For their 3rd Premier League match in a row, Chelsea was unable to record a win to put them back on top of the league. At Stamford Bridge, they managed a tie against Liverpool in a game that should have awarded the Blues an easy 3 points. Despite being down 1-0 thanks to John Terry’s 20 minute strike, Liverpool exhibited a huge improvement and scored a late equalizer that ended the game in a well-deserved tie. For the 4th time in succession, the Blues couldn’t win against Liverpool on their own turf.
Liverpool had dominated possession early on, having the ball nearly 70% of the time. The first half saw few chances on target and only 1 goal, which was scored by Chelsea captain John Terry. Terry, who had just returned from a racism ban, found the back of the net on the 20th minute after missing Chelsea’s 4 previous matches. The English defender netted his 50th goal in the Premier League following a corner from Juan Mata. He judged the ball just right and headed it in beyond goalkeeper Bradley Jones’ reach. But Terry’s return to the team did not last long. Just 15 minutes later, Terry took a fall on his right knee after a collision with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez. After several minutes of treatment, Terry, who was in a lot of pain, was taken off the pitch on a stretcher and was replaced with Gary Cahill just minutes before the break. Another few games will probably pass until Terry recovers from his injuries and returns to the team for good.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo, who was frustrated with Terry’s removal from the game, said, “He has just got into the team after the ban … we just hope it isn’t a serious injury and he is back soon.” The extent of the injuries will be assessed in the hospital on Monday as well as an estimate for the duration of his recovery.
The second half had clearly taken a turn in the Reds’ favor, primarily the final 20 minutes of the match. They were constantly on the attack and harbored a strong defense that Chelsea was unable to penetrate. Liverpool’s substitution of Suso for Sahin had finally paid off just 17 minutes before full time. This time, it was Luis Suarez who scored a header for his team. Suarez found Suso’s accurate corner in the air and sent a powerful ball past world-class goalkeeper Petr Čech. But Liverpool was not done yet. They were eager to snatch a victory after firing shot after shot in the final minutes of the game. Suso’s ball went just wide while Ivanovic sent a powerful header just high over the crossbar. Suarez could have easily secured a win for the Reds after racing toward the goal, clear of any defenders, and shooting a ball that Cech just managed to save. In stoppage time, Cech once again rescued Chelsea from a loss after a vital save following Enrique’s powerful shot, ending the game in a 1-1 tie.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was happy for his squad and with the results of the match. “That was our sixth draw, and in a lot of those games we’ve come back from being behind. We’ve got great character and resilience and survival instincts in the group, and we’re dominating games with the ball, but you need materials.”
The draw puts Chelsea in 3rd with 24 points, trailing Premier League leaders Manchester United by 3 points and 2nd place holders Manchester City by 1. Chelsea had remained on top of the league for 2 months, but a loss to Manchester United put the Red Devils in the lead. Manchester City recorded a much-needed win against Tottenham today, placing them in 2nd. Meanwhile, Liverpool is in the 13th place on the table, currently with 12 points after today’s match. This far into the season, it is unlikely for Liverpool to become this year’s champions, a feat that they have not been able to accomplish since the founding of the Premier League in 1992.