Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea: Costa and Cahill strike to down Reds

first_imgDiego Costa’s tenth Premier League goal of the season handed Chelsea all three points at Anfield as they came from behind to beat Liverpool 1-0.The Blues conceded after just nine minutes on Merseyside as Emre Can, who earned a starting spot thanks to his display against Real Madrid, opened the scoring.But Jose Mourinho’s juggernaut resembles an unstoppable force currently and Gary Cahill and Costa netted either side of half time to give them victory, while Brendan Rodgers’ substitutions drew ire from the home supporters as they failed to breach the Blues’ defence for a second time.An early sighter from Emre Can was deflected over the bar by John Terry’s leg as the Reds looked to get on the front foot, while Philippe Coutinho’s attempted volley looped lazily into Thibaut Courtois’ arms.Mario Balotelli, one of those stars dropped for the Merseysiders’ Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, busied himself along the frontline as he looked to win over the home support.And their positive start garnered a goal after nine minutes as Can’s 25-yard effort clipped the puffed out chest of Gary Cahill and, with Courtois body twisted and stranded, hit the back of the net.Liverpool fans sensed redemption on home soil but within 16 minutes the visitors were level, but not without some controversy.John Terry’s header was well saved by Simon Mignolet but rebounded to Cahill who blasted the ball over the line, despite the Belgian goalkeeper’s desperate attempts to keep it out, but there were claims Nemanja Matic had handled it as it made its way to the England defender.Balotelli thought he’d given Liverpool the lead again moments later but his strike, from a Coutinho pass, was ruled out correctly for offside.Brazil star Coutinho flourished in front of the Chelsea defence, who allowed him far too much time on the ball, and his daisy cutter, perhaps surprisingly, forced Courtois into a parry before Branislav Ivanovic cleared the danger.Diego Costa seemed to target Martin Skrtel as the Reds’ defensive weak link and twice fired in shots from the left side of the box as the pair enjoyed a physical tussle.As the game lurched towards the break, mistakes crept into Liverpool’s play but Eden Hazard and Costa failed to capitalise when well placed in Liverpool’s penalty area. Ivanovic, meanwhile, bulldozed his way through a number of red shirts before being denied by Mignolet.Five minutes after the break an acrobatic Costa strike looped harmlessly over the Liverpool goal and with Mourinho ruthlessly hunting all three points he turned to Brazilian winger Willian, who replaced Ramires in midfield.Balotelli, who drifted in and out of the game, earned himself a yellow card while trying to do his defensive duties, and thankfully for the Italian Chelsea couldn’t benefit from the ensuing free-kick, but the Blues were ahead for the first time in the match moments later.Cesar Azpilicueta made a fool of Coutinho, in the right-back position, and his cross was parried straight to Costa who drilled a fierce strike through several bodies and into the goal.Matic was the Blues’ saviour in midweek as his goal saved them from an embarrassing defeat to Maribor in the Champions League and he was in the right place at the right time again, but at the opposite end, as he took a ferocious volley from Jordan Henderson to the head when it appeared goalbound.Rodgers hauled off Coutinho, Can and Balotelli, throwing Fabio Borini, Joe Allen and Rickie Lambert into the fray, but despite considerable more time on the ball as Chelsea’s players dropped back to defend their lead, they failed to get a clear cut opportunity on goal.The men in red were furious with just four minutes remaining as they claimed Cahill had handled deliberately in the box when Steven Gerrard had let fly, but their appeals were waved away by referee Anthony Taylor.Into added time Borini saw his header zip up and over the crossbar but it was all in vain as the final whistle eventually thwarted their quest for an equaliser. 1 Diego Costa and his Chelsea team-mates celebrate last_img read more

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