Liverpool (1) Chelsea (1): We Knew Good Wouldn’t Be Nearly Enough

The highlights

Considering the quality of the opposition, getting out of Stamford Bridge with a point isn’t a bad result for Liverpool; now, given their situation, it did them absolutely no good whatsoever with the prospect of qualifying for next seasons Champions League now well and truly off the table.

Blues skipper Jon Terry set the pace for the opening exchanges when hooked around the amassed visitors before leaping over Rickie Lambert to nod home Cesc Fabregas’s well taken corner before the match every truly got under way. With the title already in their pocket, the hosts started to look a bit lethargic before the break and they were punished accordingly when the object of the crowd’s incessant ridicule in Reds captain Steven Gerrard pulled his side level with a header of his own. Unfortunately, that’s all we could muster.

To be fair, the result wasn’t all that surprising; maybe it’s different if Fabregas is rightly shown a red card for his terrible tackle on Raheem Sterling within a minute of kick-off, maybe it’s different again if the Spaniard gets a second yellow for dragging down the same player by the shorts not long after — that’s neither here nor there and hardly matters at this point. That, love it or hate it, is football and to whine about the trivialities of it at this point and time isn’t worth the key-strokes.

In the end, there’s a good reason that Chelsea are the champions just like there’s a good reason that Liverpool will be playing in the Europa League next season; as per usual, there was no seasoning or spice to the Reds attack. Often times the two teams cancelled each other out during the first half with either one going off the boil at points, but the visitors looked like they were going to bubble over during the second half with their approach play chalk full of pepper only to have their presentation in the final third end up bland and unpalatable.

Pictures from the Bridge

Their hosts were hardly the epitome of flavour and panache, but they don’t have to be. The argument that Jose Mourinho’s teams are boring can always be neutralized with the fact that they’re always extremely hard to beat — especially at Stamford Bridge.

Lacking the almost pre-requisite swagger one would expect from a team that just secured the Premier League trophy, the Blues instead were content to do what they do best; contain, frustrate, counter, and most importantly, pick up points. That, of course, was exactly what they did — though they got a bit of help along the way with the Anfield outfits inability to capitalize on anything resembling a chance the on-going, and unfunny, theme to a season to forget. Gerrard, who left the field with eleven minutes left to play to a standing ovation, was a odd withdrawal considering the scoreline, but by that time the introduction of Nemanja Matic for the hosts on the hour mark had already closed things down.

Philippe Coutinho, quite often the one shining light in the business end of the pitch, saw a deflected effort clawed back by Blues ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois after the Belgian was caught wrong footed before both Emre Can and Jordan Henderson saw efforts fly wide as Liverpool earned themselves what was actually a good point on the road, but we all knew that “good” was going to be nowhere near enough.

Europa League next season? That’s about the speed we’re operating at and unfortunate as it is to say, just about more than we deserved. I can go on about our poor start to the campaign, our inability to capitalize on the slip-ups of other teams and injuries that made what was always going to be a hard job even harder, but it’s not time for that quite yet. We’ve got two matches left and possibly the greatest player in Liverpool’s history to say goodbye to before I tread that territory — honestly, I’m not looking forward to any of it.

Steven

Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

13 thoughts on “Liverpool (1) Chelsea (1): We Knew Good Wouldn’t Be Nearly Enough

  • May 11, 2015 at 4:50 am
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    Moreno alone cost us the points that would’ve seen us in 4th place. Then Lambert, Lallana & Balotelli doing nothing all year. The signings just weren’t good enough. Rodgers said 5th is about right which is bullplop because United were average most of the year.

  • May 11, 2015 at 5:37 am
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    We were average for even more of the year — besides that 13-match unbeaten streak and maybe the first three games of the season, we never looked convincing enough to qualify for the Champions League.

    Blame it on signings, blame it on injuries, blame it on tactics; we weren’t good enough at the end of the day. United, as crap as they are, did what they always do and overachieved in spite of themselves. It was hardly a surprise considering how many titles they’ve won looking second best all season long just to come out on top when it really mattered.

  • May 11, 2015 at 7:11 am
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    Brilliant second half I thought, a lot more fluidity across the front line, but Lambert God love him, just never even looked like he was going to score during any of his time on the pitch.

    Clinical striker and we are talking about a completely different season but then again, that’s not the most enlightened thing to comprehend seeing that it is so obvious it hurts.

    Maybe, just maybe, we go out and get ourselves a few for next season and climb back into CL for 2017

  • May 11, 2015 at 7:53 am
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    Agreed — we looked so much better in the second half until Matic came on. From that point on, we just weren’t mobile enough or getting forward in numbers fast enough to make a real impact. He killed the game — which, of course, is his job.

    As much as the Europa League is seen as a hinderance, I think it’ll help at least somewhat with the recruitment this summer. That being said, it’s not going to be easy to bring in the type of players that we need to truly compete. Sturridge, as great as he is when he’s fit, is going to be a gamble going forward. We need at least one striker on par or better than him that can operate on his own if need be.

  • May 11, 2015 at 8:08 am
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    It was a mixture of all but mainly the players we signed. All the silly mistakes Moreno made over the season really cost us and the attacking players we bought done little. Liverpool made it easy for United. Moreno, Markovic, Lallana, Balotelli, Lambert, none of them had any end product. Whoever signed them should be fired.

  • May 11, 2015 at 9:19 am
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    The transfer policy definitely needs to be reviewed. I can see the logic behind most of our summer signings, but our inability to attract a top class striker after selling Suarez was a serious problem that never was addressed.

    I said it then and I’ll stand by it now — for what we paid for Balotelli, he was worth a punt. That being said, it went well wide of the mark.

  • May 11, 2015 at 11:22 am
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    Moreno is a young fullback who’s come into a new team, country and has been far better than I had hoped in his first season.

    To lay all the blame on this season on his shoulders is overkill in my eyes.

    Lallana is a great player that has suffered from injury and I’ll maintain that he makes our first team better when he plays.

    Markovich just hasn’t been utilised as well as I’d have liked but is still a promising talent.

    Where we dropped points, it literally came from having no strikers that could score. That’s where this season has gone wrong and that must be the first thing we rectify this summer.

  • May 14, 2015 at 2:01 am
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    I would also suggest that even with the ST problem the decision to play Lovren over Sakho (favoritism by BR for Lovren) not only directly cost us points but also destroyed Mignolets confidence costing us even more points is also a huge factor… However even with that factor BR giving up after we got beat by the gunners was the final straw, I was saying that United are shit and will drop points and they did and if we did not give up we would have earned more points and been in top 4.
    In other words it is the managers fault.
    Disclaimer I think we could have a far worse manager then BR and I think Lovren has some good abillities, but both have made mistakes that coast us a lot of points.

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