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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 21:37 GMT
Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool battled to earn the point they required against Chelsea to top Champions League Group G.

Rafael Benitez's side produced a well-drilled display to frustrate Chelsea in another dour stalemate.

John Arne Riise had Liverpool's best chance, and Arjen Robben wasted a good second-half opportunity for Chelsea.

The main talking point, however, was a dreadful high tackle from Chelsea's Michael Essien on Didi Hamann that went unpunished by referee Herbert Fandel.

It was almost predictable that the game would end in deadlock, with four Champions League clashes between the sides producing only one goal, Luis Garcia's hotly-disputed effort in last season's semi-final second leg at Anfield.

Frank Lampard came close to making an early breakthrough for Chelsea when he collected a poor clearance from Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, who was fortunate to get a block on his shot as he fired it back in from 30 yards.

But Liverpool settled to their task and saw plenty of the ball, posing a threat as well as keeping Chelsea's attacking efforts at bay.

Essien was fortunate to escape a straight red card in the 23rd minute for an appalling high challenge on Liverpool's Hamann which left the German requiring lengthy treatment.

Referee Fandel clearly did not see the incident, otherwise Essien would surely have been sent off.

Liverpool were not just frustrating Chelsea, and Riise was denied by a fine block from Chelsea keeper Cech from Steven Gerrard's pass on the half-hour.

Eidur Gudjohnsen produced a rare moment of Chelsea guile that almost sent Lampard clear four minutes before the interval, but Reina was quickly off his line to halt the danger.

The Icelander was then victim of another poor tackle, this time from Mohamed Sissoko.

Robben had been a subdued figure, but he should have given Chelsea the lead three minutes after the break, shooting into the side-netting after being set up by Didier Drogba.

Chelsea had made a change at half-time, sending on Asier del Horno for Paolo Ferreira, but Liverpool waited until the hour before replacing Riise with Harry Kewell.

The game had developed into a complete stalemate, with little being created at either end.

And Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho attempted to inject impetus into the game when he replaced Robben and Damien Duff with Carlton Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

It was all to no avail as the game petered out tamely into a draw.

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira (Del Horno 45), Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Essien, Robben (Carlton Cole 73), Lampard, Duff (Wright-Phillips 73), Gudjohnsen, Drogba.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Geremi, Diarra, Huth.

Booked: Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho.

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Gerrard, Hamann, Sissoko, Riise (Kewell 60), Crouch (Morientes 68), Luis Garcia (Sinama Pongolle 80).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Cisse, Josemi, Warnock.

Booked: Traore.

Att: 41,598

Ref: Herbert Fandel (Germany).

Interview: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

Interview: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez


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