A game to forget. A game we didn’t bother to turn up, let alone win. This game was of no importance to us. As I noted earlier, we had given up on the fourth place long back. It was evident from our performance at Emirates. We had used that game as a rehearsal for the Camp Nou match. The only way we want to play champions league next season is by winning it this season.
RDM chose to rest some of our key players. This also meant a very well deserved rest for Petr Cech. No Drogba. No Mata. No Mikel. No Kalou (yeah he’s grown in utility since RDM took over). You would expect the second string to put on a show to make their mark. Or the whole Chelsea FC knows what’s going to be starting eleven at Munich and hence performance in the last couple of league games is not going to have any impact.
Chelsea were listless right from the word go. Losing shape and losing possession very cheaply. Liverpool forwards did a fine job of destroying our shape and organisation at the back and we played into their hands nicely. For the first goal, Suarez had it too easy on the wings. No real trouble or challenge. We knew he could dive but he danced through our defenders effortlessly many times during the game.
Second goal confirmed that it was not going to be our night. Simple cover from John Terry wasn’t possible as got wrong footed and slipped which allowed midfield maestro Henderson to go around a fallen Terry to knock past Turnbull. It was a sweet finish it must be said.
The third goal was another mess. Really don’t know what Turnbull was thinking there. He misread the flight of the ball and went for it only to realise late that he was never going to catch. He couldn’t get back in position in time and fell flat to make it all too easy for Liverpool.
We got one back in the second half when Ramires thought it serves Liverpool right that he scores with his dick. Reina couldn’t stop that shot from Ramires’ dick. A proud moment for any Chelsea fan. And only he was keen to pick the ball up and run up to the centre of the pitch and asked for a quick restart from Liverpool. Rambo doesn’t take any game lightly.
Any hopes of a comeback was put to bed with the fourth Liverpool goal (man, how often do we use this phrase?). This goal summed up the night. Turnbull’s night got from bad to worse and was in the ‘terrible’ zone. Felt sorry for him as he messed up his rare chance in grand fashion. But then I can sympathise if he was unlucky. But he was simply poor.
What was sad was we couldn’t even complain about the poor refereeing last night. Few Liverpool players could have gone with direct reds and double yellows. Liverpool players went scotfree with every damn offence and I’m hopeful that FA charges Suarez and Shelvey with video evidence.
Actually 4-1 flatters our performance. It could have been worse. Apart from the four goals, they missed a penalty and Suarez should have a had couple and we were always ready to concede. The scoreline reminds of that superb afternoon at Anfield in 2005 where Chelsea beat Liverpool 4-1 with a brilliant performance. Lampard was cautioned for his ”finger on lips’ sign to the Anfield crowd. Great game, exactly in contrast with what we saw last night – from scoreline to performance to significance.
When you gift away four goals in an away game like that (and a missed penalty), you don’t deserve anything but a bad defeat. We just didn’t care about this game. I can understand that but try saying this to those travelling away fans who went to Liverpool in this bad weather on a Tuesday night. Felt really sorry for them. Liverpool being really up for this game made things worse for us. They had a point to prove. They wanted to win their last home game. They wanted to make amends for the FA Cup final. We supported them nicely.
Roberto di Matteo, as ever, was super graceful with the media while he got his point across:
I thought Liverpool were the better side. They looked inspired and they scored at the right times as well. It wasn’t the team selection. We have to give credit to them (Liverpool). We have played with these players the whole season and they have carried us so far and we still had a chance with two games to qualify for fourth spot. We were depending on other results (to make the top four) but we have needed everyone to come so far.
We have played 37 games in the Premier League and I don’t think the points we lost today which made the difference. We have lost many points in the whole season. You need to be objective over 37 games. By utilising the strength we had I thought we would be able to reach the final and still have a chance (of the top four) with two games to go. But you know how demanding it has been for us – we have played every three days in the last eight weeks – and I thought tonight I thought a team which was energetic and fresh mentally would give us a chance.
I can’t disagree with a single word he said there but does that justify such a bad performance? Were trying out a new system or approach ahead of the Munich game? I don’t think so. Liverpool are so unlike Bayern to make such experiments and draw conclusions. I don’t want to rate and assess any individual performance on a bad and inconsequential night like this but certain poor efforts stood out. Turnbull was disaster with gloves. Essien will never be what he was. Romeu can be so careless. Sturridge can be selfish, ineffective, pointless and invisible in one game. The ones that cared were Ivanovic, Bertrand and Ramires. Rest wanted to go home.
We have secured the sixth place and made it our own. This would be the lowest points tally and the lowest league table finish since Roman took over. In the season which saw the lowest point in the league might also see the highest point in champions league. And that’s our only hope for playing in the champions league next season.
I can only confirm one thing. This Chelsea team is preparing to give their very best at Munich. And when they do that, there can be only one winner. KTBFFH!