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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
Clockwatch: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

By Charlie Henderson

  • Have your say on BBC Five Live's 606 with Alan Green from 2200 BST by calling 0500 909 693 or sending a text to 85058, or get involved on the 606 messageboards.

    Player rater: Match-winner Joe Cole is your pick of the players on the final whistle with a mark of 7.50. Steven Gerrard and Didier Drogba remain his nearest challengers.

    "I always felt Liverpool needed an away goal to get through this tie. This swings Chelsea's way now. A 2-1 defeat would have been preferable to 1-0 for Liverpool."
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio Five Live analyst

    2135: FULL-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
    That's it. Advantage Chelsea ahead of next week's return at Anfield on Tuesday night. The home fans spill into a pleasant west London evening with "Blue is the colour..." ringing in their ears.

    2134: A corner for Chelsea. In a melee of players Didier Drogba gets his head on the ball ahead of Pepe Reina's fist but the effort is wide.

    2133: Daniel Agger chances his arm from distance and his shot takes a deflection. It is not a wild one off Ricardo Carvalho and Petr Cech is solidly behind it.

    2132: Just two minutes of added time to be played.

    2131: Peter Crouch does not get enough purchase on a John Arne Riise cross. Ashley Cole clears. Steven Gerrard finally gets a first touch having come into the middle but it is not a telling one. He is too deep. Liverpool need him further forward.

    2130: Shaun Wright-Phillips shoots but it ends up nearer corner flag than goal.

    2129: Didier Drogba is getting involved after being fouled by Javier Mascherano. Not a good idea when you're on a yellow card with time running out. Get out of there and let a team-mate take their time over a free-kick.

    2128: Chelsea are drawing the sting from Liverpool just as their visitors would want to be ramping things up.

    2127: Shaun Wright-Phillips looks to go past John Arne Riise but is felled. Markus Merk beckons for him to get up and stop messing around.

    2126: Five minutes left on the clock.

    2125: Here comes the real number 24. Shaun Wright-Phillips replaces goalscorer Joe Cole.

    2124: It has all got a bit tired and niggly with Markus Merk blowing up for free-kicks left, right and centre. Joe Cole is lucky to escape a yellow card that would have ruled him out of the second leg. Markus Merk signals the Chelsea man dived but does not reach for his pocket.

    2123: A second change for Liverpool. Jermaine Pennant replaces Xabi Alonso. Rafael Bentiez wants that away goal. Steven Gerrard comes into the middle from the right.

    2122: Liverpool are caught by Ashley Cole's long pass forward. Didier Drogba, in space, flicks the ball off the outside of his boot to Frank Lampard, but Pepe Reina stays alert to the danger and saves well. There are 10 minutes left on the clock.

    2121: A fast and furious passage of play, with neat fizzing passes in midfield and even Markus Merk gets involved when the ball is hit at him.

    2120: Frank Lampard strokes the free-kick deep into the Liverpool area where Didier Drogba climbs higher than Jamie Carragher to meet the ball, but his downward header is wide of the target.

    2119: Javier Mascherano gives the ball away to Frank Lampard on halfway and wrestles the Chelsea man to the ground as he threatens to accelerate away from him.

    2117: Salomon Kalou has found his own shirt now - the number 21 - and is on for Andriy Shevchenko.

    Player rater: Messrs Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and Didier Drogba still lead the way. They are the only players ranking seven or over.

    2115: Salomon Kalou is ready to come on. Oh no he isn't. The striker has put on the number 24 shirt which belongs to Shaun Wright-Phillips. He takes it off and looks to dig his own out of the CFC kit bag.

    2114: Didier Drogba is in agony on the touchline after a crunching challenge. Oh no he isn't. The referee refuses him treatment and he eventually gets back to his feet and back involved.

    2113: Jose Mourinho is getting edgy with his side on the back foot. He gets up from his seat for the first time and urges his team on.

    2111: Bolo Zenden's makes a nuisance of himself... to Peter Crouch. The Dutchman gets a faint touch to Dirk Kuyt's cross which takes it away from Peter Crouch just inside the area.

    2109: A little bit testy there between Jon Obi Mikel and Xabi Alonso. Things are getting less "continental" and more domestic. More eggs and bacon than croissants and coffee.

    2106: Chelsea are standing firm as Liverpool push and probe for an equaliser.

    2105: Foul by Alvaro Arbeola on Frank Lampard as Chelsea look to break from halfway.

    2102: Peter Crouch climbs all over Didier Drogba as he looks to get on the end of a free-kick. It was as if he was going up a step ladder. He still manages to look aghast at the referee's decision.

    2100: Tit for tat. End to end. A long Petr Cech clearance is flicked on by Didier Drogba and Joe Cole lashes an effort over from distance.

    2059: Bolo Zenden wins a corner on the left. He should have got a cross in mind. Chelsea cope easily with the corner.

    2058: Steven Gerrard leaves the Coles Ashley and Joe trailing in his wake before squaring the ball to Dirk Kuyt, but the Dutchman fails to control on the edge of the area as he stretches for the ball.

    2057: Joe Cole breaks down the left but his pulled back pass is behind his on-rushing Chelsea team-mates and Liverpool hoof the ball clear. The tempo's picking up.

    2056: Jon Obi Mikel is in the wars tonight after a clash with his team-mate Didier Drogba. He is made of tough stuff and shrugs off the inconvenience of it. Drogba hobbles around a bit more than his fellow African before getting on with things.

    2055: A wonderful save from Petr Cech. He parries Steven Gerrard's dipping shot from outside the area around his post. That chance stemmed from Peter Crouch make a nuisance of himself to Jon Obi Mikel who inadvertently flicked on John Arne Riise's long throw to the Liverpool skipper.

    2054: Chelsea easily clear another Liverpool corner. Here comes the change. Craig Bellamy is the man to make way for Peter Crouch.

    2053: Peter Crouch looks set to come on for the visitors.

    2052: Dirk Kuyt flashes a header over. Alan Green is complaining about the sound on Radio Five Live, explaining "it's like commentating in a toilet".

    2051: Shouts for a Chelsea penalty as the ball bounces up and hits Alvaro Arbeloa's arm under pressure from Frank Lampard. Accidental and outside the box.

    2050: Petr Cech is fully behind a tame effort from John Arne Riise. None of the usual fizz from the Norwegian's left boot.

    2048: The ball breaks for Steven Gerrard on the edge of the area but his snap shot loops high and wide over the Chelsea goal.

    2047: The action resumes.

    Player rater: Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and Didier Drogba lead the way. Down at the other end Bolo Zenden is set to pick up the booby prize ahead of the likes of Javier Mascherano and Andriy Shevchenko. An honourable mention - or should that be dishonourable? - for Alvaro Arbeola who is also scratching around for your votes.

    "1-0 Chelsea and its only just begun... more to come!"

    "Liverpool are not playing well but we are only 1 down. If we can hold them longer then I think they will tire and maybe we can get the away goal."

    "Rafael Benitez needs to do something. I think Peter Crouch has to come on for Liverpool - it is crying out for him. Chelsea basically control and pass the ball and know they've got an outlet in Didier Drogba. Liverpool cannot do that, there is no forward release. Crouch can cause problems and hold the ball up."
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio Five Live analyst

    2031: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
    Not the best of 45 minutes from Liverpool, but there are signs that they can take something from this and a precious away goal would really put the cat amongst the pigeons... so long as they have not conceded any more goals by then!

    2030: John Arne Riise's dropping cross is turned behind by Petr Cech. Bolo Zenden's poor corner fails to beat the first man, Frank Lampard stooping to head clear.

    2028: Javier Mascherano makes amends after gifting the ball to Andriy Shevchenko by stealing it back. Are they the worst two players on the park? We'll have a look at that during the break with a half-time cuppa.

    2027: Liverpool are stroking the ball around, but yet again there is no end product to speak off. The substantial frame of Ricardo Carvalho blocks a cross and clears.

    2024: Didier Drogba gives a sarcastic thumbs up to referee Markus Merk after the German judges him to have dragged down Javier Mascherano. It was a good decision. Maybe Drogba was actually just giving him a thumbs up for a good decision.

    2021: Steven Gerrard storms into the box to meet Dirk Kuyt's clipped cross into the box. The Liverpool skipper gets their in front of Ashley Cole but is underneath the ball and his effort loops high into the Matthew Harding Stand.

    Player rater: Joe Cole is way down the rankings despite a goal and a bright 30 minutes. Steven Gerrard leads the way on 8.00.

    2018: It is now nine hours since Liverpool last scored at Stamford Bridge.

    2017: A good response from Liverpool until they work a position for Alvaro Arbeloa on the right of the Chelsea area. The Spaniard's high, hanging cross is a waste.

    2015: That is Chelsea's first goal against Liverpool in Europe after one minute shy of eight hours of trying.

    2014: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
    Ricardo Carvalho intercepts the ball on the edge of the area and strides forward before releasing Didier Drogba down the left. He holds off Daniel Agger before squaring for the on-rushing Joe Cole to poke home ahead of Alvaro Arbeola. It had been coming.

    2013: Liverpool maintain possession well in the Chelsea half, but in the final third there is little threat.

    2011: The stats say Liverpool have had 55% of the possession. They need to do much more with it.

    2010: Crikey. The Nigerian Jon Obi Mikel is back on his feet, but his eyes will be watering.

    2009: Jon Obi Mikel gets a boot in the unmentionables from Xabi Alonso. Ouch.

    "Rafael Benitez is like a jack in the box - he keeps getting up and down from his seat in the dug out as he's clearly not happy. In fact, he is fuming with how the Reds are playing."
    BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera at Stamford Bridge

    2008: Frank Lampard's low free-kick fizzes just wide of Pepe Reina's right post.

    2006: That's well wide as well, but heart in mouth time for Liverpool. Didier Drogba gets a glancing header to Joe Cole's cross. Pepe Reina is quick off his line and but for his challenge Drogba would have definitely found the target.

    2005: A shot for Liverpool, but former Chelsea man Bolo Zenden spears a long-range effort well wide.

    2002: Chelsea are threatening. Ashley Cole's deep pass is headed on by Didier Drogba to Andriy Shevchenko on the left. The Ukrainian flashes a cross-cum-shot through the area but Joe Cole cannot get on the end of it.

    2000: Careless play from John Arne Riise with a pass to nothing, backwards from an advanced position on the left flank. Again the predatory Didier Drogba pounces, but again he fails to spot the pass. When he finally sees Joe Cole in space it is too late and his pass is mis-directed.

    1959: The pace of the game is not increasing. Slow and steady. Very "continental", just as Rafael Benitez wanted.

    1958: The noise from the Chelsea supporters is increasing.

    "It has been an even start, but the outstanding chance fell to Frank Lampard. Chances are going to be few and far between so when they do come your way you will have to put them away."
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio Five Live analyst

    1956: Chelsea right-back Paulo Ferreira is in an advanced position but his low cross is cleared by Jamie Carragher after an air shot from Daniel Agger.

    1954: A clear-cut chance for Chelsea. Didier Drogba jumps well and nods the ball down into the heart of the box where Frank Lampard cracks an effort on goal. An excellent save from Pepe Reina.

    1953: A scrappy spell, with mistakes on both sides and passes going astray.

    1951: A mistake from Javier Mascherano and his poor pass is pounced on by Didier Drogba. But as the Ivorian bears down on the Liverpool defence he makes a mistake of his own, ignoring the run of Andriy Shevchenko and going it alone. He is crowded out on the edge of the box.

    1949: And Liverpool's fans have started well, making much more noise than their hosts.

    1948: Liverpool have started well and Steven Gerrard's weekend rest has clearly left him champing at the bit.

    1946: Of the starting 22 players, Didier Drogba and Joe Cole of Chelsea are the only players on yellow cards. Jose Mourinho has predicted that Liverpool will target Drogba in an effort to rule him out of the second leg.

    1945: Liverpool get the ball rolling.

    1944: A minute's silence for Alan Ball. Forget the silence. It is in fact a minute's applause.

    1943: Handshakes all round. German referee Markus Merk looks a smiley chap. Jose Mourinho less so as he sits chewing gum on the bench. Frank Lampard looks as if he dunked his head under a shower before walking out.

    1942: The players traipse all the way across the turf, arcing around the circular Champions League emblem in the centre circle. The ground is not full yet.

    1941: The teams are in the tunnel. John Terry looks a bit bemused as Petr Cech punches his fist a la England's batsmen, although with a bit more punch.

    1940: The atmosphere is building nicely. Chelsea skipper John Terry has called for a massive home support and the fans are responding. But will it have the desired result from a home perspective?

    1939: And they last lost at Stamford Bridge more than 14 months ago when Barcelona came from a goal down to win 2-1. That's 52 games and counting.

    1938: It is 21 matches since Chelsea last lost and it was against Liverpool at Anfield in January. That was Rafael Benitez's only league success over Jose Mourinho.

    1936: Time for another question? This one's a bit easier. Who were the last team to beat Chelsea?

    1933: The Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter is on Radio Five Live and warns listeners not to expect a "goalfest", adding the result will be determined in the second leg.

    1932: The last Liverpool player to score at Stamford Bridge was Bruno Cheyrou, who is now plying his trade at Rennes in France.

    1930: A microphone is now stuck in front of Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. Words like "compact" litter his speech and he wants a "continental game". Asked what result he wants, unsurprisingly he says "a win".

    1928: Liverpool's assistant boss Pako Ayestaran is giving some words of advice to the first XI. If it's on keepie-uppies it could be along the lines of "don't do it like that lads".

    1927: The Liverpool subs are looking relaxed. Jermaine Pennant is swinging air punches at Sami Hyypia and Peter Crouch is playing keepie-uppie on his own - and not very well.

    1925: It is more than three years since Liverpool won at Stamford Bridge. The date was 7 January 2004. 'Mad World' was at number one in the charts. But who scored for the Reds in their 1-0 win?

    1922: It is more than three weeks since Chelsea last had a home game at Stamford Bridge! Strange when it is such a busy time of the season for them.

    1920: The teams are out tuning up on a wonderful spring night in west London.

    1917: And of course, one of those Liverpool wins was enough to edge their 2005 Champions League semi-final. Luis Garcia's goal - the "phantom goal" as Chelsea refer to it - is the only one between the clubs in their four European matches over the past two years.

    1914: This is the 14th match between the sides since the start of the 2004-05 season. Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have the edge overall with six wins. But in cup competitions it is advantage to Liverpool and Rafael Benitez with three victories.

    1913: This will be the 146th match between the sides, but let's narrow it down to the Jose Mourinho v Rafael Benitez era.

    1910: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho gives a pre-match interview. Five o'clock shadow, tie loosely around his neck, he looks relaxed. "We have quality enough and a good spirit to play this first leg. The objective is to try to win the game and, if we win, the result is good."

    "We'll see a tactical game in terms of being careful. Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso will hold in midfield and Chelsea rarely start with a rush. It will be a tight game, but if Liverpool get an away goal they will be in the driving seat."
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio Five Live analyst

    "Narrow, tight, defensive, counter-attacking. It's the first leg... trust in Rafa."
    MoodyRed66 on the 606 messageboards

    1903: AC Milan had the luxury of resting six of their squad at the weekend ahead of their trip to Manchester United, and Liverpool gave a breather to four players - Daniel Agger, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Craig Bellamy - at home to Wigan. Will that help their cause?

    1859: The goalkeepers are out warming up as time ticks down to the kick-off. Finally some action after all that pre-match posturing and managerial prose in which Jose Mourinho talked up Liverpool.

    1856: A Portuguese restaurant? Any hidden omens there? Will Jose Mourinho, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira eat up Liverpool or will they be eaten like chicken?

    1855: Portsmouth keeper David James says it's "too tight" to call tonight. The former Liverpool keeper was speaking to Chris Evans and Jonny Saunders on Radio 2 between mouthfuls of chicken - "with no sauce" - in a Portuguese restaurant with his daughters.

    Liverpool team: Pepe Reina; Alvaro Arbeloa, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, John Arne Riise; Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Boudewijn Zenden; Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt.

    Chelsea team: Petr Cech; Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole; John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, Joe Cole; Andriy Shevchenko, Didier Drogba.

    1848: Early team news filtering through. Javier Mascherano starts ahead of Mohamed Sissoko and there is no place for Peter Crouch in the Liverpool XI. Ricardo Carvalho is fit for Chelsea.

    1845: The build-up has been covered and thanks for all your messages, but before we focus on the big match proper, there is time for a missive from Olly of St Helens who had a terrible journey south from Liverpool.

    "Butterflies. Butterflies. Butterflies. That's all there's been on train on way down. A 0-0 draw and back to Anfield."

    You thought leaves on the line was a problem? What about butterflies in the carriage? Sounds horrendous.

    Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
    25 Apr 07 |  Europe
    Mourinho wants crucial away goal
    25 Apr 07 |  Chelsea
    Benitez stays positive for return
    25 Apr 07 |  Liverpool
    Graham Taylor's Euro verdict
    25 Apr 07 |  Europe
    Champions League photos
    25 Apr 07 |  Football


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