Praesidium

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Brunch, Liverpool 1-4 Chelsea

Well last night’s party was pretty fun. All turns into a blur of alcohol, which makes it easy to meet people but harder to remember them the next day… It was over by 1am (with some people going on to a club), but I came home – it’d been a long day, and I wanted my sleep. Thankfully no hangover today, but I am still tired.

The main event of today was a brunch in college. It was absolutely packed – we have a huge intake of graduate freshers this year – 66 – which not only meant we had to go for more food but the room was too full to circulate properly. I didn’t really talk to as many people as I should have, but I did meet the other two of my ‘children’ (from the college parenting scheme).

After clearing up, I was ready to come home only to find the bike I spent £150 on yesterday had a flat tyre! It must have been punctured when I bought it, because the guy in the shop pumped it up, and I only rode it from there to college (10 minutes) It meant I had to walk it home (30 mins) and will have to take it back tomorrow for repair – which I hope they’ll do free…

In consequence, I missed the first half of Liverpool v Chelsea, coming in to find it was 1-2. The final score was a rather embarrassing 1-4 to Chelsea, particularly disappointing given how we pretty much dominated the game on Wednesday…

I’m not sure I can comment on the performance too much (or Lampard's crowd incitement), but looking at the statistics, I don’t think we deserved such a heavy defeat:
Possession: Liverpool 55% Chelsea 45%
Shots: Liverpool 12 Chelsea 7
Corners: Liverpool 5 Chelsea 2
I was pleased to see Rafa had the guts to make bold substitutions – e.g. Pongolle for Hyypia. Unfortunately this time it didn’t came off – we got hit on the break, and the scoreline suffered. Still, losing 4-1 isn’t much worse than 1-0 (like last year). No points from this one again, but we are still up on last year.

People already calling for Rafa’s head are lacking perspective – but I admit we do need to start winning, and soon… YNWA

UPDATE: Some further thoughts…

I’ve seen highlights on Match Of The Day 2 now, so I can add a bit more. I wasn’t impressed with their analysis really, though Graeme Le Saux did show how much Chelsea rely on the long ball to break. There was no comment on the penalty, where Traore did take the ball (and man). Granted a needless and stupid lunge, but Liverpool have been denied clearer penalties against Chelsea in the last few games.

Shame Reina couldn’t demonstrate why he won a reputation for penalty saving in Spain, but he got close. Lampard rightly I think book for inciting Liverpool fans after scoring, but no need to make a bigger deal of it than that.

I can’t complain too much about the other goals. Three and four were clearly on the break – well perhaps the latter only came from a throw conceded because of a foul on Pongolle, but never mind we were a shambles at the back (not surprising with Riise and Alonso pretty much filling in for Hyypia and Traore) – but of course there would’ve been a very different complexion on the match if we weren’t trailing and trying to come back.

To their credit Chelsea played some good football, and Drogba actually looked like the one who played for Marseille, not the £24m misfit he normally has in a Chelsea shirt. Perhaps they deserved the win, but I still say the scoreline flattered. In five meetings last season and one last week, there was never more than a goal in it, and that pretty much reflects how close these teams are in a one-off match. (Granted Chelsea’s greater league consistency – which comes easily when you have such a large and expensive squad)

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