Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool: Jordan Henderson wonder goal helps Reds down Blues

16 Sep

Two first half goals were enough for Liverpool to claim all three points against Chelsea on Friday evening.


The Blues, who put in a lacklustre performance, were downed by a Dejan Lovren close range finish and an excellent Jordan Henderson wonder goal, and although Diego Costa pulled one back in the second half, Antonio Conte’s men never truly looked like pulling the tie level at Stamford Bridge.

It was a quick start to the match, with Liverpool dominating the early chances.

Daniel Sturridge almost got lucky when his shot rolled through Thibaut Courtois’ body, but thankfully for the keeper the ball stopped just before the line.

Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson also both had chances, as the Blues struggled to get either Eden Hazard or Diego Costa into the game.

The visitors’ pressure finally paid off, when Dejan Lovren netted from inside the box after 17 minutes. A lovely ball into the area from Philippe Coutinho found the Croatian at the far post, and he struck the ball past Courtois to claim the lead for the Reds.

It was shameful defending from the Blues, and Sturridge almost capitalised on Chelsea’s struggles moments later, flashing a strike just wide of the far post while trying to double the lead.

Chances were few and far between for the hosts; Luiz sent two headers at goal from offside positions, and Simon Mignolet did well to punch the ball clear when Matic was lurking in a dangerous position.

And the lack of attacking threat came back to haunt the Blues, when Jordan Henderson netted one of the goals of the season to double the lead.

Having picked up the ball 35 yards from goal, the England midfielder sent a strike at goal which flew over Courtois’ outstretched arm and into the top corner of the net.

Luiz flashed another header over the bar, but the Blues failed to get back into the game before half-time – with harsh words expected from Antonio Conte in the dressing room.

And it was the hosts who started the second half the brighter, Oscar sending Willian’s cross at goal for an early chance.

Ivanovic went down inside the area as calls for a penalty went up around Stamford Bridge, but nothing was given, and Chelsea continued to struggle to create chances for Diego Costa.

But it only took Costa one chance to get the Blues back into the game, with the Spaniard converting a first-time finish after some excellent build-up play from Hazard and Nemanja Matic.

Liverpool started to look shaky at the back, with Costa forcing a save from Mignolet five minutes later.

Hazard broke with an excellent counter attack but the move came to nothing, before Willian’s drive deflected into the keeper’s hands with 15 minutes remaining.

Courtois then kept the Blues in the game, pulling off a wonder save to deny Divock Origi a close range header which would have restored the Reds’ two-goal lead.

Fabregas hit the wall with a close range free-kick in the dying stages, and although Victor Moses threatened after coming on as a substitute, Liverpool held on for the win and headed back to Merseyside with all three points to their name.

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