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Liverpool v Chelsea: Man marking

08 Apr 2009 22:23:02

Liverpool v Chelsea: Man marking

LIVERPOOL Pepe Reina 7Produced one fine save, standing up when Drogba raced clean through, but his occasional set-piece jitters seemed to have returned.  Related ArticlesIvanovic heads Chelsea towards last fourChampions League actionMessi leads Barcelona in Bayern routLiverpool v Chelsea: John Terry seeks Champions League redemptionLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard agrees two-year contract extensionLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard keen to extend Anfield contractAlvaro Arbeloa 7Defensively sound, doing his best to keep a lively Malouda occupied, and showed further signs of his development as an attacking force, providing the cross for Torres' opening goal. Jamie Carragher 6Struggled to contain Drogba's raw power. Lost the Ivorian twice in the first half but denying his shot on the line at the start of his second proved his quality. Martin Skrtel 6Solid, dependable and more of a match than Carragher for Drogba's impressive strength, but still looked rattled and nervous by Chelsea's impetus. Fabio Aurelio 5After an impressive few weeks, Aurelio, rested at the weekend to save him for this tie, looked sluggish and uncertain on the ball. Booked. Xabi Alonso 7Lost Ivanovic for Chelsea's equaliser, but was much more comfortable with his attacking duties, spraying passes with his usual class. Lucas 5A replacement for the suspended Mascherano, Lucas battled well but could not impose himself in a midfield battle waged by some of the best in the world. Dirk Kuyt 6Industrious, as ever, on the right hand side and almost gave Liverpool an immediate response to the equaliser from Torres's dummy. Steven Gerrard 6With Michael Essien deputed to patrol the areas the Liverpool captain works from, he could not enjoy the sort of influence he has in recent weeks. Albert Riera 6The Spanish international could not be faulted for application, like many of his team-mates, but offered little threat in attack. Substituted. Fernando Torres 7Took his goal beautifully and was a constant thorn in Chelsea's side. Went close with two other chances and ran himself into the ground. Rafa Benitez 6Sticking with the tactics which have served Liverpool so well recently was the right choice, but failed to end his side's anxiety and nervousness at half-time. It cost them dear. Subs: Yossi Benayoun (Riera, 67) 6The introduction of the little Israeli injected a degree of urgency into Liverpool's play, but he had little time to make a difference. Andrea Dossena (Aurelio, 75) 5Seems more comfortable in an advanced role, rather than the left-back berth he was bought for, and struggled after his introduction. Ryan Babel (Lucas 79) 5The young Dutch international is Liverpool's game-changer on the bench, but is rarely given enough time to fulfil his role. CHELSEA Petr Cech 7Had no chance with Torres's goal, but his save to deny Kuyt just after the equaliser was of the highest quality. Branislav Ivanovic 7His first two Chelsea goals, both almost identical, made him the first Chelsea player to score at Anfield in the Champions League. A good night's work. Alex 6Struggled early on and was at fault for Liverpool's goal, failing to pick up Torres as he loitered on the edge of the box. Rarely troubled after that. John Terry 7Although Torres's movement proved a headache, the England captain was not as stretched as he probably presumed he would be. Booking means he will miss the return leg. Ashley Cole 6Playing more of a reserved role than he is used to, Cole stuck to his task admirably and did little wrong. Michael Ballack 6Started brightly, looking a considerable threat from deep, but his contribution soon descended into a series of niggling fouls. Michael Essien 8Almost entirely negated Gerrard and, while he could not raid as much as he likes to, remained disciplined throughout. Frank Lampard 8His corner provided the second, a fitting reward for a player who first wrested control from Liverpool and then ran the game. Salomon Kalou 6Started brightly, almost setting Drogba clear, but faded as the game went on. His work-rate can never be faulted, though. Didier Drogba 8More than made up for two misses in the first half with the third, and probably decisive, goal, a simple tap in from a Malouda cross. Florent Malouda 8Laid on two of the goals, defended stoutly and worked hard. Often a target of derision for the Chelsea fans, Malouda proved his quality here. Guus Hiddink 8Where Mourinho failed, Hiddink succeeded, out-thinking the European guru. His masterstroke of leaving out an anchorman and employing Essien to control Gerrard worked perfectly. Subs: Nicolas Anelka (Drogba, 80) 7Brought on to stretch Liverpool's creaking defence with his pace and did just that, helping the visitors keep play at the right end of the field.


Telegraph

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