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League Cup

  • November 29, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 40511

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly convert Craig Bellamy assists to send Kenny Dalglish’s side to semi-finals

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly convert Craig Bellamy assists to send Kenny Dalglish’s side to semi-finals

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Andre Villas-Boas' Blues dumped out of the Cup as a virtuoso performance from the Welsh wide man sees the Reds pick up two big wins in nine days at Stamford Bridge

Liverpool are through to the League Cup semi-finals after beating Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly.

The Argentine, who struck in the league match between the sides nine days ago, netted again for the Reds, and Kelly rounded off a well-earned victory for Kenny Dalglish's side.

A minute's applause was held before the game to honour Wales manager Gary Speed after his tragic passing on Sunday. Craig Bellamy had been left out of the Liverpool team against Swansea on compassionate grounds and looked visibly shaken as everyone inside the stadium paid their respects.

Andre Villas-Boas made significant changes to his team, nine in total. Fernando Torres started against his former club alongside Romelu Lukaku, and only David Luiz was retained from the defensive unit that had shut out Wolves on Saturday.

Chelsea dominated the early possession as they looked to build pressure on the Reds’ defence and threatened as early as the third minute.

David Luiz set off on a typically buccaneering run which took him into the Liverpool penalty area, but Sebastian Coates stuck out a leg to challenge Luiz and brought the Brazilian down without taking the ball. Phil Dowd, however, booked the Chelsea man for simulation as he seemed to already be on his way to the ground before contact was made.

The Reds were then presented with a glorious chance to score in the 21st minute when Alex handled Jose Enrique’s left-wing cross, conceding a penalty. the referee's decision was not immediate but was ultimately correct.

Andy Carroll stepped up to take the spot-kick but his effort was woefully poor and Ross Turnbull saved comfortably down to his right, meaning Liverpool have now missed three out of four penalties this season.

The error seemed to spark both sides into life; Chelsea broke down the other end as Florent Malouda and Lukaku combined well and only a strong last-ditch tackle from Coates stopped the Belgian youngster from getting through on Pepe Reina’s goal.

Chelsea began the second half much better with a higher tempo and better attacking intent, Romeu hitting a shot that deflected wide off Frank Lampard.

Just as Chelsea were looking menacing it was Liverpool who took the lead in the 58th minute with another counter. Jordan Henderson drove through midfield and played a perfect through ball for Bellamy, who sprinted into the box and squared for Maxi Rodriguez, who tapped in from six yards to score his second goal at Stamford Bridge in nine days.

The travelling fans were in fine voice and they were cheering again just five minutes later as Bellamy’s free-kick from the left found Kelly unmarked and the youngster nodded in his first goal for Liverpool.

Chelsea instantly responded, sending Juan Mata and Nicolas Anelka on for Malouda and Lukaku. They began to press for a way back into the game and a spell of good possession was worked to Ryan Bertrand, and although his cross was met by Torres his header looped up into Reina’s arms.

Dirk Kuyt was brought on for Bellamy with 10 minutes remaining, the Welshman being given a well-earned standing ovation after a dynamic performance, with another vocal tribute to Gary Speed being paid on Bellamy's withdrawal.

Andy Carroll's clumsy challenge gave Alex an opportunity with a 30-yard free-kick but his effort was skewed badly wide as time ran out for Chelsea.

Indeed, the Blues failed to create a meaningful effort on goal as Dalglish extended his unbeaten run against Chelsea as Liverpool manager and his counterpart Villas-Boas saw more pressure dumped on his shoulders as his side's slump continues.