So here we are, finally near the end of a long and ardous journey in the Premiership. With the last game being away, last night’s game against Chelsea brought with a chance for the various stars to say goodbye to the Anfield crowd for this season. That meant the various players being able to walk around the pitch with their families and saying goodbye to the people that have stood by them this season. There was also a chance of revenge for the FA Cup final loss, and a chance to ensure Chelsea would need to win their Champions League final if they are to make it to the Champions League.
From the two line-ups it seemed clear that Chelsea were already thinking ahead to the cup final. A number of their players that played in the FA Cup final were rested. Liverpool, on the other hand, also with nothing to play for in the league, put out a strong squad, although it still had some changes, with Maxi starting, Gerrard and Enrique out.
At the weekend, the biggest criticism was that Liverpool just didn’t show up for 60 minutes, but there was no such problem this time around. A great bit of play by Suarez saw him get to the byeline. He pull back found Essien who obligingly put it in the back of the net.
Then John Terry fell over, presumably when he got distracted by some team-mate’s wife in the crowd, allowing Jordan Henderson to nip in and put Liverpool 2 nil up.
Carroll then headed down from a corner to an unmarked Agger, who headed into the back of the net to make it 3-0 to Liverpool.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Liverpool game without one shot hitting the crossbar, and Downing duly obliged in the 41st minute when his shot drove onto the bar. He did of course then get another chance to make amends when he had the opportunity from the spot, but that too found the post. That makes it the 5th penalty out of 6 that Liverpool missed this season. You can harp on about luck all you want, but at the end of the day, if you can’t hit the target is it really down to luck?
Chelsea were able to pull one back to make it 4-1 from a set piece, but a bad kick from Chelsea’s keeper felt to Shelvey who duly banged it in to settle it at 4-1.
So here we were, in a relatively meaningless game, 4-1 up after 60 minutes. If only we could have put in that sort of performance on Saturday. Obviously people will counter that by saying Chelsea had a number of players missing, but this performance was a far cry from what we saw on Cup Final day. This was a team looking to score goals, awake from the start.
It does show promise of what Liverpool are capable of though. If that can at least be kept, and worked on over the summer, then maybe, just maybe, Liverpool can get off to a flyer next season. However, for now, it is worth noting that this is just one game, against a opposition that was distracted by being in the Champions League final.