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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
April 21, 2013
• 11:00 AM
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 45009
D. Sturridge 52'
L. Suárez 90'+
E. Hazard 57'
As for Liverpool, the point keeps them in seventh place, five points behind Everton, and after the effort they put in today they will be more than happy with the point. Suarez's goal felt like a match winner, and that might prove to be his last contribution for Liverpool for quite a while if the FA decide to punish him harshly for his bite on Ivanovic. The outcome of that investigation will be extremely interesting, to say the least...
My word, what an incredible end to an incredible game! Suarez, the man in the middle of all of today's talking points scores a last minute equaliser to deny Chelsea the opportunity to move back into third place. The Blues stay in third, one point behind Arsenal, but with a game in hand, and also just one point ahead of fifth-place Tottenham.
FT: Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
90' + 6'
90' + 6'
90' + 6'
GOAL: Suarez (who else?) scores the equaliser with the last touch of the match! He heads down a long ball into the path of Sturridge who crosses back in to the Uruguayan in front of goal and heads in past Cech to steal a point for Liverpool. Astonishing. 2-2!
90' + 5'
The pressure continues and Suarez this time tries to find the all-important equaliser with a shot in an almost identical position to Shelvey, but it sails comfortably into the arms of Cech.
90' + 4'
Suarez turns and tees up Henderson inside the box but his side-footed attempt on goal flies wide of the far post, much to the relief of the pressurised Chelsea defence.
90' + 2'
Corner for Liverpool after Shelvey's attempted cross is deflected out of play. Shelvey then picks up the ball just outside the penalty area but his shot blazes over the bar.
Six minutes of added time will be played.
The chances are coming in thick and fast for Liverpool but Chelsea remain strong at the back and clear wave after wave of the red onslaught.
Dangerous late challenge from Sturridge leaves Bertrand injured on the floor and Liverpool decide to play on, much to the anger of the visitors. A short scuffle erupts once the ball is finally cleared out of play which involves Carragher, who is currently on a yellow card, in the centre of the disagreement.
Shelvey has the perfect chance to equalise for Liverpool after great build-up play from Sturridge and Henderson but he scuffs his shot wide of the near post.
After further examination, as a precaution Oscar is taken off and replaced by Moses.
Yellow CardJonjo Shelvey
Shelvey replaces Downing and almost immediately goes into the book for a poor challenge from behind on Oscar. The Brazilian hobbles off the pitch to receive further treament.
Plenty more pressure from Liverpool as we enter the final ten minutes of the game but, with plenty of men back behind the ball, Chelsea refuse to let the hosts through on goal.
Hazard leaves the field to be replaced by another ex-Liverpool player now playing for Chelsea, this time in the form of Benayoun.
Sturridge, who has been fantastic since he came on, dinks over a lovely dipping cross towards the far post but it's headed out for a corner by Azpilicueta. The corner is then dealt with by the Chelsea defence and sent long into Liverpool's half and away from danger.
Suarez slaloms his way through the bulk of the Chelsea defence and fires in a shot from the edge of the area but it's straight at Cech.
Chelsea press for a third and Oscar's shot on goal is deflected out for a corner by Downing.
Ivanovic was complaining to the referee that Suarez had bitten him and the replays show that it looks like the Uruguayan actually did. It was missed by Kevin Friend but it will be interesting to see what the FA do about the incident after the game has finished...
Suarez takes the free kick but his attempted shot is poor and it rolls wide of the goal.
Carragher's brought down right on the edge of the penalty area by Luiz and the referee awards a free kick. Carragher is furious, however, as he is adamant that he was challenged inside the box.
Oscar gives the ball away cheaply to Suarez who embarks on an attacking run, but the bulk of the Chelsea defence are able to rush back from their attacking positions and shepherd the ball out for a corner.
Yellow CardJamie Carragher
Former team-mates Carragher and Torres clash again, and this time it's the man in red who is the offender after he stuck out a late foot which caught the Spaniard on the top of the foot.
The hopeful and ecstatic Anfield atmosphere has soured once again, and it's seemingly having an effect on the players as they find it difficult to get forward and push for another equaliser.
Penalty GoalEden Hazard
GOAL! Reina makes Hazard wait to take the spot kick but his tactics do nothing to put off the Belgian, who calmly fires low into the bottom left corner of the goal. 2-1 to Chelsea!
Yellow CardLuis Suárez
Yellow CardLucas Leiva
PENALTY! Suarez raises his arm above his head and makes contact with Mata's corner, leaving Kevin Friend no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Yellow CardCésar Azpilicueta
GOAL! Suarez picks out Sturridge in front of goal with a wonderful cross and the ex Chelsea player taps the ball past Cech for his fifth goal since his move to Anfield. 1-1!
Chelsea reply with a dangerous attack of their own: Ramires finds himself with the ball on the edge of the box and pokes it through the legs of the defence and into the path of Torres. The Spaniard settles himself and plays it into the centre of the penalty area but it's sent out for a corner by Carragher.
And now Sturridge hits the post! He turns and fires from long-range, beating Cech but not beating the post. Johnson then picks up the ball and drills it across goal but no one is there to get the all important final touch for the equaliser.
Sturridge immediately gets involved in the action as he darts from the right flank into the centre of the field before putting the ball through to Gerrard in front of goal, but Cech sticks out a foot to push his shot out for a corner.
And we're off again!
Sturridge indeed does come on to face his former side, and it's Coutinho who he replaces.
Sturridge has been warming up during the break and looks like he might be coming on for the second half.
Our man Wayne Veysey is at Anfield and here are his thoughts on the first 45 minutes of action: "The home support are a little frustrated at the end of an opening period in which Chelsea have not had to play too well for their 1-0 lead. Liverpool controlled possession either side of Oscar's headed goal but it took them until the 42nd minute to force a meaningful save from Petr Cech through Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan again went close on the cusp of the break and is absolutely integral to Liverpool's hopes of a second-half comeback."
Chelsea lead at the half time break thanks to Oscar's headed goal after 26 minutes. Liverpool started the stronger of the two sides but the visitors' confidence grew as the half wore on. It's been a successful first 45 minutes for Benitez on his return to Anfield, but there's still plenty of time left for the hosts, who have shown a few flashes of great play during the opening period...
HT: Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea
One minute of added time will be played.
Another shot on goal from Suarez after a great ball through the heart of the Chelsea defence by Henderson but his shot rolls into Cech's arms.
Plenty of long-range efforts coming from Liverpool at the moment but the visitors hold firm, block the shots and get rid of the danger.
Great move from Liverpool down the right results in Suarez firing a close-range shot at Cech, but the Chelsea goalkeeper is able to parry the ball away from danger.
Oscar nips in and wins the ball from Gerrard before embarking on a run down the left flank. He cuts in and sets up Ramires but runs into trouble and Liverpool clear up the pitch.
Yellow CardFernando Torres
Torres and Carragher both rise for the ball and the former Red catches the veteran with his arm, sending him tumbling to the floor. The Spaniard receives a yellow card from referee Kevin Friend for his actions.
The roles seem to have reversed as Chelsea are now fully on the front foot and Liverpool are lacking ideas when they push forward.
Suarez almost makes contact with a deflected Coutinho cross from inside the left of the box but the Uruguayan mistimes his headed effort and Cech is able to save comfortably at his near post.
Yellow CardJordan Henderson
Cynical challenge from behind by Henderson on Hazard results in him receiving the first yellow card of the game. Luiz fires in a bouncing shot from the resulting free kick which Reina has trouble with and almost fumbles into his own net, but the ball bounces just before the goal line and he's able to smother it before it rolls into the net.
GOAL! A promising Liverpool attack turns into a swift Chelsea counterattack and results in Hazard winning Chelsea's first corner of the game. Mata swings it in and Oscar, one of the smallest players on the pitch, beats his marker and deftly heads in at the near post for the opener. 1-0 to the Blues!
Oscar attempts a long-range effort but it's poor and bounces well wide of the Liverpool goal.
Mikel and Suarez clash again. This time, the Nigerian brings down the pacy Uruguayan near the halfway line and gives away another Liverpool free kick, allowing the hosts to break away on another attack.
Hazard tees up Ramires on the edge of the Liverpool box, but the Brazilian's rocket effort is straight at Reina and the Spaniard is able to punch the ball away to safety.
Suarez and Henderson combine well to force a corner for the hosts, and it eventually ends up with Downing on the edge of the box. He tries to curl a long-range effort into the top left corner of the net but his execution is disappointing and Cech watches it fly wide.
Good passing play from a Chelsea side that are now more noticeably settled than they were five minutes ago. Hazard, Oscar and Mata are all involved in impressive build-up work in the centre of the field before the ball ends up with Ramires on the right wing, but he puts it out of play for a goal kick as he attempts to beat Enrique.
After a frantic start, things have slowed down slightly now as Chelsea find themselves getting more and more comfortable on the ball.
Slow start for Chelsea as the hosts have dominated the majority of possession in the opening ten minutes. Every time the visitors try to push forward, Liverpool hold firm, steal the ball and embark on another attacking movement of their own.
Free kick for Liverpool in a dangerous position on the left of the box after Mikel brings down Suarez. Gerrard sends the ball into the box but Mikel clears it out of the box to Henderson but he blasts his attempted shot way over the crossbar.
Beautiful passing play from Liverpool leads to Suarez on the edge of the box who sets up ex-Blue Johnson but his poked shot goes wide of the post.
Problem for Agger as he lands awkwardly when fighting for the ball with former team-mate Torres. He seems to be holding the side of his hip in some discomfort.
Good early pressure from Liverpool. Johnson crosses in from the right but it's slightly too long for Coutinho to get on the end of.
And we're off!
A minute's silence takes place before the game gets underway to honour the memory of Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams, whose son died in the disaster, as well as for the victims of the Boston bombings.
The two sides are making their way onto the pitch to a cacophonous welcome from the Anfield faithful. The reception is a positive one as well for their former boss Rafael Benitez.
Brendan Rodgers makes just one change to the Liverpool side that drew 0-0 with Reading last weekend, with Downing replacing Sturridge, who drops to the bench, whilst former Reds manager Rafael Benitez makes three changes to the Chelsea side that beat west London rivals Fulham midweek, with Lampard, Terry and Moses to be replaced by Mikel, Azpilicueta and Oscar.
CHELSEA XI: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Torres. SUBS: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Lampard, Benayoun, Moses, Ba
LIVERPOOL XI: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson; Downing, Coutinho, Suarez. SUBS: Jones, Skrtel, Coates, Shelvey, Coady, Assaidi, Sturridge
First, let's see how the two sides line up...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Liverpool vs. Chelsea. My name is Ben Cullimore and I'll be keeping you up-to-date with all of the action from Anfield. With both sides desperate for the three points on offer as the season comes to an end, today's clash is certainly going to be an exciting one!
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