Chelsea walks alone; Liverpool joins the chasing pack

What was built up as a showdown between Andy Carrol and Fernando Torres started off with neither of those men on the pitch.  It has to be said though that this match up is much bigger than those two players combined.  Not only because of the poor form Torres is in but the history of this match-up, and the quality of the other players on display.  We recall that Liverpool got the better of Chelsea in both meetings last year.

With Didier Drogba getting the start over Daniel Sturridge and Suarez up against the likes of John Terry, what more could we ask for?  Brazil, the football mecca was well represented in the form of David Luis, Lucas, and Ramirez. Argentinian Maxi Rodriqez was also on show facing the English lads John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole of Chelsea with Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson and Stuart Downing in the Liverpool squad. It promised to be a fluid affair and the supporters at Stamford bridge were upbeat.

The pace started off briskly and with Andy Carrol warming up after only half an hour speculations were abound. It was maxi who took the highlight of the half however striking in the 34th minute after a terrible mistake from John Obi Mickel.  Meanwhile David Luis shows how much of a "hot head" he is, having multiple encounters with the Liverpool players.  One wonders how effective he is in that position, and the wisdom behind his utilization at the back.  He loves to go forward and he has great attacking instincts but he is a little exposed at the back. The half eventually ended with Chelsea down by a goal with little to show, besides a close free kick from Drogba which went inches wide.  Andy Carrol failed to take the pitch and Torres remained unused.... Read on....

The second period started off much the better for Chelsea, inspired by the injection of Daniel Sturridge who replaced the culpable Mickel.  Meanwhile the anticipation was heightened as the crowd started to get a bit more involved in the game. The anticipation peaked when the attacking prowess of Sturridge paid off with a useful tuck in for a goal in the 55th minute.  It was the result of some nice build up play on the back of a few sustained attacks.  With an hour gone Torres was sighted on the touchline getting warmed up, while Jordan Henderson prepared himself for an appearance, replacing Bellamy in the 66th minute.

The game eventually went flat for a while splashed with the occasional spark - most notably an overhead attempt by Malouda in the box.  With 6 minutes remaining and the scores tied, Andre Villas Boas played his final cards.  Two former Liverpool players were brought on, Torres and Mereiles.  This was to have no effect however, because Glen Johnson had other ideas.  In the 87th minute he made a great run from the middle of the Chelsea half to beat his fellow English man Cole and slot it into the left corner for the lead.  The fat lady was already singing ("We never walk alone") when Andy Carrol made a staged appearance replacing the hard working Suarez.

The final score had Liverpool winning 2 - 1 moving up to 6th in the table, joining Chelsea and three other chasers on 22pts.  Chelsea remains 12pts off the pace with their 3rd loss in four games.  Not an exhilarating performance by the EPL standards but a great win for king Kenny as he is affectionately called in England.  Andre Villas Boas on the other hand will have to recede to some chicken soup for his troubles and hope for a turn in fortunes as they travel to Germany mid-week for UEFA Champions league fixture.

Our man of the match is Glen Johnson while the better strategist was Kenny Dalglish. See you next week when we cover the game of the week(13) Liverpool Vs Manchester City