Apr 27, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
Smash and grab.
That’s what Chelsea are on course to do at Anfield on Sunday, as Jose Mourinho’s men tried every trick in the book to annoy Liverpool and then pounced to lead at half time.
A horrendous mistake from Steven Gerrard saw the Liverpool captain slip at a crucial moment right on half time, as Chelsea forward Demba Ba raced through on goal and scored to put the Blues 1-0 up at the break. Anfield was stunned.
Early on Chelsea antagonized Liverpool by time wasting at every opportunity. Chelsea took an age over every free kicks and throw-in as they aimed to quell Liverpool’s famous fast-paced starts. The away side has the first meaningful effort on goal, as a long throw was cleared to the edge of the box were Ashley Cole took one touch and smashed a shot towards goal which Simon Mignolet parried away.
In the 14th minute Liverpool should have gone ahead as Suarez’s corner bounced off John Obi Mikel and towards goal but Cole cleared off the line as the ball pinballed around the box before Mamadou Sakho smashed wildly over the bar from six-yards out. Chelsea were content to let Liverpool do the pressing as the Blues stood off and parked two solid banks of four in front of their own goal. Mourinho’s men barely threatened as an attacking force, as they sat back and launched occasional lackluster counter-attacks.
As the first half wore on Liverpool pressed hard but Chelsea’s makeshift backline, which included Tomas Kalas making his full debut, bent but did not break.
Then the pivotal moment arrived as the Blues shocked Anfield by taking the lead after sitting back for the entire first half.
- Big Spenders: Which Premier League clubs must go all-in on transfer deadline day? 0
- Done Deals: Recapping Man United (and others’) busy day — De Gea drama; Chicharito out; $56 million for Martial 0
- NO DEAL: David de Gea’s transfer to Real Madrid falls through as Man United paperwork arrives too late 3
- Report: De Gea moving to Madrid as Costa Rican hero Navas heads to Old Trafford 4
- Fireworks as transfer deadline passes in Germany: Draxler to Wolfsburg, Januzaj to Dortmund 2
- Premier League Playback: It’s time to change the Transfer Window rules 2