the top of the bar.

Aquilani then crumpled under a challenge from Branislav Ivanovic in the area but the referee adjudged there was no foul before Gerrard's clanger 12 minutes before half time brought Chelsea within touching distance of the title.

Gerrard, under no pressure whatsoever, attempted a needless back pass that provided Drogba with an open invitation to pounce, round Jose Reina and slot home in front of the Kop.

That brought the Ivory Coast striker level with Wayne Rooney at the top of the Premier League scoring charts - more importantly it left Chelsea on the verge of their third title in six seasons.

Suddenly, Chelsea were going for the kill. It required a superb challenge by Liverpool's Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos to prevented Nicolas Anelka from making it 2-0, while the visitors felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the dying moments of the first half after claiming that Lucas had clipped Kalou.

Liverpool had started the day with an outside chance of securing a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds, but Benitez's side struggled to recover from falling behind.

Kalou and Florent Malouda, who were both magnificent, were causing all sorts of problems and both had chances to extend Chelsea's lead before Lampard sealed a priceless victory in the 54th minute.

At least Chelsea were not handed the goal on a plate this time, although the defending that led to England midfielder Lampard sliding home to meet Anelka's low cross was poor to say the least.

Liverpool never threatened to mount a fightback and although Chelsea's celebrations on the pitch at the final whistle were subdued, the title is almost theirs.

AFP

Comments
  • Luke - 2010-05-02 18:04

    Why should chelsea take it man u match can gain up points but will they do it.

  • Duncan Edwards - 2010-05-02 19:28

    Pretenders to our crown, not for long!!

  • Simon - 2010-05-02 19:46

    Liverpool were pathetic, wonder how they came 2nd last season, it must be all those red cards and penalties that they were gifted. But you can't rely on luck every year. If there is no overall at of club, they are goin to fall even further. Its sad, when legends of the game fall from grace like that!

  • Bess Ted - 2010-05-02 19:50

    And now how important was Mike Dean allowing Chelsea's off-side goal??

  • rico - 2010-05-02 20:51

    liverpool bunch of tossers...........Lamps...8 u guys signed gerrard already by the look of things......if chelsea do win the league they will only be looking after the trophy until it comes home next season

  • JB - 2010-05-02 23:51

    Awesome Chelsea...bring the polish!

  • chelsea fan - 2010-05-03 06:45

    & the glory will go to the best team once again, Lamps u r a star, Drogba the Great, Terry the wall, and peter you did us proud again, Chelsea 4 live, thanks Liverpool

  • AJ - 2010-05-03 07:13

    Unethical is how i would some up Liverpool's performance! They had no intent to win this game or even score, extremely pathetic and unprofessional from a team that is regarded by many as a "top 4" Chelsea never looked like scoring in the 1st half and gave away too many possession but Gerard obviously had other ideas! Wonder how much Chelsea have paid for the EPL league 2009/2010! Oh people might think sour grapes but again, Terry defends with his hands and should have been clearly sent off! Liverpool, you are pathetic sorry excuse for a football club and as for Chelsea, again, the officials will be on your side forever! And don't say that that was a penalty, you guys should get scuba diving suits as kits!

  • manyikos - 2010-05-03 07:16

    the league is now home to chelsea,kip dreaming if u man u fan.i think liverpool didn't play likea team with a mission and with nothing at stake u can't blame them..y shud they kill themselves 4 man u s redemption?NEVEEEEEEEER

  • MD - 2010-05-03 07:36

    oh Chelsea we love you!!!!

  • Lamps_8 - 2010-05-03 07:45

    Well Done Chelsea & also Well Done Gerrard,Brilliant Assist to Didi and ofcourse he finished superbly.Anyway,The League is not ours just yet.I've eaten my fingers & I'm pretty sure I won't have arms by next Sunday.Its DO OR DIE Now!A major talking point is the fact that United will Not lose to Stoke,they are sh*t but the Blues really need to work hard to Win their Final game.Wigan beat us when we played them away earlier this Season & they Won't want to Lose because they know how much sh*t they in if they Don't win.Come on Chelsea football club!!!This has been an Outstanding Season.Please Make Sure now Gents!Please!!!!

  • Hopkins - 2010-05-03 08:01

    Well done boys. Go Chelsea go.

  • Dr Phil - 2010-05-03 08:33

    Well done Chelsea, fantastic penetrative pass from Gerard to Drogba - pity they were in opposition. @Bess Ted - you cannot be offside to a back pass. On current form Steven G does not deserve a place in the England squad. Hopefully he can get his act together for the World Cup.

  • Lamps_8@AJ - 2010-05-03 08:47

    Shhhh now, Don't be a Sour Little Grape! The Referee's Decisions Don't Always go United's way! So change that tamp little man & Grow some Nuts

  • AJ - 2010-05-03 09:45

    @Lamps_8: Why you don't go suck on nuts batty boy! You know it, Terrible has got away with almost everything this season apart for one game (Spurs) you retard! By the way, it takes man with nuts to highlight what i have been mentioning for a while you brainless knob!

  • Man U Fan - 2010-05-03 09:58

    The Only thing that Liverpool can hold on to is the titles that they have won .Losing to Chelsea and preventing Man U from winning another title was like winning another league title for that wanna be football team. They havent won a league title in such a long time that they think protecting their past achievments is all that they play for . Dont worry LiverFool fans watching other teams in Europe next season is when you guys will regret not winning against Chelsea .

  • Ricky Bobby - 2010-05-03 09:59

    Liverpool = uselessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  • TRUE Red - 2010-05-03 10:00

    So many things were against us before the game even started - the boys were tired (120 min on Thursday night), demotivated (City & Spurs won on Saturday which meant no CL next year realistically) & too many injuries (no 1st choice striker, no 1st choice right back, no 1st choice left back, no 2nd choice right back & no 2nd choice left back) - after a season of beachball's, an injury crisis of note, terrible luck & even a freakin' volcano affecting our travel before a big game, one certainly believes it can't get worst, LOL ! This was the easiest LFC team the Blues ever had to face, so enjoy it guy's - I believe you guy's deserve the title & it your's to lose

  • @DR PHIL - 2010-05-03 10:05

    Alan Wiley ref'd Chelsea game yesterday. Bess Ted is talking about Drogba's offside goal against United!!!!!

  • Kube$ - 2010-05-03 10:07

    MMM... Ugly looking Lamps8 at it again being all aggressive like you gonna do something over a forum, smack yo slef on the forehead and grow some brains...

  • Never Walk Alone - 2010-05-03 11:15

    The most professional, classiest and perfectly disguised act of match fixing in the history of English football ! A brilliant through ball by Stevie G to set Drogba up for the opening goal !! If any one really thought that Liverpool would hand United the title on a plate - then you are living in gaga land ! Liverpool played the better game in the first half - and were at times taking their foot off the pedal - inviting Chelsea to get on with it - but the Blues seemed so nervous that Gerrard had to step in a set the stage alight ! Gerrard is a natural go forward, attacking player and seldom resorts to passing backwards behind his defence - Chelsea looked lack lustre - so a "nicely timed " back pass was in order to get the Blues on their way !! One could just feel the lack of urgency to win this game by the Liverpool players - and were basically offering Chelsea the oppurtunity to clinch it. The game resembled a training match kick about rather than the normal high paced intensity that these 2 clubs have been known to deliver over the years. Even Benitez had succumbed to the moment - and let things take the intended path without much interference ! Sorry Man U but there is just too much bad blood and history between us and you for Liverpool to have done anything else !!! Liverpool may be proud but we are not stupid. Lets hope that the new season brings a revival for LFC so that we can once again take our rightfull place as one of the worlds top football clubs - and the true Man. United fans would not want it any other way ! We will be back !!!!!!

  • seeps - 2010-05-03 11:29

    And NOW EVERTON can leapfog Liverpool and gain the final European spot.... Now that'll hurt more than watching United lift a 19th crown!!! Kwakwaka.... no Europe means sell some stars of which they only have two so bye bye Stevie and bye bye El nino oh and bye bye Rafa..... Now LFC is properly stuffed

  • Man U - 2010-05-03 11:45

    @seeps: No chance of the Toffees leapfrogging Liverpool! They are 4 points behind them with only 1 game left. Toffees blew their chance against Stoke unfortunatly! Wish they still had a chance to leapfrog Liverpool though!

  • TRUE Red - 2010-05-03 11:54

    seeps, the Toffee's drew on Saturday you retard - we can lose the last game & we will still be in Europe next season, albeit 2nd tier - that was the worst result the manc's could have hoped for as had Everton won, the Reds might have pushed a little harder

  • Nash the Gunner - 2010-05-03 12:00

    @ Seeps: u are such an idiot, if u passed your grade one maths u would have realised that it's impossible for Everton to overtake Liverpool and gain the final European spot, sour grape...

  • m - 2010-05-03 12:18

    @kube$,lolest n suck yo pains..MAN U deserve carling cup,let the big boys get double.@Never Walk Alone wat do u say about the penalty which Chelsea was denied by Man U bribed/fan reffery.we r sick n tired of this FA refferes robing rivals of Man U.@Never Walk Alone r u Man U fan?u want liverpool to help u win the league,y dont u help yoself,just suck yo bitterness.I recommend Alex Fergusen to retire or else he will die on da field.the master mind Ancelotti is in EPL n has beaten all this season English CL teams back to back.dream on,but chelsea gonna pump gols against wigan n Drogba for golden boot,Rooney am sori.TC folks c u in WC n next season

  • Sagren - 2010-05-03 12:32

    Liiverpool have not only lost the game but their self respect, they have no shame - the days of Barnes, Daglish, Rush and Beardsley are truely over. Steven Gerrard and the bulk of the "so called Liverpool fans" who condoned what they did yesterday should have looked no further than Kenny Daglish's face to see the immense disgust at what was once a proud team - AND NOW POPULATED BY CHUCKERS. It is a shame !!!!!!

  • Lamps_8@The chelsea hate crew - 2010-05-03 12:42

    Damn its Pathetic how upset you all become when you know your team aren't on the Right side of the fence.CFC Worked hard all season to be where they are Right now.United had numerous Dodge Decisions go there Way over the Years and Now that the Blues have 1 up on United,You all have your period!WTF is Wrong with you!Obviously you only Support a team and not the Beautiful game.CFC are taking it so Wipe those eyes and hope for next year you sour grapes,especially AJ.The Cup is coming home to the Bridge,where it belongs

  • AJ - 2010-05-03 13:45

    @Lamps_8: Why so much reference to periods? You seem to actually have one yourself idiot! All decisions have gone Chelsea's way paving their rise to number 1 spot, what we decisons we had far outwiegh the decisions you guys got. Now that is PERIOD! And speaking about the beautiful game????? I actually call diving around and elbowing opponents and using hands to defend very ugly soccer! So go reaserch what the beautiful game is all about before you blow your trumphet you twat!

  • ANFIELD - 2010-05-03 13:50

    i dnt like one bit the way pool played against the blues but i would live with the fact that the EPL will go to the bridge as these UNITED suckers only complian wen nothing go's there way or the way of that old fart of coach of them > always ready to point out faults going aganst them, but yes > just accept the leauge is gone and take your little carling cup and prepare for the next battle ahead.I cn only hope LIVPOOL can learn frm this season and beter. and for those saying that the game was fixed >>> SO WHAT GET OVER IT !!!!! SUCKERS !!!!

  • Never Walk Alone - 2010-05-03 13:55

    @Seeps - You have got to be the dumbest mother f&%$# on this site !!! Go back to school and learn first grade maths - you chop ! Benitez is on his way out - and has been for sometime - I predicted as much half way through the season. Liverpool's demise this season was a combination of Yankee greed and materialism and Benitez's dumb ass player purchases/sales and dodgy team selections ! So we had a bad year - sometimes one has to fail to be able to succeed.LFC are too big a club to allow themselves to continue in this way. They will be a force to be reckoned with in the EPL of that you can be sure.Dalglish and co will never allow another Yankee/Benitez fiasco to develop again at the club. Benitez has lost the respect of the players - and has no choice now but to move on - any decent reputation he had at LFC is now lost due to his stubborness and lack of astute player management. Bye Bye ! @m - bru learn to spell and speak properly then you may be able to read that I am a Liverpool supporter - and merely commented on what I thought was a brilliant piece of match fixing - unfortunately you are not bright enough to interpret my comments properly !

  • Kube$ - 2010-05-03 14:38

    @ UGLY LAMPS With all that financial muscle and high paid salaries, all you can get is the FA cup (AGAINST A BANKRUPT TEAM) and a Premier League and your captain stripped not only of England Captaincy but also stripping for his best mates girl.... Well Done you fcken retard!!!!

  • ivago - 2010-05-03 15:23

    CHELSEA BEAT MAN U, ARSENAL AND LIVERPOOL HOME AND AWAY. IF WE DONT DESERVE TO WIN THE EPL AFTER THAT THAN I DONT KNOW. ONLY MAN U FANS CAN COME UP WITH A REASON EVEN IF A TEAM OUTPLAYED THEM ALL THE WAY.

  • Kube$ - 2010-05-03 15:26

    @ UGLY LAMPS With all that financial muscle and high paid salaries, all you can get is the FA cup (AGAINST A BANKRUPT TEAM) and a Premier League and your captain stripped not only of England Captaincy but also stripping for his best mates girl.... Well Done you retard!!!!

  • Bess Ted - 2010-05-03 17:35

    @Dr Phill, I am referring to Drogba's mile off-side goal against Man Utd, that together with the hard fought game against Bayern, few days before the Chelsea game, when they had a good rest, was the turning point. Same with liverpool this weekend, they were drained from the Europa league.

  • Nobby Stiles - 2010-05-03 17:41

    The weekend papers summed it up nicely even before the game, the rivallry between Man Utd & LFC is so intense, that allowing Man utd to win the 19th title is unthinkable. Losing to Chelsea, will lost to memory, but Utd winning the title will haunt for a long time. The rivallry between Utd vs Chelsea, or Liverpool vs Cheslea is not as fierce as old foes. Chelsea is a flash, like Blackburn, onlya litle longer, has no history, and will pass by one day, everyone knows that.

  • AJ - 2010-05-04 06:57

    @ivago: IDIOT, DUMBA$$, RETARD is what sums up you up! This also applies to everyone else that thinks like this chop! Man Utd beat Man City home and away (Unlike Chlesea), Man Utd beat Spurs home and away (Unlike Chelsea who lost away to them) Man Utd beat Wigan home and away (Unlike Chelsea) Man Utd beat Arsenal home and away and Man Utd beat Liverpool at home! So based on your argument, Man Utd derserves the league?????? Nope MORON!!!! It's the team that that finishes with the most points after 38 GAMES that deserves the EPL league, not who beats Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal over 6 games twat!

  • Lamps_8 - 2010-05-04 08:10

    Excuses Excuses CFC! CAREFREE WHEREVER YOU MAY BE! EPL OR 3rd TIER, WE'RE STILL HERE!! THATS THE BLUE WAY!!! CFC!!!

  • MAGENTS 04 - 2010-05-05 14:55

    Almost done Chelsea

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