- Referee:Wiley, A
Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2: Goals from Drogba and Lampard send Chelsea to victory and to within touching distance of the Premier League title.
Chelsea substitution: Joe Cole comes on for the final minute of stoppage time to replace Nicolas Anelka.
Lamard almost Anelka on the break from the corner, but Babel races back to sweep up the danger. Liverpool break to the other end and Kuyt hits a right-foot shot from the left corner of the area which Cech saves comfortably.
There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this game.
Liverpool are just trying to rally late on here, but it looks to be too little too late for the Reds, who have not managed one effort on target.
Gerrard goes in hard on Ballack and the ball comes off the Chelsea man for a Liverpool corner.
Chelsea subastitution: Yuri Zhirkov enters the fray to replace Kalou who has had another impressive afternoon.
Kepp-ball from Chelsea now, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. Mascherano races in to bring Malouda down on the left and he earns himself a yellow card.
Drogba earns Chelsea a corner on the left as it looks like they're ready to make a substitution.
Benayoun crosses from the right. Kuyt heads goalwards and for a split second it looks like Lucas might get on the end of it, but it sails over his head and Cech collects.
Kalou tracks back well to nick the ball from Mascherano at the expense of a Liverpool corner.
N'Gog does well down the left to tee up Agger, but his right-foot effort from the edge of the area goes away safely for a goal-kick.
Nearly a third goal for Chelsea. They break five on three with Anelka. Lampard goes on the overlap down the right and Anelka uses the space to shoot at goal. Reina saves the first effort and does well to smother as Kalou looked ready to tap home.
Time is running out at Anfield and Liverpool are showing very few signs of being able to create a chance to get back in this game. Gerrard, so often their main man in recent seasons has been largely non-existent.
Ballack takes the free-kick, but it's straight at Reina, who punches away to safety.
Benayoun tries to thread a pass through for N'Gog, but it's too tight and Chelsea easily intercept.Chelsea break to the other end with Drogba and he wins a free-kick 25 yards out when Lucas brings him down.
Liverpool substitution: It's the final change of the day for Rafa Benitez' side. The disappointing Aquilani departs and on comes David N'Gog.
Liverpool work it left for Agger to shoot, but the pass is a little too short and Chelsea close it down and clear. Do Liverpool have anything left to trouble Chelsea and throw one more twist into this season's title race?
Kuyt tries to flick the ball on for Gerrard 25 yards out. Terry brings his hand up and concedes the free-kick for handball. A chance for Liverpool to try to make something happen.
Kuyt does well down the right and earns a corner off of Terry.
Drogba slips and goes into the back of Mascherano. The Liverpool man goes down and the referee wants a brief word with Drogba.
Terry and Kuyt clash heads going for a ball on the half-way line. Terry looks a little stunned but Kuyt stays down requiring treatment.
The corner finds its way to Malouda who hits a lovely left-foot volley from the edge of the area and forces Reina down well to his left to prevent it from finding the bottom corner.
Malouda sends in a cross from the left. The Liverpool defence seems to hesitate and Anelka almost steals in to make it three-nil at the far post. Corner to Chelsea.
The title race has taken so many twists this season, but it looks now as though Chelsea are closing in on the title. Liverpool really don't look like they have enough to get themselves back in it, having been second best since losing the first goal.
Benayoun twists and turns and works space to cross from the right, but Lampard comes across to clear the danger.
Mascherano loses out to Kalou 40 yards from goal. Kalou tries to thread it through for Drogba, but the pass is well overhit and goes safely through to Reina.
Lampard's corner finds Ballack at the near post. He hooks a right-foot around it trying to send it goalwards, but it goes wide of the near post for a goal-kick.
Decent play from Chelsea. Drogba moves into the penalty area on the right and earns a corner off of Kyrgiakos.
Half chance for Liverpool but Alex does well to clear for a corner. It was Terry coming out to clear. He played it striahgt at Babel who almost found himself in on goal, but for the interception of Alex.
Liverpool substitution: Daniel Ayala comes on to replace the injured Carragher.
Carragher looks to be hobbling and he makes his way to the sideline for treatment and I don't think we'll see Carragher back again today.
Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2: Lampard puts Chelsea within touching distance of the league title. Anelka gets in down the right. He squares it for Lampard and he side-foots home from 6 yards to double Chelsea's lead.
Kalou goes past Mascherano again on the left, but this time his cross is easily headed clear. He's proving a real threat for Chelsea this afternoon.
Gerrard plays a long ball forward for Kuyt, who gets in behind the Chelsea defence only to see the flag go up. It looks a really tight decision.
Malouda shoots left-footed from 30 yards, but it's a speculative effort and Reina handles it easily.
Kalou goes by Mascherano and into the corner of the six yard box. He flashes a low ball across the face of goal and Anelka just can't get a finishing touch to it. Chelsea are starting to look threatening.
Kalou plays in Cole down the left wing. His cross is headed clear, but Benayoun handballs on the edge of the area and it's a really dangerous position for Chelsea. Drogba, however, wastes the free-kick, firing straight at the wall.
Liverpool have started the half reasonably well, enjoying a lot of possession but without going anywhere. You just wonder if Thursday night's effort might start to show as this game progresses though.
Liverpool get this second half underway.
Liverpool arguably started the better of the sides and shaded the match until the goal, but since then, Chelsea could have gone on to extend their lead with chances for Lampard, Anelka and Kalou.
Liverpool 0 Chelsea 1: The Chelsea players round on the referee as the half-time whistle blows. They really feel they should have had a penalty just before the break. Drogba's goal though, after Gerrard's underhit backpass, sends them in one-nil up.
Huge shouts for a Chelsea penalty. Kalou nicks in to take the ball ahead of Carragher. He gets into the area one-on-one with Reina, tangles with Lucas and goes to ground, but the referee waves away the protests.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the half.
Liverpool win possession in the final third, but Kuyt then wastes the chance with a sloppy pass inside which Terry clears.
Liverpool had probably shaded this first half until the goal, but they've reaklly struggled to keep the ball since Drogba's goal. It's as though the goal has really affected their confidence and belief.
Liverpool substitution: Maxi Rodriguez comes off injured and on comes Ryan Babel in his place.
Ballack barges into the back of Gerrard on the half-way line and earns himself a yellow card.
Liverpool break with Benayoun at the other end, but his right-wing cross is poor and gets easily headed clear.
Mascherano loses the ball to Kalou, who marches forward towards the area. The ball is worked to Lampard and on to Anelka. Only an interception from Sotirios Kyrgiakos at the expense of a corner saves Liverpool.
Great chance for Chelsea and it was so nearly two-nil. Cole gets in down the left. He crosses low to Lampard on the edge of the area. He takes a touch to steady the ball and curls it towards the far post but just wide.
Ballack brings down Agger on the left 25 yards out and Liverpool have a free-kick. Gerrard whips it in dangerously into the six-yard box, but Kuyt just can't get a touch on it to guide it past Cech.
Liverpool 0 Chelsea 1: Terrible mistake from Gerrard and he gifts Chelsea the lead. He attempts a backpass to Reina 35 yards from goal, but underhits it. Drogba steals in, goes past Reina and slots home.
Gerrard goes past Cole on the right corner of the area. It looks as though he might shoot, but he opts to cross to the far post and the chance goes as he overhits it.
Aquilani twists and turns on the half-way line to gain himself a yard of space, but then plays the pass straight out of play for a Chelsea throw-in. He missed Gerrard by about five yards, having only been 10 yards from him.
Aquilani gets in on goal on the left side of the area. He tries to take a touch, but takes too long to get his shot away and the chance goes. What an opening for Liverpool.
Lucas shoots from 25 yards as Liverpool surge forward. He had options to his right but went for goal and misses by some distance.
Malouda challenges Mascherano on the edge of the Liverpool area. His boot is quite high and Mascherano goes dow under the challenge. Yellow card for the Chelsea man.
Kuyt plays a cros-field ball from right to left for Benayoun. He cuts inside with Agger on the overlap. He shoots right-footed, but it comes away off of the outside of his boot and goes well wide.
Mascherano brings down Ashley Cole on the left, 20 yards out. It's a free-kick to Chelsea in a dangerous position. Lampard takes but straight into the arms of Reina.
After a really open start with shots on both goals, the ball has become a little caught up in midfield, with neither side able to create any chances.
Liverpool are pressing the ball really well in the midfield and in the latest exchange they rush Lampard into giving away possession and force Ballack back towards his own goal.
Malouda gifts the ball to Benayoun. He breaks forward and plays the ball down the left channel for Kuyt, but the Liverpool man makes his run too early and strays offside.
Liverpool are gaining the edge in possession in the last few minutes with Chelsea struggling a little to get any decent spell on the ball. Mascherano gets down the right for the hosts and crosses, but it's overhit and out for a goal-kick.
Liverpool attack down the right with Maxi Rodriguez and win a throw-in on the right, level with the Chelsea penalty area.
The ball is played forward for Drogba who gets beyond the Liverpool defence, but the flag goes up and Liverpool have a free-kick on the edge of their penalty area.
It's been a really bright opening to this game with neither side content to sit back and plenty of open football.
Decent cross from Ivanovic. It reaches Drogba on the edge of the area, who tries to head goalwards, but it ends up in more danger of threatening the corner flag.
Aquilani fires a right-foot shot towards the top corner from 25 yards. It beats Cech but clips the top of the bar and goes over.
Anelka fires a low right-footed shot from distance. Reina gets down well to his right to save and collects the ball at the second attempt. It's been a really open start to this game, with both sides looking to get on the front foot.
Drogba has come to the sideline for some further treatment and we may not see much more of the Chelsea danger man.
Florent Malouda breaks towards the Liverpool goal. He shoots left-footed but hits his shot a little into the ground and it bobbles wide of Reina's left post.
Kalou goes past Mascherano on the left side of the penalty area and goes to ground looking for a penalty. It looks like a dive and the referee waves play on. Didier Drogba, meanwhile is down injured at the other end and requires treatment.
The corner breaks to Mascherano on the edge of the area. He shoots right-footed and it deflects wide again for another corner. It's a really good start for the hosts.
Kuyt lays it right into the path of Maxi Rodriguez. He shoots early from outside the area and it deflects away for a Liverpool corner.
Gerrard loses possession in a dangerous area. The ball breaks to Lampard who shoots right-footed from 25 yards, but it squirms away off the outside of his boot and goes wide of Pepe Reina's left-hand upright.
It's a packed Anfield and there is a real buzz around the stadium as the visitors kick off.
In addition to being on for a domestic league and cup double, Carlo Ancelottis team also need another six goals in their final two matches, to surpass their top flight record of 98 goals in one season.
Liverpool are also unbeaten in their last five league matches and the last 10 at home. Chelseas away form, meanwhile, has also been somewhat disappointing just 10 points from the last 21 available.
Chelsea will be looking for a third double over Liverpool in the last six seasons. However, Liverpool are unbeaten against the Blues in the last three at home, winning two.
The two clubs are more than familiar with each other, with this being the 26th meeting between the teams in all competitions in the past six years.
John Terry returns from suspension for Chelsea and Ashley Cole takes another step towards full fitness after his broken ankle injury.
Leading scorer Fernando Torres is still missing from Liverpools line-up and Rafa Benitez has opted to go with Dirk Kuyt in attack for the home side, with Ryan Babel dropping to the bench.
That, coupled with Evertons failure to take all three points at Stoke yesterday and it all adds up to Liverpool having very little to play for this afternoon.
After victories for Tottenham and Manchester City yesterday, Liverpools hopes of Champions League football were all but extinguished.
Victory for Liverpool, however, and they will hand fierce rivals Manchester United the initiative in the title race and make them favourites to surpass the record of 18 titles held by both clubs.
Chelsea could take a huge step towards winning the Premier League title with victory over Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon. The title race could even be over if Chelsea win at Manchester United fail to win at Sunderland.
Chelsea team line-up: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Ballack, Malouda, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka
Liverpool team line-up: Reina, Mascherano, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Agger, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Aquilani, Benayoun, Kuyt
Chelsea's Premier League title credentials will be put to the test at Anfield on Sunday when they meet top-four chasing Liverpool.
Carlo Ancelotti's men are two wins away from recapturing the top prize for the first time since they claimed it at the end of the 2005-06 season.
With Manchester United just one point behind them and breathing down their necks, a win on Merseyside would see the Blues go into the match with Wigan Athletic on the final day with a huge chance of ending the Red Devils' three-year stranglehold on the domestic front.
However, Rafael Benitez's Liverpool team have not yet given up hope of grabbing a last-gasp Champions League spot but they need Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Manchester City to fail between now and the season's end.
If Chelsea's performance against Stoke City on Sunday is anything to go by, then they should have no reason to fear Liverpool this weekend. They romped to a 7-0 victory at Stamford Bridge with Salomon Kalou notching a hat-trick in the process.
That result means they have won five of their last six games with a solitary 2-1 defeat at Spurs on April 17 marring their fine run of form.
Since Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at rivals Manchester United on March 21, they have won three and drawn two of their five games to enhance their European chances.
But talismanic front-man Fernando Torres (knee) is out of their final fixtures of the season.
Dirk Kuyt is undergoing extensive treatment on a calf injury but he is a big doubt for the clash while David N'Gog (back) is also set for a late fitness test. Left-back Emiliano Insua will be missing with a thigh muscle problem.
Chelsea are likely to be without midfield enforcers John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien through knee problems while Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho (ankle) could return but compatriot Jose Bosingwa (knee) is definitely out.
Earlier this season in London, Chelsea claimed an important 2-0 win when the two sides met thanks to goals from France pair Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda.
Last season's contest at Stamford Bridge saw Liverpool end Chelsea's mesmeric 86-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League.
A deflected effort from Xabi Alonso was enough to inflict the damage and spoil one of the finest statistics in recent top-flight history.
Liverpool gained the upper-hand again last February as they clinched a late 2-0 success at Anfield.
Chelsea moved a major step closer to the Premier League title following a comfortable 2-0 win over Liverpool which came via a little help from one-time transfer target Steven Gerrard.
The victory at Anfield means Carlo Ancelotti's team will lift the title if Manchester United lose to Sunderland later on Sunday.
And if Sir Alex Ferguson's team only draw, the Londoners would be virtually assured victory, thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.
Liverpool started brightly with Alberto Aquilani firing a fierce and fizzing shot just over the bar, but Chelsea soon exerted their dominance against a Liverpool side whose shape was frequently stretched.
However, the post-match talk will revolve around an inexcusable pass from Gerrard which inadvertently but brilliantly set-up Didier Drogba, who gratefully fired the ball past a fuming Pepe Reina.
Many Liverpool fans were on record as saying they wanted their team to lose, with a Manchester United title victory heaping further woe on a season of crushing disappointment at Anfield.
But few expected their talismanic captain to play such a crucial role in the defeat.
The 33rd minute goal only fired up Chelsea, who should have added to their advantage as the Gerrard's colleagues also seemed intent on throwing the match away.
Nicolas Anelka was robbed just as he was shaping to fire home by a last-ditch Sotirios Kyrgiakos challenge, while Salomon Kalou will feel aggrieved that Lucas' challenge was not rewarded with a spot-kick.
However, Frank Lampard doubled their advantage with a 54th minute strike - his 21st league goal of the season - which ignited the visiting fans in a full-throated rendition of 'we're going to win the league'.
Again Liverpool were easily scythed apart with Anelka providing the precision cross that Lampard muscled in on to score.
Florent Malouda produced a brilliant stop from Reina, although he effort would have been discounted for offside as Chelsea confidently surged forward in search of more.
Liverpool created little with their crocked star man Fernando Torres sidelined in the stands, failing to trouble Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with a single shot on target until Dirk Kuyt's effort in stoppage time.
Shots off target