Blue Murder! More misery for Benitez as Gerrard is crocked in Chelsea rout

09 April 2009 08:26
Steven Gerrard will go to hospital for a scan on his groin today after Liverpool's Champions League dream was crushed by Chelsea at Anfield last night.

Liverpool captain Gerrard, who was marked out of the game by Michael Essien, left the field in pain at the end of their 3-1 quarter-final drubbing and the club fear bad news.

High and mighty: Branislav Ivanovic celebrates the first of his two headed goals which stunned Anfield.

The midfielder had surgery on his groin last August and the fresh concern over his fitness added to a night of misery inflicted by two Branislav Ivanovic headers and a Didier Drogba strike after Fernando Torres had given Rafael Benitez's side a sixth-minute lead.

Gerrard had a poor game and could be out for some time, destabilising Liverpool's season and giving more reason for Chelsea to expect to advance to the last four. The teams meet in the second leg of the tie on Tuesday, when Chelsea's away goals should see them through.

 Liverpool 1 Chelsea 3: All the action as it unfolded

Manager Guus Hiddink said: 'We were sloppy to begin with but I have to compliment my players for the way they dealt with the setback and reacted to it. They always do that. They always know they can score. They scent an opportunity and go for it and that is a great quality to have.

'Normally, if a team equalise here at Anfield, they sit back and protect it. But not us. There is a wonderful sense of adventure and it shone through again. The team seem to smell a chance to hurt opponents and they go for it.

Triumph: Hiddink (left) outfoxed Benitez last night.

'It was a shame to lose John Terry for the return leg because of a booking, but we have valuable players who can come in.'

Terry was booked in the 61st minute for barging goalkeeper Jose Reina and was upset at the reaction of home players to his challenge.

The Chelsea skipper said: 'It's not nice to see them crowding around the referee trying to get him to show a yellow card. Reina said to me afterwards it was not a booking and they knew I was one away from a suspension.

'Xabi Alonso cried after he was suspended because of a booking when he clashed with Eidur Gudjohnsen when we met a couple of years ago, but he was involved this time. It is very disappointing.'

Keeper Petr Cech saluted his side's storming recovery and claimed Ivanovic's second header had effectively 'killed' shell-shocked Liverpool. He added: 'Branislav's finishing from balls into the box was really good and his second goal came at the best possible time.'

Ivanovic reflected on his first Chelsea goals since signing from CSKA Moscow for £8million in January last year and said: 'I spoke to John Terry and Alex and they encouraged me to get forward and try to get on the end of crosses.'

Benitez said: 'There were three players round Ivanovic for the equaliser. We gave him a free header and clearly when you have players in the zone, you have to control the space. It is going to be difficult picking my players up, because so many people had such high expectations. It is going to be very difficult to progress now.'

 Liverpool 1 Chelsea 3: All the action as it unfolded


Source: Daily_Mail