It was a game that could’ve been anybody’s, but it ended all square at the Stamford Bridge. The champions’ fortress was still rocking following the triumph from the last weekend, and it took the Blues less than 5 minutes to get onto the score sheet.
John Terry scored from a brilliant header from a Cesc Fabregas corner, who picked up his 18th assist of the season. Liverpool then struck late into the first half after an unmarked Steven Gerrard headed home at the far post from a free-kick from the left of the penalty area.
Here are the things we learned from the Liverpool game:
THE GUARD OF HONOUR
It is a tradition that every football club dreads but would love to be at the right end of. This time, our team were at the right end and deservedly so. It is another thing to have your dearest enemy standing up for that, but Chelsea, this season have completely deserved all the top honours and this one, is special.
It might have been the 4-day rest or the euphoria kicking in, but it wasn’t our best game of the season but Chelsea have earned the right to do so. Fabregas and Hazard looked in an off mode and couldn’t produce quite the stellar performances like they have done throughout the season. However, this would not be entertained by Mourinho for the remaining couple of games and would want his side to come out with maximum points.
RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK- AN EXCITING PROSPECT
All the talk from the Chelsea perspective before the game was focused on one player who was making his first senior debut. The box to box midfielder was chosen in the starting XI alongside Mikel and did a pretty decent job. He showed the hunger required and went at everything right from the word go. If he manages to live up to expectations in the future, we will have an amazing pivot role player for many years to come.
TERRY- CAPTAIN, LEADER, LEGEND AND A RECORD BREAKER
John Terry struck very early in the game to give Chelsea the lead and also became the highest goal-scoring defender in Premier League history surpassing David Unsworth’s record of 38 goals. Mourinho described Terry’s season as the best ever under him, and it has certainly been the case. It will be an even more heavy-hearted farewell than that of Gerrard’s once Terry decides to hang up his boots, and that’s how mother nature is, according to Mourinho.
LIVERPOOL’S TOP FOUR HUNT ENDS
Unless two results apart from their’s goes in their favor along with a 14 goal swing, Liverpool’s top four hopes have all but ended. Given the team they are chasing is Manchester United and their next two fixtures are against relegation contenders, it is safe to say that Liverpool will have to be satisfied with a Europa League spot this season. It was a contrasting season for them, given how the last one went, and it is for the first time that Chelsea will have their say in the crucial scenarios.
ADIOS GERRARD, YOU WILL BE MISSED
It was a mixed reception for the “dear enemy” at the Bridge which ended in a classic manner with the Chelsea fans and Mourinho giving him a standing ovation as he was substituted. He showed the crowd at the Bridge what he was all about, leading by example and scoring when his team needed it. Mourinho described him as his favorite enemy and gracefully accepted that he would be missed, showing that there is after all, a place for sentiment in this beautiful game.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni