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Page last updated at 21:34 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 22:34 UK

Chelsea v Liverpool as it happened

Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool AET (agg 4-3) Match report


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

2228: A very happy Tim Lovejoy is taking your calls on 606 right now. Thanks a million times over for your contribution on what has been a dramatic and emotional night at Stamford Bridge. If the final on 21 May comes anywhere close to that, we're in for a treat.

2226: Your man of the match is two-goal Chelsea striker Didier Drogba on 7.82. Frank Lampard is just behind on 7.02.
Rate the players

2224: "It's very personal what he said. I'm doing everything to promote English football and I'm doing my best. It's not good."
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba on Benitez's accusations

2223: "Fantastic. I think it's fully deserved over the years. We made it difficult for ourselves tonight. I'm delighted for myself, the club, the fans. Frank is a fantastic character. It's been a terrible week for him."
Chelsea skipper John Terry

2219: "Congrats to all Chelsea fans. Word of caution to Rafa: never call Drogba a diver."
Anon via text on 81111

2219: Unbelievable match and, in my humble opinion, Chelsea were deserved winners. Funny how everyone thought the other semi-final would produce all the thrills and spills... didn't really turn out that way did it?

2215: Avram Grant gets a standing ovation from the Chelsea fans and he's almost the last man off the pitch. He can't leave now surely? Not after the last three games?

2213: Didier Drogba races over to his team-mates, Michael Ballack chucks his shirt into the crowd, Avram Grant sinks to his knees and looks absolutely stunned. Chelsea will face Manchester United in the Champions League final in Moscow on 21 May - their first ever appearance in the final.

2211: FULL-TIME Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool AET (agg 4-3)

2210: Into added time... Avram Grant is out of his seat screaming at his players.

2208: Frank Lampard gets a huge ovation from the Chelsea fans as he trudges off to be replaced by Andriy Shevchenko.

2206: GOAL Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool (agg 4-3)
They can't... can they? Ryan Babel tries a hopeful shot from 30 yards which Petr Cech allows to slip through his fingers and into the top corner. Liverpool now need one goal to go through. An unbelievable finish...

2205: Javier Mascherano - who seems to be limping - gives away another free-kick with a clumsy tackle on Florent Malouda. Liverpool survive but they're not showing much sign of a miracle recovery.

2203: "Chelsea have shown remarkable reserves of strength to play themselves into this winning position - and in Drogba they have had a magnificent spearhead. Grant's side looked leggy and second best in the closing stages of normal time and yet staged a remarkable surge in the first period of extra time. I totally admire and respect what this Chelsea side has shown us this season - but should we ever write Liverpool off?"
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2201: Javier Mascherano pushes Florent Malouda to concede a free-kick about 30 yards out but Didier Drogba puts it into the wall. Should have left it to Ballack, Didier.

2158: Sami Hyypia tumbles in the box and a few Chelsea players are waving imaginary cards, accusing the defender of diving. Certainly wasn't a penalty.

2155: The teams switch ends and Liverpool need two goals in 15 minutes if they are to avoid their first semi-final loss in this competition since the mid 1960s.

2155: "What emotion on and off the pitch when Frank Lampard - still grieving the loss of his mother - showed tremendous nerve and character to step forward and beat Pepe Reina from the spot. The replacement of Torres with Babel is mystifying unless the Spaniard is carrying an injury."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2154: And that's half-time in extra time.

2153: GOAL Chelsea 3-1 Liverpool (agg 4-2)
Nicolas Anelka cuts the ball back from the byeline for Didier Drogba to slot home at the near post. Game over you would think - but Liverpool aren't bad at comebacks.

2152: "Taking Torres off is even stranger than starting with Harry Kewell in the 2005 final."
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2146: Ryan Babel replaces Fernando Torres and is almost immediately appealing for a penalty - but it's a good tackle by Michael Essien. From the corner Xabi Alonso's downward header goes straight to Petr Cech.

2145: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (agg 3-2)
Frank Lampard shows incredible poise to slot in the spot-kick. He runs to the corner flag where he kneels and kisses his black armband. As he runs back to the centre circle, he points to his father Frank Sr in the crowd.

2144: Penalty to Chelsea. Michael Ballack is moving away from goal when he is tripped by Sami Hyypia - but it is a clear foul.

2143: Incredible drama. Michael Essien is away and celebrating what he thinks is the winning goal and it seems like ages before play is called back. Three Chelsea players were offside when he scored to be fair.

2141: Steven Gerrard sends a corner over from the right and Sami Hyypia's header dribbles wide. Ryan Babel will be on any minute.

2139: A Manchester United fan on 606 is hoping Steven Gerrard scores the winner and takes his shirt off to celebrate. He's a booking away from missing the final you see...

2137: Extra time is under way. Nicolas Anelka is on for Joe Cole.

2135: "Essien is ineffective where he is. You've got to get him into midfield. He's one of the fittest men on the pitch and there are some very tired legs out there."
BBC Radio 5 analyst Graham Taylor

2133: FULL-TIME Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool (agg 2-2)
Extra time it is. As virtually everyone predicted.

2131: Ashley Cole flings over a long free-kick from the halfway line. Liverpool clear. Into two minutes of injury time.

2129: Steven Gerrard is down injured as Liverpool press forward. The ball eventually goes out of play so the Reds skipper can get treatment for what looks like cramp.

2127: So, so tense now. Javier Mascherano knocks the ball straight out of play to concede a corner. Pepe Reina gets a fist to it in a crowded penalty area - but he wins a free-kick anyway.

2126: Blimey, only five minutes remaining. Where did the time go?

2123: "Real tension now. Chelsea finally roused and going for a winner, but now grimly aware of the dangers of conceding a killer second away goal. Essien's surges down the the right flank pose a threat - could he not be better utilised in midfield where Ballack has been peripheral? Liverpool have had a real surge of confidence since the goal and you can sense they feel this game has swung dramatically back in their favour."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2122: "Re: 2113. Oh I think they heard you, mate. They left it 18 minutes, just like you said."
Anon via text on 81111

2121: Steven Gerrard has two corners in quick succession blocked by Claude Makelele - who is clearly not 10 yards away. Liverpool have to settle for a throw in the end.

2119: Jermaine Pennant gets some final instructions from Rafa Benitez before he comes on to replace Yossi Benayoun - the man who set up the equaliser.

2116: Liverpool just cannot clear their lines. Florent Malouda slips in the box then Ashley Cole wants a free-kick after getting a push. They are both denied. Then we're treated to a rampaging run by Michael Essien, who cuts inside and slams a shot into the side netting.

2113: "I SPECIFICALLY SAID that we mustn't concede in the first 15 mins!"
electricChelsea91 on 606
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They can't have heard you electricChelsea91

2110: Not sure this substitution will be one to cheer the Chelsea fans... Florent Malouda on for Salomon Kalou.

2109: "Liverpool back in it and no surprise who the scorer is. Torres the recipient of a clever pass from Yossi Benayoun, who had been switched from the left flank to the right by Benitez only two minutes earlier. Chelsea have gone into their shell at their start of the second half and paid the price."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2107: Liverpool want a free-kick as Steven Gerrard's shot smacks into John Terry - but it hits his chest, not his hand. We're heading for extra-time as it stands - after Liverpool's first goal at Stamford Bridge since 2004.

2104: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool
Yossi Benayoun beats Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou as he cuts in from the right and then releases Fernando Torres in the box who takes one touch with his left and finishes with his right.

2103: Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt swtich flanks. Peter Crouch and Ryan Babel are warming up on the touchline. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez can only make two changes after the early injury to Martin Skrtel.

2100: Javier Mascherano sprints down the right with the ball at his feet but his cross is caught by Petr Cech. Florent Malouda is warming up...

2056: "No doubt about it: Liverpool have raised their game. They're pushing on and taking the game to Chelsea in a much more aggressive and positive manner."
BBC Radio 5 analyst Graham Taylor

2055: The ball drops for Frank Lampard on the edge of the box but he shoots straight at Pepe Reina. Lampard has been otherwise outstanding so far tonight - especially when you consider his circumstances.

2052: "Liverpool still only need the one goal they required at the start to put this tie back on a knife-edge. There is a sense of both anticipation and tension around Stamford Bridge - and isn't it good to see an old-fashioned English mudbath? Avram Grant looks none the worse for his ungainly tumble into the dug-out thank goodness."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2049: Steven Gerrard heads a free-kick across goal for Dirk Kuyt, who pokes the ball towards the far post but Petr Cech makes a fabulous save. Chelsea scramble the ball away from the corner. Good start from Liverpool.

2047: BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Alan Green is just waxing lyrical about how well Didier Drogba is playing tonight when the Chelsea striker passes the ball straight out of play. He is playing well tonight though.

2045: We're off again. Chelsea merely have to hold out another 45 minutes to reach their first European Cup/Champions League final. Well, it sounds easy enough.

2044: Cripes. I nearly forgot to tell you about Player Rater. Not that it's in my contract or anything. It's Didier Drogba who's top of the pops of course. He's on 7.28. Alvaro Arbeloa's the bad boy on 5.18.
Rate the players

2041: Just seen replays of Gerrard v Grant. Gerrard catches the Chelsea boss with his arm and Grant goes down like a sack of spuds. Poor old fella.

2033: According to BBC Radio 5 Live, Steven Gerrard pushed Avram Grant over as the Liverpool skipper looked to get the ball back from the Chelsea manager on the touchline. The cameras didn't catch it unfortunately.

2031: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool (agg 2-1)

2029: "Chelsea own-goal in the 95th minute please."
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2026: Xabi Alonso is the first man into the book for bringing down a rampaging Salomon Kalou. Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack are standing over the free-kick... Ballack wins the battle to take it and smacks it into the stanchion.

2022: "Chelsea have been criticised in the past for playing rather sterile football. Not tonight. They're passing it about very, very well."
BBC Radio 5 analyst Graham Taylor

2017: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool (agg 2-1)
Alvaro Arbeloa fails to cut out Frank Lampard's pass and Salomon Kalou skips clear - although there is a sniff of offside. Kalou's fierce shot is beaten away by Pepe Reina but Didier Drogba smacks home the rebound and celebrates right in front of the Liverpool bench. Cheeky.

2016: Didier Drogba is penalised for I don't know what... oh, offside. Fair enough then. It's all gone a bit scrappy-do folks. Claude Makelele seems to be man-marking Steven Gerrard and he's keeping the Liverpool skipper fairly quiet at the moment.

2012: "Chelsea have created the best chances, but Liverpool's plan is clearly to slip Torres in behind the Chelsea defence. Ricardo Carvalho and John Terry have been wise to the ploy so far. Skrtel's departure is a blow for Liverpool, sustaining the injury making a superb tackle on Didier Drogba, Not too many instructions from Benitez to Hyypia. If anyone knows the Champions League drill it's the veteran Finn."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

2011: "It's a different type of game to yesterday's and the surface is playing its part. Liverpool have come back into it these last couple of minutes."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

2007: Chelsea's tactics are clear. Shoot on sight. Michael Essien has a pop from distance but Pepe Reina does well to gather in the wet conditions. A massive blow for Liverpool as Martin Skrtel hobbles off to be replaced by Sami Hyypia.

2003: What a chance - and what a move by Chelsea. The Blues stroke the ball around at pace before Frank Lampard plays in Didier Drogba with a beautifully-weighted pass. The first touch is perfect but the finish is far from it - scuffed past the far post. Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is struggling with an injury.

2000: Liverpool win a free-kick in a promising area but John Arne Riise scuffs it straight into the wall.

1959: "Rafa Benitez is almost within touching distance of the Chelsea fans in his technical area - and it is clear they have heard and noted his criticism of Didier Drogba. Of more relevance is a piece of sneaky tic-tac from Benitez that appears to be telling Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel not to get to pulled too far apart in defence. Carragher acknowledges the signal. Problem solved - for now."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

1958: "Come on the Blues! If we get through tonight, I'm going to party like it's 1993."
John Major, London, via text on 81111

1956: John Arne Riise's sliced clearance goes straight to Michael Ballack but the midfielder overhits his pass and Liverpool win the goal-kick. It was a right-footed clearance you will not be at all surprised to hear. That won't do a lot for his fragile confidence.

1955: Steven Gerrard plays in Fernando Torres with a brilliant pass but the striker opts to take an extra touch and that allows Petr Cech to come out and smother the shot.

1953: It's a fairly frantic start at Stamford Bridge. Plenty of misplaced passes and mis-timed tackles as the players try to settle.

1950: Didier Drogba drives in a low shot which skids off the slick surface and is palmed away by Pepe Reina. Good tactic that. I wouldn't want to be a keeper tonight. The rain has been coming down for most of the day - and it's started again now.

1948: Martin Skrtel appears to nudge Didier Drogba out of the way in order to win a header but the Chelsea striker doesn't win the free-kick. Is that a sign of things to come for Drogba?

1946: "Chelsea's match announcer openly encourages the home fans to give Riise a special cheer after his own goal at Anfield as he goes through the team-sheets. Not particularly funny and also maybe just a little premature. Tempting fate perhaps? Not a smart move on any level."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

1945: Off we go then. John Terry is up for this - as if you needed telling. He appeared to dispute the coin toss just then, but it all ends in smiles.

1941: The Chelsea fans are all waving blue and white chequered flags as the players come out onto the pitch. Only two Champions League anthems to go until the end of the season, which brings a little tear to my eye.

1940: The Liverpool players are in the tunnel already and Joe Cole pops out a little earlier than his team-mates to shake hands with them.

1933: A small plea from me. Please stop texting in asking me to publish the John Arne Riise joke (see 1923). I simply do not believe there is a living soul out there who has not heard it. And if there is, it's not that good anyway.

1931: "I'm about to lose it due to nerves, but before I do... Interesting line-up. Dunno about the combo of Benny-Noon and Riise on the left, I do feel Chelsea might be able to exploit that. Hope not. Can't believe Grant has pushed Essien back at RB with the aged Makelele in the holding role. That favours us, I think."
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1925: "Chelsea may have left Anfield with a crucial away goal courtesy of John Arne Riise, but it is impossible to find anyone in the media room who is confidently predicting a victory for Avram Grant's side. The impromptu straw poll is dominated by four words - extra-time and penalties. It could be a long and wet night at the Bridge. Liverpool have come out to warm up - let's hope it goes off better than Manchester United's warm-down on Saturday."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge

1923: A small plea from me. Please stop texting in the John Arne Riise joke. It's sooooo last week.

1919: Let's get this out of the way shall we? Liverpool have not scored at Stamford Bridge in eight matches under Rafa Benitez. The last Reds player to score there? Bruno Cheyrou of course. Back in January 2004 in a 1-0 league win.

1911: "In this situation, the manager has to trust his player totally."
Graham Taylor on Lampard's inclusion in the Chelsea team

1910: Some big, big names walking the metaphorical tightrope this evening. John Terry for Chelsea and Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard for Liverpool are all a yellow card away from missing the final in Moscow.

1906: "Liverpool won't go chasing the game. They'll play in their European way and I cannot see that changing unless they still need a goal near the end."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1904: "From one ginger hero last night to another tonight - I fancy Riise to lash in a long-range effort and win it for Liverpool tonight making up for his error in the first leg."
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1902: Now then, our referee tonight is Italian Roberto Rosetti - who enjoys playing tennis, reading and watching movies in his spare time. My research tells me was the tallest ref at the 2006 World Cup at a whopping 6ft 3ins.

1900: "Re 1855: Bit harsh Caroline. What JT is saying is that if Chelsea play for the draw, they will lose. They must go and play positively for once. Boring the opposition to death works from time to time, but Liverpool are too good to play against for 90 minutes hoping for a 0-0. Eventually they will get their chances."
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1858: Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez says: "Our future does not depend purely on one game. If you win the Champions League, people will say 'fantastic, you're going in the right direction'. And if you lose they will say it is bad, you are not progressing, but it is not like that."

1855: "Tonight we must win," says skipper John Terry in his programme notes. Shall I tell him the away goals rule, or will you?

1854: "Does anyone know if Riise is playing in defence for Liverpool or up front for Chelsea tonight?"
Valleymatt, via text on 81111
Now now.

1845: TEAMS
Chelsea: Cech, Essien, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Ballack, Makelele, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba. Subs: Cudicini, Shevchenko, Mikel, Malouda, Alex, Belletti, Anelka.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Riise, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard, Torres. Subs: Itandje, Finna, Hyypia, Crouch, Pennant, Babel, Lucas.

1839: Word reaches me that Frank Lampard definitely starts for Chelsea tonight. John Arne Riise is at left-back for Liverpool. Yossi Benayoun is in for Ryan Babel. Confirmation shortly.

1834: Bye Tom. Bye bye. Only 70 minutes to go now... How you feeling?

By Tom Fordyce

1828: Probably about 15 minutes until we know tonight's teams. No promises on that mind you - maybe it will be 17 minutes, or perhaps even 20. But rest assured, you'll be the first to know. After me, obviously.

1825: From BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "Plenty of people about the place now, the bars are full to the brim - although that may have something to do with the torrential rain down here. Despite that, there's a sense on the streets that this is the calm before the storm."

From Hairy Dan via text: "Liverpool have to win or I get all my body hair shaved off by my Everton-fan girlfriend."

1744: Just had a gander at tonight's programme - sorry, official match-day magazine. This from John Terry's column:

"It's probably the biggest week of my Chelsea career so far. We've got a result at Anfield but it's not over yet - we've made a step in the right direction, but we need to close the game and finish it off."

From hustler on 606: "As a United fan, I will be rooting for Liverpool to meet us in the final - but getting revenge on Chelsea in Moscow for last weekend's match would also suit us fine..."

1727: From BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "To a man, every Liverpool fan I've spoken to is tipping Riise to not only start but to redeem himself after last week's howler.

"Chelsea fans I've spoken to are less convinced about how Frank Lampard will be if he starts."

1715: Croatia gaffer and former West Ham and Everton stalwart Slaven Bilic will be going to the match tonight - interesting - and he's just spoken to one of our lads. He thinks Chelsea are going to edge it, "...but you never know in these games".

1700: An enormous clap of thunder of The Bridge, and it's sheeting down again.

1645: From BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "Most important leg of my stroll: pub-watch. The likes of So Bar, Brogans, the Slug and the Prince of Wales are all filling up fast and getting loud.

"Harwood Arms might be your best bet for a quiet pre-match drink - or otherwise get off at West Brompton and make your way up from there."

From CEubank on 606: "Unreal, of all the nights to cop a 2-10 shift... rest assured there'll be some F5 refresh page spamming for me 2nite."

1615: From BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "Black market ticket pricings, three and a half hours before kick-off: Chelsea 300, Liverpool 450."

The classic supply-and-demand model made text.

From laurina4me on 606: "As a Man Utd supporter, I am beginning to enjoy every bit of this wranglings between the two teams. I really don't care a rap whoever wins but I will slightly lean towards Liverpool as nobody knows Chelsea outside London."

Controversial. What about Woking?

1545: From BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "The fans slowly but surely appear to be descending on Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea Village is a hub of activity as security and groundstaff make their preparations.

"Just had a quick peek at the pitch too - and with the sun now shining, it's looking in perfect nick."

From jdno_cfc on 606: "So excited about tonight's encounter I can hardly work. Today's assignment is a mass email to 15000 people about artificial tanning. Might just include a snippet along these lines: 'CHELSEA CHELSEA CHELSEA!'"

1520, from BBC Sport's Sam Lyon: "A handful of shirts and scarves on show around Fulham Broadway, but screaming pre-match hysteria it certainly ain't."

Give it time, give it time...

1505: Interesting work from our colleagues over on BBC News, who have found firms exploiting a legal loophole to sell tickets for tonight's match at up to 5,000.

From Timo via text: "I had a dream last night that it would be 1-0 to us with Torres getting the goal. Put your house on it - mine is."

1453, from BBC Sport's Sam Lyon at Fulham Broadway: "As I make my way towards Stamford Bridge, one thing is clear: the District Line from Notting Hill Gate is not yet the favoured route of Chelsea and Liverpool fans.

"That said, I'm currently sat opposite two ladies head to toe in Chelsea kit."

1445: Nice little row brewing between Rafa Benitez and Didier Drogba over them there diving allegations.

Here's the big striker's chat: "Perhaps he is looking for something to destabilise us before the match."

Usually a light breeze is enough for Drog, no?

From TKRedman on 606: "I know I'm a romantic optimist, but it just seems to be set up for Riise to be the hero after the little slip up last week. Just the one goal will do it, from 40 yards would be nice."

1432, from high_as_kuyt on 606: "I dont know what's worse, the anticipation of the game tonight or the possibility of facing Man Utd in the final. Oh, my nerves..."

1430: It's a soggy old day in west London, but there's no danger of this cracker turning into a damp squib.

Expect hyperbole and cliche along those lines throughout the afternoon, plus all the news, chat and banter as it happens.

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