Result: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0

Result: Premier League

Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0

It was a case of ‘what might have been’ today for Liverpool as they went down 2-0 to Chelsea in a game that neither side particularly deserved to win. That said, Chelsea took their chances, Liverpool missed what few chances they made.

Nicolas Anelka got the opener for Chelsea – a player who spent six months on loan at Anfield before inexplicably being let go by Gerard Houllier in place of El Hadji-Diouf.

The second came from Florent Malouda, nearly signed by Rafa Benitez before Chelsea made the most of the snail’s pace in the Anfield boardroom at the time, a pace that played such a part in Rafa’s anger at the hierarchy at the beginning of the storm that still goes on between the owners and the fans. Whether it still goes on between the owners and the manager is a point that might be under scrutiny again tonight.

Blame will be thrown around now, and plenty of those on the pitch should be able to find fault with their own performances, but this isn’t the time to fight with each other, it’s the time to make sure everyone is working together, working for the same side. Unfortunately it’s also time for another international break, meaning few of the squad will be together at all in next couple of weeks.

Chelsea: 40 Hilario, 2 Ivanovic, 3 A Cole, 6 Carvalho, 26 Terry, 5 Essien, 8 Lampard, 13 Ballack, 20 Deco (15 Malouda, 76), 11 Drogba, 39 Anelka
Subs: 22 Turnbull, 35 Belletti, 10 J Cole, 15 Malouda, 18 Zhirkov, 21 Kalou, 23 Sturridge
Booked: Essien
Goals: Anelka 60, Malouda 90+1

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 2 Johnson, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 22 Insua (12 Aurelio, 83), 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas (19 Babel, 76), 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 11 Riera (15 Benayoun, 67), 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 5 Agger, 12 Aurelio, 16 Kyrgiakos, 15 Benayoun, 19 Babel, 24 Ngog
Booked: Gerrard

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: David Richardson, Phil Sharp
Fourth official: Steve Bennett

Attendance: 41732

Match Stats: (Chelsea – Liverpool)
Possession: 48% – 52%
Shots on target: 8 – 3
Shots off target: 4 – 9
Corners: 5 – 8
Fouls: 14 – 17

Perfect excuse? Or just a worried Chelsea fan?

Fresh quotes this morning blaming Liverpool’s on-field mess on the owners’ off-field meddling have been attributed to Rafa Benitez, in an “exclusive” by Rob Beasley. But can we believe them?

Rob Beasly, friend to Chelsea FCRob Beasley is a journalist working in London for the News of the World. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have seen him speak on the Sky discussion show “The Sunday Supplement” you’ll probably take much of what he says about Liverpool with a pinch of salt. Especially if what he’s talking about somehow relates to Chelsea, who happen to be the Reds’ opponents today.

Beasley is the one who claimed he had been kept informed of Jose Mourinho’s intentions with regards the England job, right up until the moment he was told that Mourinho wasn’t going to take the job because he’d got a better offer from a club side somewhere. He claimed he got regular texts off Mourinho.

Beasley is also the one who knew about Ashley Cole’s dodgy discussions with Chelsea when still an Arsenal player, he knew about this tapping-up incident before either Arsenal or the authorities did. Considering that the only people who would have known about it then were the player, his agent and Chelsea, it narrows down the possibilities of who tipped him off, and of who wanted to make it harder for Arsenal to hold onto their player.

Reading most of his articles, listening to most of his comments, his apparent love of Frank Lampard and Chelsea jumps out of the page at you, his comments often seeming clouded as a result. The only time he seems to have had a pop at Chelsea was when he claimed – exclusively – that Avram Grant would be gone by Christmas, Steve Clarke within two weeks. That was at the end of September, after a run of four (he put it in caps) games without a win. Both are still there of course. Beasley got it wrong. Did he make it up? Continue reading Perfect excuse? Or just a worried Chelsea fan?