Chelsea survive dramatic tie

2009-04-14 22:56

London - Chelsea survived one of the most dramatic matches in Champions League history to reach the semi-finals with a 4-4 draw against Liverpool in Tuesday's quarter-final second leg for a 7-5 aggregate victory.

Guus Hiddink's side, who will face Barcelona in the last four, came agonisingly close to squandering their 3-1 first leg lead as Liverpool twice pulled within one goal of a remarkable victory at Stamford Bridge.

The great escape looked on when Fabio Aurelio's free-kick and a Xabi Alonso penalty put Liverpool two goals ahead by half-time.

Chelsea staged a superb second half revival as an own goal by Jose Reina was followed by strikes from Alex and Frank Lampard to seemingly put the Blues in control.

But Liverpool had no intention of going out quietly and Lucas and Dirk Kuyt struck to set up a nerve-jangling finish. If the Reds scored again they would go through on away goals, but Lampard finally settled the tie with a minute to play.

For the second successive season, Chelsea have knocked their Premier League rivals out of Europe's elite club competition, but the nerves of every Chelsea player and fan inside Stamford Bridge must have been completely shredded before the Blues finally emerged victorious.

Liverpool, who were without injured captain Steven Gerrard, needed the kind of heroic display they produced to turn a three-goal deficit into Champions League final victory against AC Milan in 2005.

They started as if inspired by the spirit of Istanbul and Fernando Torres surged onto Yossi Benayoun's backheel, only to lose his composure and scuff tamely wide.

The Blues were wary of committing too many players forward and Liverpool, dominating possession as a result, took the lead in remarkable fashion after 19 minutes.

There was no apparent danger when Aurelio lined up a free-kick wide on the wing 35 yards from goal. But Petr Cech clearly expected the Brazilian to send in a cross and put just one man in the defensive wall before taking up a position on the far side of his goal.

Aurelio noticed the gaping hole at Cech's near-post and took full advantage with a cheeky low shot that left the Chelsea keeper rooted to the spot.

Hiddink's team looked devoid of any idea how to defend their lead. Liverpool were tormented by Chelsea's corners in the first leg but now it was their turn to cause chaos from set pieces and they scored again in the 28th minute.

Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantelejo ruled that Branislav Ivanovic had pulled down Alonso in the penalty area as the players challenged for another Aurelio free-kick.

Ivanovic, Chelsea's two-goal hero from the first leg, was now the villain as Alonso picked himself up to dispatch the penalty past Cech.

The Blues were shell-shocked and Hiddink responded by hauling off Salomon Kalou, with Nicolas Anelka replacing the Ivorian.

Hiddink sent his players out early before the start of the second half and Chelsea, finally attacking with some urgency, punished a blunder by Reina to go back in front on aggregate in the 52nd minute.

Anelka surged away from two defenders on the right wing and whipped in a low cross that Didier Drogba nudged goalwards. Reina got his hand to the ball but the Spaniard's feeble attempted save only succeeded in pushing it into his own net.

Another goal for Liverpool would still force extra-time but Hiddink's team-talk had done its' job.

Chelsea were transformed and they scored again in the 57th minute when Alex hammered a ferocious, swerving free-kick past Reina from long-range.

Ashley Cole was booked for obstruction, ruling him out of the semi-final first leg, but Chelsea had the bit between their teeth and Lampard made it three in the 76th minute.

Drogba powered away down the left and crossed towards Lampard, who timed his run perfectly to finish from close-range.

That should have been the killer goal but even then Liverpool refused to throw in the towel.

When Lucas scored with a low strike that deflected off Michael Essien in the 81st minute, it seemed no more than a consolation.

But two minutes later, Chelsea's defence allowed Kuyt yards of space to meet Albert Riera's cross with a close-range header that gave Cech no chance.

Liverpool had to throw caution to the wind now in search of the winning goal and their heroic effort was destined to end in failure as Lampard curled home the equaliser in the 89th minute. At long last, Chelsea could relax.


  • Khathu - 2009-04-15 06:37

    This was none of the best matches i have ever seen, it was so close i was on my feet the whole time when the game was close to the end, well done Chelsea and Liverpool definately meant business too.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 06:44

    What a game!!! U guys give it go Liverpool

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 06:51


  • halu - 2009-04-15 07:14

    Eysh, still hurting, it was a big ask to begin with. Liverpool had a great game, better luck next time. the fact is they have quality and eagerness to win . they really going places though- watch this space. luck was just not on ther side, they lost it in the first round. there is always next time.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 07:15


  • Reza - 2009-04-15 07:25

    Form is temporary but class lasts forever. Liverpool is showing the kind of class that has made them one of the most feared sides in the history of the game and england will soon have the true kings of football back as premiership champions. All pretenders to the throne of the rightful kings will soon give way. I am Red till I die. been at the top, been to the bottom now looking forward to ruling the roost again. Only true supporters will know the meaning in this period of LFC history.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 07:26

    great game of football, both teams epitomising comittment and determination, but there can be only one winner, well done chelsea, now beat barca so u can play MAN U in the final..

  • SHaYa - 2009-04-15 07:29

    Definitely no shame in losing this game, we can hold our heads up high!! WE WILL NEVER WALK ALONE!!!

  • Frank - 2009-04-15 07:37

    The Reds are die hards and no argue about that and as a Chelsea fan i knew we will end on top. Remember every second counts. Viva le Chelsea!!!!!!!!!!

  • TMAN - 2009-04-15 07:39

    What a game,Waiting for Man United to go through.

  • THE SCOUSER - 2009-04-15 07:39

    R.I.P to my fellow 96 KOP'll never walk alone. well played last night guys. just wasn't meant to be. goodluck to arsenal and utd tonight.......

  • Carlsberg - 2009-04-15 07:41

    I don't mind my team loosing after putting up that kind of fight. They just would not give up. It was an unbelievable match, and well done to Chelsea for making it through to the semi's.

  • Richard - 2009-04-15 07:45

    A game of two halfs, Liverpool outplayed Chelsea in the first half but when the second half started so did Chelsea and any team coming back like they did against one of the top four deserves a little respect. Other than a lot of petty fouls which could be said played quite a part in the result it was a good advert for the peoples game. Man United and Football Supporter

  • chris - 2009-04-15 07:58

    Brilliant game guys, however were is Rafa's arrogant comment's now, i heard he was very quite in the press conference. Shame every time he opens his mouth something unexpected happens to his team.

  • Maurice - 2009-04-15 08:27

    Sorry Reds the Blues are the better team.

  • scud - 2009-04-15 08:28

    Alexxxxxxxxx ! man of the match 4 me, good game blues but i am a little bit concerned over selfish play, sometimes a player goes for goal when there are two,three players in good possition to score a goal, it seems at times everyone wants the glory to themselves and you dont win champions league with that kind of play. Blues 4 life

  • Fred The Red Devil ! - 2009-04-15 08:38

    it was a cracker of a game gents! Liverpool definitely put on the pressure! to the Blues fans you guys were just a tad lucky there but well done on sealing the route to the Semis! in my view Liverpool would have won that game IF Benitez didnt take Mascherano soon as that sub was made Lampard had the freedom of the park and you'll notice that both his goals came after Mascherano left the field BIG MISTAKE RAFA thats like letting Gerard run around unmarked!!! Well done Blues and to the Reds well played........theres always ''next season'' !!!

  • Shaheen - 2009-04-15 08:39

    Irrespective of your allegiance it was one for the "Classics Archive". Well done to both teams for putting up such a gutsy performance. At one stage it looked like Liverpool were going through, then Chelsea fought back and took control. Then Liverpool get two quick goals back and were looking to go through until Lampard sealed it right at the death! Neither side gave in and fought until the end. Hats off to both teams

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 08:52

    CLASSIC !!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 08:55


  • Freddy Ngobe - 2009-04-15 08:59

    There's a great difference between just an ordinary football team and an institution. The english football has revealed how the game has developed in every facet. I watched it at the edge on my seat as Liverpool looked determined to go for a kill. Nevertheless, the put a brave fifght only to loose at the end. Hail Lampard - I think he deserve the greatest accolades for a footballer this year. My heart is BLUE, and always will be.

  • Mafa Maphosa - 2009-04-15 09:00

    It is the never say die attitude that make me a proud Reds Fans. These r kinda games that make soccer so entertaining. well done to chelsea. to the Kop let's go for the premeirship now, with that performance the is no stopping us.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 09:07

    SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPA STOKED WE WON..........................BLUES 4 LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nazeem - 2009-04-15 09:21

    As a true Man Utd Supporter, I must take my hat off to both Liverpool and Chealea!! What a game!! Excellent stuff!! Unfortunately there has to be a winner and a loser. Although you are our arch rivals, hats off to Liverpool for never giving up!! Here's to an equally exciting end to the premier season!

  • Sips - 2009-04-15 09:27

    I died many times last night. We done to the Blues. Others may not be walking alone but we are walking tall.

  • sibu - 2009-04-15 09:31

    'the almost made it team' Liverpool! same thing will happen with the premiership league when we(Man U) clinch it AGAIN!!!!

  • S - 2009-04-15 09:34

    What a game!!! Beautiful - both sides were fantastic - well done to CHELSEA!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 09:55

    guys i was so nervous i cud not help but release some gas from behind, my lounge was smelling but i was unmoved, could not even blink coz the minute u open yo eyes wide open there was another goal. my goodness Alexander, that strike was out of the top drawer. Liverpool,what a great fight, but we had to win this one.Blood is Blue!

  • Mario - 2009-04-15 10:09

    What a beautifully game our day is coming lampard is a marvel to watch

  • Brandon Stafford - 2009-04-15 10:09

    another 1 for the record books. As a REDS fan my heart is broken but the performances on the night were what makes this game so good. I am still PROUD to be a supporter of one of the best teams in Europe.

  • Thami Ndlovu - 2009-04-15 10:15

    Indeed, that was the greatest match of all the time. Everything was there, i.e. team work, individual skills, tactical awareness resulting to so goals, you name them - wow. I just wonder whether Man United & Porto will be able to produce that kind of ecstacy. If Steven G was there in the heart of Liverpool, surely the outcome was going to be different. Anyway good luck to those playing today.

  • SHaYa - 2009-04-15 10:28

    How's this for a joke: Liverpool unfortunatey ate chelseabuns last nite, it came out the @sshole (Arsenal) as Manure (Man UTD).... lol

  • Sello Mampane - 2009-04-15 10:43

    Indeed the match was a classic. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of the game. The English Premiership is the currently the best in the whole world. Viva the Blues. To Liverpool, you were not disgraced

  • MP - 2009-04-15 10:54

    football fans/supporters that don't acknowledge MAN U as a class act and the kings of football for last 19 years dont know much about football. Your allegiance to a club should not cloud your vision to success when it is being enjoyed by another club...eish reza you so wrong

  • Sello Mampane - 2009-04-15 10:57

    Indeed the match was a classic. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of the game. The English Premiership is the currently the best in the whole world. Viva the Blues. To Liverpool, you were not disgraced

  • thisile - 2009-04-15 11:02

    The best 93 min of Football eva.Now I know why I support European football.Both teams were brilliant.Well done blues!!!!Barca next and then Man Utd.

  • Rishard - 2009-04-15 11:14

    Fantastic advertisement for English Premiership. Man U faltering on all fronts and Chelsea + 'Pool demonstrating that the League run in is not over. Being a Man U fan, I am worried.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 11:21

    guys lets hope we united fans , will be celebrating today .lets show liverpool how to win under pressure . We are the real REDS. GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED .

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 11:26

    very funny Shaya, however u shud note there is a thin line btween artificial humor and natural stupidity, as for MP chill 4 a while we will talk about Man U tomorow, let Liverpool and Chelsea shine for now, we cant deny they played out of this world football last nite, it will take sometime to see that again.No amount of silverware can replace what we witnessed from these two giants, Blue is the colour. Man u phola!

  • Shankly's Kin - 2009-04-15 11:27

    Brilliant. Simply brilliant. This is Football. This is what it should be about. It was like a heavyweight championship bout, pound for pound, blow for blow. Really great game of football. To all Reds, Walk On. And we can all do so with our heads held high. The display last night epitomizes what Liverpool Football Club is all about. Shanks himself would've been proud. The fighting spirit was there, and in the end, them giving their best is all that matters. That's why I love this club. Credit to Hiddink and his boys. Good luck to them. May they get there re-match with United in the final, and win it. As for us, we'll keep pushing United to the end and make the Premiership race interesting and pulsating until the last day. This CL tie just proved that in football, anything can happen.

  • shafi - 2009-04-15 12:06

    so close, yet so far, what a game of football, no words to describe it, credit to Chelsea, Liverpool played their hearts out, just to be pipped at the post, not to worry, The Reds will bring home the premiership come end of the season, you go Reds, all the way.

  • maxie - 2009-04-15 12:25

    As a Man U supporter I really wasnt that interested but after the first 10 mins I couldnt stop watching. What a game!! What was worrying was the amount of space Lampard was allowed which he made them pay. Also, a lot of people are critical for Ronaldo diving and falling but every time I saw Drogba he was on the floor and took 5mins to get up!

  • MP - 2009-04-15 13:26

    To the anonymous user, the blues have a long way to go before it can ever emulate the reds thats a fact,check the football archives. Even if we dont win tonite no matter.. MAN U FOR EVA

  • Gunner - 2009-04-15 13:34

    I have to agree with maxie, Drogba spoiled the spirit of the game with his deliberate falling around the edge of the area, damn i hate such players, thats y the fool dont score crucial goals anymore, how i hope we whip their arses in the FA Cup semi's the weekend

  • SBU - 2009-04-15 13:53

    The red is red today the wiil cry red tears.

  • Nigel - 2009-04-15 14:05

    The Reds played with heart,The game brought a lump to my throat,To go down fighting now thats the spirit.Reds fan for life!. Great game Chelsea.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 14:19

    MP, dont hate, the lesson dished out by Liverpool and Chelsea last nite is called "Footballology", hope u learnt something,Chelsea and Liverpool will assess your performance tonite and give you your marks tomorrow.forget about archives, beat Porto convincingly tonite and then sing your praises.

  • SHaYa - 2009-04-15 14:30

    All of a sudden everyone is a blues fan......

  • MP - 2009-04-15 14:49

    No hating anonymous, just drawing your attention to the facts, called learnology. Check it out you will be inspired, maybe even convert not too late, I HAVE MEMBERSHIP FORMS AVAILABLE.

  • naphy - 2009-04-15 15:51

    Liverpool have to be one of the luckiest clubs in history. The first two goals were just a gift from the football gods and although I admire a lot about Liverpool I'm glad Chelsea are through, they truly deserve it.