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Chelsea profit from Riise intervention

Published: Wednesday 23 April 2008, 0.58CET
Liverpool FC 1-1 Chelsea FC
John Arne Riise headed an own goal deep into added time as Chelsea came back to hold Liverpool at Anfield.
by John Mathews
from Liverpool

Match statistics

LiverpoolChelsea

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target7
 
3
Attempts off target3
 
2
Corners6
 
5
Offsides1
 
6
Fouls committed20
 
16
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

22 April 2008

Liverpool
1-1
Chelsea

23 April 2008

Barcelona
0-0
Man. United
 
Published: Wednesday 23 April 2008, 0.58CET

Chelsea profit from Riise intervention

Liverpool FC 1-1 Chelsea FC
John Arne Riise headed an own goal deep into added time as Chelsea came back to hold Liverpool at Anfield.

A headed own goal deep into added time by Liverpool FC substitute John Arne Riise rescued a draw for Chelsea FC after Dirk Kuyt's first-half opener had looked like giving the home team a significant advantage in their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Awkward header
Riise, a 62nd-minute replacement for the injured Fábio Aurélio who has not scored for Liverpool all season, stooped low to try to clear Salomon Kalou's cross from the left, but his awkward header flew past Pepe Reina and into the top of the net – giving Chelsea an away goal they had virtually given up on getting. It could have been so different for Liverpool, had visiting goalkeeper Petr Čech not spectacularly tipped over a late Steven Gerrard drive before denying Fernando Torres seconds before the equaliser.

Cagey opening
Both sides were slow to start and the cagey, tactical match predicted by many appeared likely to materialise. Chelsea seemed to have the upper hand thanks to a slightly more measured passing game, until Rafael Benítez's men created the first real opening of the tie. Xabi Alonso's long and hopeful ball over the top of Chelsea's back line found Kuyt, who beat the offside trap but failed to control properly and a combination of Čech and Ricardo Carvalho cleared the danger.

No rhythm
Still, Liverpool frequently struggled to find their rhythm as the half wore on and possession of the ball looked to be a luxury commodity. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard almost caught the five-time champions off guard with a dangerous crossfield pass which the well-placed Joe Cole, in two minds, was unable to get a true touch on. Torres was presented with an even better opportunity at the other end on 30 minutes after being released by Gerrard, yet the striker could only fire straight at Čech when clean in on goal.

Kuyt strikes
Liverpool's fears were eased by the first goal of the semi-final in the 43rd minute. Kuyt capitalised on confusion between Claude Makelele and Ashley Cole after Javier Mascherano's miscued shot was skied over their heads, keeping both his eye on the ball and his nerve to drive the ball past Čech at the Kop end. The Dutchman's strike had a huge galvanising effect on the home side and on the match in general as the tempo was markedly increased, especially just after the break when the Reds made several threats to move further in front.

Drogba struggles
Suddenly the likes of Alonso and Ryan Babel could find each other with incisive interchanges that were previously beyond them, and the home crowd turned up the volume again. With Didier Drogba looking an isolated figure up front for Chelsea as he chased in vain a succession of long balls pumped in his direction, a goal for Avram Grant's team seemed more likely to come from midfield. Michael Ballack and Lampard combined to set Florent Malouda free in the box, where Mascherano's last-ditch block kept his effort off target.

Different complexion
The visitors did, however, force the pace as the clock ticked down, although Liverpool might well have doubled their advantage as first Gerrard then Torres tested Čech. Had either of those chances gone in, next Wednesday's second leg would have taken on an altogether different complexion – as it did, to the Londoners' benefit, when Riise beat Reina.

Last updated: 23/04/08 11.39CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15108/match=301912/postmatch/report/index.html#chelsea+profit+from+riise+intervention

Lineups

liverpool

Liverpool

chelsea

Chelsea

25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
1
ČechPetr Čech (GK)
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard (C)
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
9
TorresFernando Torres
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele
12
Fábio AurélioFábio Aurélio
Substitution62
6
CarvalhoRicardo Carvalho
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
8
LampardFrank Lampard
17
ArbeloaÁlvaro Arbeloa
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
Substitution63
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
Goal43
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
19
BabelRyan Babel
Substitution76
13
BallackMichael Ballack
Substitution86
20
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
15
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
23
CarragherJamie Carragher
20
FerreiraPaulo Ferreira
37
ŠkrtelMartin Škrtel
26
TerryJohn Terry (C)
Yellow Card90+3

Substitutes

30
ItandjeCharles Itandje (GK)
40
HilárioHilário (GK)
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
7
ShevchenkoAndriy Shevchenko
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
Substitution62
Goal90+4
12
MikelJohn Obi Mikel
11
BenayounYossi Benayoun
Substitution76
21
KalouSalomon Kalou
Substitution63
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
33
AlexAlex
16
PennantJermaine Pennant
35
BellettiJuliano Belletti
21
LucasLucas
39
AnelkaNicolas Anelka
Substitution86

Coach

Rafael Benítez (ESP) Avram Grant (ISR)

Referee

Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Assistant referees

Egon Bereuter (AUT), Markus Mayr (AUT)

Fourth official

Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

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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