Gerrard: It’s tough but we must get over it.

Steven Gerrard was in tears at the end of the Carling Cup Final after
seeing his team lose 3-2, and to further rub salt in the wound he
scored the opener for Chelsea with an own goal that maybe should have
been saved by Dudek.

Gerrard was obviously downhearted after the defeat, but tried to rally
his team mates and the fans: "We just have to pick ourselves up now and
play for other things. It’s a tough day for us but we have to get over

Liverpool had gone ahead after less than a minute, and hung on until
there were just 12 minutes left, but in the end the effort expended in
holding on for so long meant Liverpool were more tired than their
opponents.  Gerrard said:
"We scored early, maybe too early, and then tried to run the clock
down. We were ten minutes away from winning the Cup ourselves but
credit to Chelsea, they played well. It’s obviously very painful for me
to score the own goal. It’s
been a bad day for me and the team but we have to pick ourselves up now
and stay strong."

Continue reading Gerrard: It’s tough but we must get over it.

Final Score – Liverpool lose

A brave performance from Liverpool proved not to enough to prevent a
defeat in the Carling Cup Final. The final score, 3-2, perhaps made the
game sound like it was full of chances, but it was far from it. Jose
Mourhino was sent off, there were a good few bookings, but in the end
Chelsea got the silverware their Russian owner wanted so badly. This
leaves Chelsea on course for a treble and Liverpool to concentrate on
their two Champions League campaigns – one to win the trophy this
season, and one to be in next year’s competition.

Certainly Chelsea were lucky today, but Steven Gerrard seemed to lose
his ability to turn a game after receiving a heavy knock in the second

Riise’s goal had been the fastest in League Cup history – 43 seconds,
but Steven Gerrard scored an own goal to bring Chelsea back into it.
Gerrard was crying at the end.

Two goal-mouth scrambles saw Chelsea get the score to 3-1 in extra
time. A late goal from Nunez wasn’t enough for a tired Liverpool.

Continue reading Final Score – Liverpool lose

End of normal time – 1-1

Extra time will be played now – at the end of normall time the score
was 1-1.  Jose Mourhino was sent off 10 minutes from the end of
normal time for making a gesture to Liverpool fans. Jerzy Dudek was
injured late into the game, a stoppage which led to 6 minutes extra
being played. Liverpool had no subs left so Dudek had to play on.

More to follow.

Continue reading End of normal time – 1-1

Half-time – Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1

John Arne Riise put Liverpool ahead after just 43 seconds, with a goal
that TV coverage put at travelling at 79.5 miles per hour. Over the
next 46 minutes Chelsea weren’t able to trouble Liverpool too much,
although there were a couple of worrying moments. Hyypia and Traore
both picked up bookings, and Liverpool were also denied what looked to
be a clear penalty when Gerrard was dragged down in the box.

Concentration will be key now for both teams in the second half –
Liverpool have, perhaps sensibly, played quite a safety-first game
since going ahead, and what is said in the dressing room could be key
to the destiny of this year’s Carling Cup.

Continue reading Half-time – Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1

Roof closed, pitch newly-laid.

The Carling Cup Final kicks off in around 15 minutes at the Millennium
Stadium. The pitch was recently re-laid completely for a six-figure
sum, and although the stadium management admit that it doesn’t look as
nice as it should, this is only cosmetic and they are sure that the
pitch will hold up well. The roof is closed for today’s match.

Baros starts on the bench, with Morientes  playing. Whether he
plays as a lone-striker or plays alongside Kewell will be clear once
the game starts. With Gerrard and Hamman likely to play centrally, and
Riise likely to start ahead of Traore on the left-side of midfield, it
leaves it likely that Kewell will play just behind Morientes, with
Garcia on the right.

Alternatively Liverpool could play a 4-3-3 formation. Liverpool have
lost, narrowly, to Chelsea twice this season, so Benitez will be hoping
his tactic close that narrow difference from the previous games.

Continue reading Roof closed, pitch newly-laid.

North v South

Today’s Carling Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool has put so many comparisons up for scrutiny between the two teams.

Mourinho v Benitez – perhaps the two most successful continental
coaches of the last few years face each other in a tactical battle.

Abramovich v Moores – the Russian with the cash to buy most of the
Premiership if rules would allow him to, against David Moores, part of
the family that used to own the Littlewoods empire, but no longer, and
now certainly has less cash to throw around than his opposite number.

Lampard v Gerrard – two English midfielders face each other in the
centre of the park, probably the best two English midfielders, and
their partnership for England is going to be repeated at club level if
you believe all the hype. Which we’d advise you not to. Lampard is at
least spared having to face another of Liverpool’s players – Alonso
won’t be playing due to the broken bones he got from a tackle by
Lampard earlier in the season.

Terry v Carragher – two English centre-backs, who aren’t first choice
for their country. It seems that the England manager will pick Campbell
and Ferdinand first whenever they’re available, with John Terry there
for cover should one be unavailable. Carragher meanwhile has been
transformed from a good defensive full-back, perhaps lacking a little
in the attacking aspects of his game, into Liverpool’s most reliable
player. Due to the quality of defenders he may never be established as
more than a fringe player at international level.

Kewell v Duff – two left-sided midfielders that were strongly linked
with moves to Liverpool from their clubs a few years back. Duff has
been perhaps more effective than Kewell after his move, but neither
have matched the expectations built up for them.

Then we have the Czech v Czech. Or Cech v Baros to be more precise.
Liverpool’s Baros has become a first-choice striker at Anfield after
the departure of Michael Owen, but his excellent performance in Euro
2004 maybe would have done that anyway. His goalkeeper in that
competition faces him today, and hopes to continue his successful run
of conceding very few goals in English football.

Continue reading North v South