Liverpool failed to turn up at for the first hour at Wembley on Saturday and as Kenny said after the match you can't give a team like Chelsea a two goal lead until you start to play. Credit to the lads for fighting back and if you look at it on the balance of clear cut chances no one would have said that 2-2 would have been unfair on us. Liverpool's line-up was a bit of surprise to me but then again probably any starting 11 would have been a surprise. I was shocked that Carroll didn't get on from the start and I just couldn't fathom what Stewart Downing had done to deserve a place on the field but I'm not the manager so I was ready to support the boys from my couch some 6,000 miles away.
Liverpool seemed very nervous on the big stage with only Johnson, Agger and Gerrard looking composed on the ball. I would say that Suarez was composed but he rarely saw the ball in a first half that was diabolical. Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing were just plain awful in the first 45 with Downing not doing one single positive thing. He didn't want the ball, as every time it was passed to him he first timed it backwards. The travelling Kopites were groaning over his every touch. Chelsea's goal came from nothing as Spearing made a careless pass and Chelsea were on the move. Enrique should have cleared the danger and Reina should have done better, It's been our keeper's worst season since joining us but I'm not overly concerned with him.
Liverpool were rattled but we created our only real chance of the half minutes after the goal after clever play from Johnson found Bellamy inside the box. His shot was cleared but it looked to be going in. Other than that we did nothing the entire half. I thought Chelsea played well but they were also not at their best which is why our ability to even try and hurt them was so disappointing. Once we got to the half I felt we needed to make a change but we went with the same 11 and found ourselves down by another goal as Spearing was turned too easily and Lampard placed an easy ball to Drogba who slotted in past Reina.
Dalglish rolled the dice and brought on Carroll and immediately the game swung in our favour. From the moment the big man came on the field we dominated. He took his goal really well, with even Downing making a contribution with a tackle of all things. The game was in the balance and we had a few excellent chances to equalise, with shots coming in from Gerrard, Henderson (could he be a worse shooter?) and Suarez. We had quite a few corners in the closing stages but Chelsea usually defend these well and Saturday was no different. Carroll had two fantastic chances to equalise, one with his head one with his left foot. I'm not sure how Cech saved the header but I believe it might have been about one inch from the crossing the line but who knows. I think Chelsea's name was on the cup at that point.
The Carling Cup win was nice and this cup run was fantastic beating both United and Everton on the road to the final but losing to Chelsea was a tough pill to swallow. Liverpool should have gone at them from the start but we lack a destroyer in the middle of the park that allows us to play like that. I firmly believe that had Lucas been playing in that game we wouldn't have lost. Overall this season can't end soon enough.
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