Liverpool vs Chelsea: 5 Famous Reds Win At Anfield

 7th November 2010

LIVERPOOL   (2)   2   (Torres 11, 44)

CHELSEA   (0)   0

LIVERPOOL: Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Konchesky; Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles (Spearing), Maxi; Kuyt (Shelvey), Torres (N’Gog)

CHELSEA: Cech; Ivanovic (Bosingwa), Alex, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov (Sturridge); Malouda, Anelka, Kalou (Drogba)

For the 4th match in this series I was torn between this one and the one from March 2002 when a last minute Smicer goal won the game for Liverpool.  Then, they were chasing the title and the win took them top.  But in the end I plumped for this match in 2010.  Mainly because it was a rare highlight in the short era of Roy Hodgson at Anfield, and it was such a breath of fresh air from a side who were a shadow of their former selves.

At the start of play Liverpool were lying down in 16th, having already lost 4 league games and suffered the ignominy of being dumped out of the League Cup by League Two side Northampton.  Roy Hodgson had been appointed to replace Rafa Benitez by two owners who by now weren’t even talking to each other, let alone anyone else in the club.  The club was a mess as new owners were hovering to take control and Hodgson’s style of play was far removed from the fare usually served up at Anfield.  When Chelsea arrived in November they were defending Champions and also top of the table, having dropped just 5pts from their opening 10 matches.  Managed by Carlo Ancelotti they’d only conceded 3 goals so far and won their opening two matches 6-0.

Liverpool had gained some confidence from a midweek win at home to Napoli in the Europa League but needed Steven Gerrard to come off the bench and score a hat-trick to overturn a 0-1 deficit going into the last 15 minutes.  To make matters worse for Liverpool, their star striker, Fernando Torres, was off form and had been all season.  Looking increasingly as if he’d rather be somewhere else, the Spaniard, who had burst onto English football scene with 33 goals in his first season.  He’d only been on the scoresheet twice so far this season, but tonight he changed all that.

Liverpool flew out of the blocks and in an atmosphere more reminiscent of Benitez days, the crowd seemed to be noisy out of relief than anything else.  Lucas and Gerrard dominated the midfield and Torres was a menace in attack.  Eleven minutes in and ever industrious, Dirk Kuyt, picked up a ball from Skrtel as he found some space midway into the Chelsea half.  He dinked it over John Terry for Torres to run onto and the Liverpool No.9 had the measure of him.  Torres was in on goal and finished with real confidence.  Something which had been sorely lacking in recent months.

It was all Liverpool as they harried and pressed their opponents who seemed genuinely stunned by how well the home side was playing.  Just before half-time, Meireles stole the ball in midfield and surged towards the Chelsea defence.  He chose Torres to his left who then turned in on his right foot and curled a beautiful shot into the far corner.

Liverpool were in seventh heaven and it was such a relief to finally see them play like that again.  Cech had been well beaten on both goals and Liverpool looked as if they had their striker back.  Many will never forgive Torres for the way he engineered a move from Anfield, but for me that first season of his was one of the best from a foreign player in English football.  I had come into the game fearing we’d get stuffed and in the end we played as well as we ever had done against Chelsea.

 Chelsea were better in the second half but the game was gone.  They’d been outdone tactically although it’s uncertain whether Hodgson just let the players do their thing or whether he had finally understood how to get this team playing.  In the end, Liverpool would win just twice more before the end of the year and Hodgson was replaced by the new owners with Kenny Dalglish given the task of resurrecting the club.  From 12th at New Year to a final place of 6th showed there was something to build on.  Chelsea finished 2nd to Manchester United.

 

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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