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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 October 2005, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Liverpool 1-4 Chelsea
Chelsea strengthened their stranglehold on the Premiership in impressive style, with a crushing victory at Liverpool.

Frank Lampard gave Chelsea the lead in the 27th minute from the spot after Djimi Traore fouled Didier Drogba.

Steven Gerrard levelled quickly for Liverpool but Damien Duff put Chelsea back in front from eight yards before the interval after good work by Drogba.

Drogba was crucial as Chelsea cruised after the break, creating close-range goals for Joe Cole and Geremi.

It leaves Chelsea nine points clear at the Premiership summit and 17 ahead of Liverpool - a stark statistic for Reds boss Rafael Benitez to accept after their worst start in 13 seasons.

Chelsea drafted in Asier del Horno and Cole from the side that played in the Champions League draw at Anfield on Wednesday, while Liverpool replaced Djibril Cisse with John Arne Riise.

Liverpool had three penalty appeals rejected in the European tie - so it was with some irony that Chelsea took the lead from the spot.

Traore was badly at fault, striking a clearance against Drogba before needlessly hacking down the striker.

Lampard's spot-kick was perilously close to Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina but it just crept under his body.

The Chelsea midfield man's celebrations were over-exuberant in front of The Kop and led to a yellow card from referee Graham Poll.

Liverpool responded with fierce commitment and quality - and they deservedly drew level through Gerrard nine minutes later.

Riise's corner was flicked on by Jamie Carragher for Gerrard, who almost joined Chelsea in the summer, to fire a powerful, angled finish past Petr Cech.

But Chelsea showed the resolve of champions to regain the lead with a sweeping move two minutes before the interval.

Drogba produced a clever trick to escape the desperately ponderous Sami Hyypia and he pulled the ball back for Duff to beat Reina from eight yards.

Hyypia almost had another nightmare moment just after the interval when his poor headed clearance landed at the feet of Drogba but he shot tamely at Reina.

Chelsea extended their lead after 63 minutes - and, once again, Drogba was involved.

He broke clear and when he shot across the face of goal, Cole was perfectly placed to tap into an empty net.

It was Cole's final contribution as Mourinho made an instant change, sending on Arjen Robben for the goalscorer.

Liverpool were not lying down, however, and Riise was only narrowly off-target before Peter Crouch brilliantly controlled a long ball on his chest - only to waste the chance he had created for himself.

Chelsea were in ruthless mood and they added a fourth with eight minutes left, Drogba escaping from a corner before his cross was missed by Robben and turned in by Geremi at the far post.

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia (Sinama Pongolle 71), Traore (Cisse 81), Hamann (Sissoko 68), Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Alonso, Riise, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Josemi, Carson.

Booked: Carragher.

Goals: Gerrard 36.

Chelsea: Cech, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Del Horno (Huth 83), Makelele, Joe Cole (Robben 67), Lampard, Essien, Duff (Geremi 76), Drogba.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Crespo.

Booked: Joe Cole, Lampard, Drogba.

Goals: Lampard 27 pen, Duff 43, Joe Cole 63, Geremi 82.

Att: 44,235

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

Interview: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

Interview: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Interview: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

Interview: Chelsea's Frank Lampard


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