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Penalty joy as Liverpool reach final

Published: Wednesday 2 May 2007, 0.59CET
Liverpool FC 1-0 Chelsea FC (agg: 1-1 aet, Liverpool win 4-1 on penalties) Pepe Reina saved two spot-kicks as the Reds made it through to Athens.
by John Mathews
from Anfield

Match statistics

LiverpoolChelsea

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target6
 
6
Attempts off target7
 
6
Corners5
 
6
Offsides3
 
5
Fouls committed32
 
21
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

 
Published: Wednesday 2 May 2007, 0.59CET

Penalty joy as Liverpool reach final

Liverpool FC 1-0 Chelsea FC (agg: 1-1 aet, Liverpool win 4-1 on penalties) Pepe Reina saved two spot-kicks as the Reds made it through to Athens.

Pepe Reina saved two spot-kicks as Liverpool FC knocked English rivals Chelsea FC out of the UEFA Champions League 4-1 on penalties to reach a second final in three seasons on a dramatic night at Anfield.

Chelsea denied
Daniel Agger's first-half shot had taken the semi-final into extra time but with no further goals and the aggregate scores locked at 1-1, a shoot-out ensued in which Dirk Kuyt struck the decisive conversion. After Boudewijn Zenden had tucked away Liverpool's first attempt, Reina guessed right to save Arjen Robben's effort. The next penalties were scored by Xabi Alonso, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard before Geremi was outsmarted by Reina and Kuyt stroked in the clincher.

Electrifying
Anfield had basked under a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine at kick-off, but as darkness fell and the temperature dropped so it rose to boiling point inside the famous old stadium which, as expected, was full of song and passion throughout. Visibly lifted by the crowd, Liverpool started brightly and had most of the early possession without making inroads until the place erupted in celebration in the 22nd minute.

Agger goal
Gerrard fooled everyone with a low free-kick from the corner of the box which Chelsea expected to be curled up towards Peter Crouch and the mass of bodies around him; instead the Liverpool captain squared it to Danish international defender Agger, who sidefooted the ball past Petr Čech with power and precision. The aggregate equaliser was greeted by near pandemonium and Chelsea struggled to get into the match until Didier Drogba gave Liverpool a scare when he beat the offside trap but not Reina, who blocked his shot from a promising position.

Essien chance
The Premiership title-holders had another decent opportunity to equalise five minutes before the interval, however. Drogba climbed well to nod Lampard's corner towards the Kop End goal, yet Michael Essien could not apply the finishing touch with his header and the ball bounced to safety past Reina's right-hand post.

Off the bar
Although it seemed impossible at the time, the tension increased after the break as both teams went in search of goals. Crouch thought he had done enough to score when he towered above Paulo Ferreira and Essien to meet Jermaine Pennant's cross but his downward header was kept out by the feet of Čech. Soon afterwards, Kuyt went even closer with a header that came back off the crossbar. With so much at stake, errors were commonplace and what the game lacked in fluidity, it more than made up for with intensity.

Carragher scare
Determined to fight back, Chelsea went within a whisker of levelling matters on the night when full-back Ashley Cole raided down the left in the 75th minute and cut the ball inside from the byline; Jamie Carragher, in an attempt to deny Drogba, connected from three metres out and saw his clearance skim over the top. As play and the psychological pendulum swung this way and that, Zenden brought another save from Čech, yet the clocked eventually ticked down to 90 without further score, prompting extra time.

Offside decision
Kuyt found the net in the first additional period but an offside flag ruled his effort out after he had followed up Čech's parry from substitute Alonso's stinging drive. Čech frustrated Kuyt again after the stretching Drogba was centimetres away from turning in Shaun Wright-Phillips's enticing centre. Tired minds and weary legs failed to conjure a match-winner, however, and penalties beckoned at the Anfield Road End. Here, Kuyt did get his winning goal and, for the seventh time in their history, Liverpool are through to the European Champion Clubs' Cup final; Chelsea, beaten at this stage for the third time since 2004, still await their first.

Last updated: 02/05/07 10.25CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2360/match=300137/postmatch/report/index.html#penalty+liverpool+reach+final

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

chelsea

Chelsea

25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
Yellow Card28
5
AggerDaniel Agger
Goal22
Yellow Card62
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele
Substitution118 ET
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
5
EssienMichael Essien
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
8
LampardFrank Lampard
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
Substitution106 ET
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
Substitution98 ET
16
PennantJermaine Pennant
Substitution78
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
12
MikelJohn Obi Mikel
20
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
Substitution118 ET
20
FerreiraPaulo Ferreira
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
21
KalouSalomon Kalou
Substitution107 ET
32
ZendenBoudewijn Zenden
Yellow Card110 ET
26
TerryJohn Terry (C)

Substitutes

30
PadelliDaniele Padelli (GK)
23
CudiciniCarlo Cudicini (GK)
2
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
9
BoulahrouzKhalid Boulahrouz
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
14
GeremiGeremi
Substitution118 ET
9
FowlerRobbie Fowler
Substitution118 ET
16
RobbenArjen Robben
Substitution98 ET
11
GonzálezMark González
18
BridgeWayne Bridge
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
Substitution78
19
L. DiarraLassana Diarra
17
BellamyCraig Bellamy
Substitution106 ET
24
Wright-PhillipsShaun Wright-Phillips
Substitution107 ET

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) José Mourinho (POR)

Referee

Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

Assistant referees

Juan Yuste (ESP), Jesús Calvo Guadamuro (ESP)

Fourth official

Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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