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Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea (FT)
19.52 – You’ll notice there’s no Steven Gerrard in the Liverpool team tonight. Kenny Dalglish has told Sky he has “a back strain,” but indicates it isn’t particularly serious.
Chelsea also have a few notable absentees, as they are clearly saving a number of players for the Champions League final.
19.57 – Just to verify that Chelsea need to win tonight to keep their feint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League (via the league at least) alive.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have little to play for other than their pride.
20.12 – Perhaps somewhat surprisingly given that Chelsea have more to play for and also have the extra confidence provided by their FA Cup victory, Liverpool look more up for this game so far.
Kenny Dalglish’s side have had the lion’s share of the possession and the majority of the game has been played in the visitors’ half.
20.18 – Cynical foul by Ferreira on Suarez to stop the Uruguayan international starting a counter-attack. The full-back is rightly booked for what was a professional foul.
Meanwhile, for Chelsea, Ivanovic has just hit the post with a header from a corner.
20.44 – Downing almost scores his first Premier League goal of the season, as his half volley from outside the box hits the crossbar.
It seems that Liverpool, and in particular their new signings, are belatedly beginning to deliver on the promise they were expected to fulfill from the start of the season.
20.58 – So at half-time, Liverpool deservedly lead Chelsea 3-0.
From the very start of this game, they looked the sharper, more determined side and it’s one of the few occasions this season where they’ve played to their potential.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have reinforced many people’s suspicions that they aren’t taking this game particularly seriously, just as their team selection had initially suggested.
Yet irrespective of the importance (or lack thereof) they’ve attached to this game, Chelsea will be concerned at their all-too-frequent defensive lapses, and in particular, the below-par performance by John Terry.
21.02 – While we’re waiting for the second half, here’s a quick poll:
Do Liverpool’s relatively recent signings (such as Carroll and Henderson) deserve another season to prove their worth?
21.05 – Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Liverpool have not missed this man tonight (Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images):
21.09 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
21.45 – Essien woefully overhits a free-kick in a decent position – it’s been that kind of a night for the visitors.
If some of the Chelsea players playing tonight have aspirations to feature in the Champions League final, they are ostensibly playing themselves out of contention with their performances tonight.
21.48 – The injured midfielder is impressed by what he sees:
21.52 – Good interplay from Suarez and Kuyt around the box, before the former fails to properly connect with his shot, scuffing it just wide.
Meanwhile, Andy Carroll, despite not scoring, has been named man of the match. I personally would have gone for Suarez, who has caused the visitors problems all night, and set the tempo for the game with his fantastic run for the first goal.
22.15 – Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll are now being interviewed by Sky.
Henderson says that “maybe there was a little bit of revenge we wanted to get” (in reference to their cup final loss).
He admits that he “needs to score more,” but claims he is “happy overall” with his season.
Carroll also says he is “happy” with his season, explaining that he’s “been through a lot”.
22.23 – Roberto Di Matteo says “Liverpool were better tonight,” adding that “they scored at the right time”.
He claims he has “no regrets,” in reference to his decision to rest a number of Chelsea’s regular first-team players.
He says “I don’t know,” when asked if he’ll play his first-team regulars in the club’s last game of the season.