Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0 aet (agg 2-1). Stamford Bridge 27-01-2015
CFCnet Man of The Match – Eden Hazard
A professional and work man-like performance see a strong Chelsea side show their maturity and brush aside a spirited and decent Liverpool performance once again. The game was as emphatic as the first leg at Anfield as both sides attacked with speed and didn’t allow their opponent any time on the ball.
A game that featured many interesting refereeing decisions from Mike Oliver, which should have certainly seen three players sent off and a clear penalty to Chelsea. The atmosphere was electric and the Stamford Bridge faithful certainly made themselves heard as did the traveling away supporters.
Liverpool were the most threatening in the first half coming close on many occasions, but it was Chelsea who stepped up a gear in the second half and began to control the game and create more chances.
It was drama from the start after 4 minutes when Willian had a shot blocked from the edge of the box by Lucas’s hand, which was stuck out away from his body. Many would have given a penalty, but it was seemingly ignored by Oliver.
Then on 11 minutes the drama increased as Diego Costa clambers over Emre Can standing on his ankle, causing angry reactions from the Liverpool camp. Costa was lucky to stay on the pitch didn’t get booked for it.
Liverpool then began to threaten on 16 minutes when Kurt Zouma, who came in for the dropped Gary Cahill for his pace, mis-timed a header and allowed Raheem Sterling to burst away. But Zouma showed why Mourinho picked him by making a fine recovery run and tackle on Sterling.
It was then on 22 minutes that Mike Oliver missed a clear penalty for Chelsea when Costa turned Martin Skrtel in the box with the defender bringing down the Chelsea man.
Liverpool once again pressured the Chelsea rearguard on 25 minutes as Steven Gerrard catches Branislav Ivanovic ball watching, and Willian fast asleep as he threads a ball through for Moreno to hit one, only to be saved finely by Thibaut Courtois.
The Reds came at Chelsea once again on 29 minutes when Philipe Coutinho easily walks through the Chelsea defence to be met by the human wall that is Courtois. The big Belgium international stuck out a strong foot to deny the tricky Brazilian.
Chelsea survived until half time at 0-0, not managing to get any shots on target. But it was the Blues who threatened first in the second half on 58 minutes when the lively Eden Hazard shimmy’s his way past three Liverpool defenders and shoots narrowly wide.
Mourinho’s side struggled to break Liverpool down and lacked imagination in the final third, even though they continued to control the second half and look more threatening. Costa hits Chelsea’s first shot on target on 60 minutes after some good work on the left by Filipe Luis. Liverpool stopper Simon Mignolet had to re-adjust to save with his feet after a deflection from Skrtel.
The match then continued to be exciting end to end stuff as both sides countered at pace, and it was Chelsea again who came close when Oscar’s cross deflected in to the patch of Costa on 65 minutes putting him through one on one with Mignolet. The stopper wins that dual again and tackles Costa with his feet.
This time Liverpool come back at Chelsea and Sterling finds himself in behind the Chelsea back line, only to be denied by a quick thinking Courtois who was off his line and at Sterling’s feet gathering up the ball.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson had already been booked when he deliberately handled the ball, only to be completely ignored by a poor Mike Oliver, who then bought the game to an end at 0-0, seeing us fall in to Extra Time.
Chelsea came out fighting and star man Hazard earned a free kick over on the right hand side being bought down by Lucas, who had been booked and once again ignored by Oliver. Willian floated over the free kick and it was Ivanovic who rose the highest once again to smash the header beyond a stranded Mignolet to put Chelsea in front.
The remaining period of extra time Chelsea controlled and kept the ball very well, really showing their professionalism. Henderson missed a headed chance where he really should have done better but Chelsea saw it out to go through to the Capital One Cup Final once again.
Mourinho will be sweating it out on the condition of Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, both needing to be replaced after taking knocks, none of which seemed to be too serious.
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