Chelsea vs. Liverpool  1 - 1

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Jones happy to pick up point at Chelsea

12 November 2012 14:39

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones is optimistic his team are heading in the right direction after they drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Brendan Rodgers' side lie 13th in the Premier League after consecutive draws against the Blues, Newcastle and Everton.

But Jones believes Liverpool's performances are improving and says that gaining a point against Chelsea was a positive step for the Merseyside club.

"We're continuing to pick up points and we're producing some good performances, and that's fantastic. As long as we keep getting better and keep improving then that's the way we want to head," he told the club's official website.

"I think it was a good draw for us because Stamford Bridge is a really tough place to come. Chelsea are a good team and we have to look at that and take some positives.

"Some games you'd rather we got three points but on days like Sunday, we've got to take the point and be happy. We missed a few chances towards the end, where we could have even nicked it, but as long as we continue to get the points and perform well, then we're heading in the right direction.

"Chelsea are dangerous. Their front four includes three brilliant players operating behind a quality striker, so they are always going to create. But I think our formation and the way that we set up tactically was very good and we left them with very few opportunities, so that's another positive.

"We're disappointed to concede from a set piece but overall we didn't give much away and it was another steady performance."

Jones made his seventh consecutive appearance in goal on Sunday - with Pepe Reina recovering from a hamstring injury - and he has enjoyed the increased first-team exposure afforded to him in recent weeks.

The Australian admitted that he did not know what the future would hold, however, with Reina returning to full fitness imminently.

"As a player, you need a few games to get into a rhythm and it's difficult sometimes to come in and play in just one game where you have to show what you can do," Jones said.

"It's especially difficult when you haven't played for a while but after a nice run of games, you get into it.

"Players know what you are about and the understanding is there and it becomes easier. I don't know what will happen after Sunday but I've enjoyed the run and I'm happy with how it's gone."

Article

Carragher happy to be team man

12 November 2012 06:27

Jamie Carragher says he is happy at Liverpool despite the decline in his playing time under Brendan Rodgers.

The 34-year-old was speaking after Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday, a game that saw Carragher make his first Premier League appearance of the season.

"We all want to play but I understand the stage of my career that I am at now," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"There's always new players coming in. We’re a top club that lots of players want to play for, so we've got lots of internationals there. I would never cause a problem here, I'm delighted just to be involved and if the manager needs me I'll be ready."

The long-serving centre-back went on to admit that he had initially struggled with the pace of the game at Stamford Bridge, and particularly Chelsea's fast attacking outlets.

"The Premier League is a step up," he said.

"The Capital One Cup games, the Europa League games are not high-paced and don't have the intensity of the Premier League. Also it was Chelsea, and Chelsea is a difficult place to come.

"Whether I play or not I'll always be ready for the lads and for the manager if he wants to put me in certain games. Like every player I want to play, but it’s all down to the manager, he's the boss."

Article

Rodgers thrilled with Chelsea draw

11 November 2012 22:37

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed a 'terrific point' earned by his side against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

John Terry gave the Blues a first-half lead from a corner, before being stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious knee injury before Luis Suarez levelled the scores after the break, nodding in Jamie Carragher's flick on from a corner.

"In the second half we looked like we could go on and win the game, so it's a terrific point for us," he told Sky Sports.

"Coming here, it's obviously a very difficult place, I know as well as anyone. So for the group were working with at the moment, it was a great point for us."

Liverpool's performance improved when Rodgers changed his formation in the second period to a flat back four, but the former Swansea boss preferred to praise his players' efforts.

"You have to give the credit to the players, the players were fantastic," he continued.

"We felt like we needed to change it after that first 10-15 minutes, but all the credit you have to give to the players for whatever system you have, it's about the application and the quality of the players.

"You see a mixture for us, our senior players have been phenomenal because they need support around them, and our younger players are getting great experience."

However, Rodgers did admit he was concerned by his side's lack of shots in the game.

"That's something for us going forward, we need to improve that side of it.

"Normally we have many more attempts than that."

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo also lamented missed chances in this match.

"We knew that the second goal was crucial to the game," Di Matteo told reporters.

"We had opportunities, their goalkeeper made some great saves. We couldn't push on.

"We are still playing well and we are still creating chances, but we have to be clinical to take our chances and finish the game off."

Having led the league at the start of this campaign, Chelsea have now dropped to third on the premiership table and find themselves three points adrift of current leader Manchester United (27 points) and one off second-placed Manchester City (25).

Article

Premier League: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1

11 November 2012 19:15

An unconvincing Liverpool made Chelsea pay for their profligacy by coming from behind to steal a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The home side's pain at letting two points slip was augmented by a serious injury to Chelsea goalscorer John Terry, who faces an uncertain future after being stretchered off in the 40th minute with suspected knee ligament damage.

Terry's 20th-minute header and a series of dangerous counter-attacks had given Chelsea hope they could climb to within a point of English Premier League leaders Manchester United.

But Roberto Di Matteo's team failed to finish off their visitors and Luis Suarez made them pay 17 minutes from the end with his eighth league goal of the season.

It leaves Chelsea third on the table, three points behind United, while Liverpool remain in a distant 13th.

To add to the home side's agony, Terry left the pitch with his head in his hands and a look of rare vulnerability on his face after receiving five minutes of treatment in the wake of his accidental collision with Suarez.

Brazilian star Oscar came close to giving Chelsea a sixth-minute lead after Joe Allen lost possession but the playmaker lifted his shot over the bar.

Just when Brendon Rodgers' 3-5-2 formation appeared to be bearing fruit, with his team dominating possession, an error gifted Chelsea the opening goal midway through the opening half.

Juan Mata curled in a corner from the right and Liverpool's zonal system failed to track the run of Terry, who bulleted a free header into the top corner for his 50th Chelsea goal in his 558th appearance.

It was one of Terry's last acts of the game with the captain stretchered off in severe pain after Suarez landed on his knee.

Despite Liverpool having 64 percent of the first-half possession, Chelsea were far more dangerous and Mata's brilliant run shortly before the whistle ended with a wild finish rather than the second goal.

It was the same theme after the break, with Petr Cech little more than a spectator as all the action hummed around the opposing goalmouth.

Chelsea should have been out of sight by the time Liverpool made them pay for their profligacy with a smartly worked corner in the 73rd minute.

Substitute Suso curled the ball in to the near post, Jamie Carragher met it with a neat flick-on and an unchallenged Suarez applied the headed finish.

The visitors finished strongly and Suarez could have gone on to win the game for Liverpool had last man Cech not timed his charge perfectly late on.

Article

Suarez: I´m no diver

11 November 2012 13:16

Luis Suarez insists he is not a diver and a cheat, despite the poor reputation the Uruguayan has picked up during his time in the Premier League.

The Liverpool striker has often been at the forefront of controversial incidents since joining the club from Ajax in 2011 as a replacement for the Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres, who comes up against his former club at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Despite ringing endorsements about his quality on the pitch from his captain Steven Gerrard and manager Brendan Rodgers, Suarez remains a divisive figure among fans - something he feels is unwarranted.

"I insist I don't dive in the penalty area," the 25-year-old said.

"This is my career and the bad reputation created around me is unjust.

"There always seems to be controversy surrounding me but I accept the referee's decisions - they are only human.

"I accept the criticism against me but many people attack me without reason. That doesn't please me but I try to do my best day by day.

"If you analyse the statistics I am one of the forwards who receives the most fouls and free kicks."

If some question Suarez's morality on the pitch, there can be no doubting his quality, with the Uruguayan enjoying a prolific season in front of goal, netting seven times for the struggling Reds so far this campaign.

It is form which has led to support from his manager and team-mates, with his club captain Gerrard comparing Suarez to Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

"He plays the false nine role like Messi does for Barcelona where he moves freely and others have to get in behind him to penetrate," Gerrard said.

"He is a world-class striker."

And despite the obvious comparisons with former Anfield star Torres, Suarez insists that he and the Spaniard are completely different players.

"Torres is highly regarded by Liverpool fans but I prefer not to draw comparisons between us because we are a different type of forward," he said.

"I am not envious of anything he did for Liverpool. Maybe we are similar in the way we battle against defenders and our passion is the same, but technically we are different."

Article

Busy schedule worries Di Matteo

11 November 2012 10:07

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has hit out at the Premier League's refusal to postpone his side's match against Sunderland on December 8.

The Champions League holders are due to play their Club World Cup semi-final match in Japan on December 13, five days after the fixture at the Stadium of Light, and the Chelsea boss claims his players will be strained because of the Premier League's decision.

"We've tried to postpone the Sunderland game to give us the best chance – but the Premier League didn't agree to it, as usual," Di Matteo told reporters.

"So that is going to put a strain on the players because we are only going to be able to travel after that match and arrive three days before our first game in Japan.

"You would think the Premier League would have every interest in making sure they give you the best chance to be successful in Japan - which would reflect very, very well on English football and the Premier League."

Di Matteo insists the Premier League's refusal to move the fixture is an injury-risk to his players and claims the initial decision to travel to Japan early was to ensure that preparations were correct for the tournament.

"The important thing for us would have been to go there a few days before so the players have enough time to adjust to the new time zone," he added.

"I don't understand it. This is one of the biggest trophies in international club football, if not the biggest.

"I'm very surprised about it. I can't get my head around it. To give yourself the best chance travelling to Japan, with nine hours time difference, arriving three days before, you will need to do everything in your power to be able to (get) ready for those games.

"The tournament starts on the sixth so the team we play in the semi-finals will have been there already for a week. It's a big risk in terms of health, injury risk for the players too."

Article

Rodgers challenges strikers to fire

9 November 2012 21:39

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side need to be more ruthless in attack if they want to climb the English Premier League table.

The Anfield club, 12th on the table but unbeaten in their past five league matches, travel to Chelsea on Sunday looking for their third win of the season.

"For us, it's just about collecting the points and as many as we can," Rodgers said.

"It doesn't matter whether that's at Chelsea or wherever. We just look to maintain our performance level, because it's been high.

"We're creating lots of opportunities to score. We just need to find that little bit of finesse and killer instinct at the end of it to finish off what is generally a lot of good approach play.

"We go into the game in decent form in the league and we just need that little bit of good fortune to turn some of our draws into wins."

Rodgers was full of praise for the recent performances of Luis Suarez, who was signed just hours before Fernando Torres left the Merseyside outfit for Chelsea in January 2011.

"From the outside, Fernando Torres did a terrific job at Liverpool," Rodgers said.

"Certainly, those first 18 months, he was fantastic. He decided to move on and Liverpool brought in a world-class striker (Suarez) who has been absolutely breathtaking and some of his play, and what he has contributed for us, has been fantastic."

Rodgers spent four seasons at Chelsea from 2004, working under Jose Mourinho after Russian business tycoon Roman Abramovich took over the club the previous year.

"It was a great period to be involved at Chelsea," Rodgers said.

"It was the beginning of a new era for the football club. There was a lot of investment, but also a lot of success in that period.

"The games against Liverpool were fantastic games. I remember the Liverpool supporters at Stamford Bridge - that stood out for me because of the atmosphere they created."

Article

Skrtel determined to stop Torres

9 November 2012 19:01

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel says he will do everything in his power to stop Fernando Torres from scoring for Chelsea on Sunday.

The Spanish is striker is yet to score against Liverpool since leaving Anfield for Stamford Bridge in 2011.

But the Slovak insists that Torres – who has scored seven goals so far this campaign – is still one of the top strikers in the world and will need to be watched closely.

"We have to keep our eye on him for 90 minutes and not let him score," Skrtel told Liverpool's website. "Now he is playing for Chelsea and if I play I will be marking him.

"It's going to be special but we have to look after him because even if he isn't scoring goals at the moment he is still one of the best strikers in the world and still dangerous.

"It's going to be hard playing against him but I believe in my qualities and the quality of our team and I believe we won't let him score."

When asked which meant more to him out of scoring or preventing his former team-mate, Skrtel said: "Definitely stop Fernando scoring a goal because as a defender the main job on the pitch is to stop the striker scoring and try to keep a clean sheet.

"I always look forward to every single game I play for this club. These big games are special and Sunday will be special.

"They have got a good team and a lot of attacking players but we will go there and try to play our game.

"If we can continue with the performance we gave in our last game against Newcastle and play with a lot of movement and passing, it could be good against them."

Article

Premier League preview: Chelsea v Liverpool

9 November 2012 08:26

Captain John Terry returns as Chelsea look to get back winning ways in the English Premier League when they host Liverpool on Sunday.

Terry received a four-match ban in September for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers' defender Anton Ferdinand last season and sat on the bench in their 3-2 Champions League win against Shakhtar on Wednesday.

But the captain should line up this week at Stamford Bridge, in a boost for Chelsea's beleaguered defence, who have let through 10 goals in his absence from the side.

Liverpool are 12 points behind second-placed Chelsea in 12th position after their worst start to a League season in 101 years - sitting on 11 points from 10 matches.

Manager Brendan Rodgers rested captain Steven Gerrard and top scorer Luis Suarez in the side's 1-0 loss to Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League on Thursday.

Suarez has been a shining light for Liverpool scoring seven goals, more than half of his team's total, and adding two assists in 10 Premier League games this season.

Rodgers' squad drew their last League match with Newcastle 1-1 on November 4 and tied 2-2 with Everton the week before after Suarez netted in the 67th minute.

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson returned to full training after missing the side's last three games and should be available to play this week.

Chelsea drew their last Premier League match with Swansea 1-1 on Saturday and gave up their lead in the Premier League to Manchester United.

Ashley Cole sustained a hamstring injury in the draw and missed Chelsea's clash with Shakhtar on Wednesday, but could return against Liverpool.

Roberto Di Matteo's team beat Manchester United in the fourth round of League Cup 5-4 in extra time on October 31 but lost their Premier League match-up against the Red Devils 3-2 three days earlier.

Fernando Torres has not scored against Liverpool since he was sold to Chelsea for 50 million pounds in January 2011, but has netted seven goals this season and will hope to break his drought this week.

The last time these teams met Liverpool beat Chelsea 4-1 in the league in May, after they lost the FA Cup Final to Chelsea 2-1 three days prior.

Liverpool have won three and lost only one of their last five Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea have not had a clean sheet in their last five League matches.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25