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Page last updated at 21:42 GMT, Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool

By Mandeep Sanghera

Frank Lampard shoots and sees his shot take a deflection on its way into the Liverpool net
Lampard's shot takes a deflection on its way into the Liverpool net

Chelsea booked a place in the Carling Cup semi-finals by beating a Liverpool side who had Peter Crouch red-carded.

Both sides had missed gilt-edged chances in a tight first half with Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Liverpool's Lucas Leiva having shots saved.

But Lampard atoned for his error when his strike was deflected in off Jamie Carragher before Crouch saw red for a reckless tackle on John Mikel Obi.

Andriy Shevchenko lashed in an angled shot to secure Chelsea's win.

The match had started off like most between these two in recent times as both sides quickly closed each other down with space and time at a premium.

Liverpool's strategy saw them sit back and challenge Chelsea to find a way through, while hoping to catch their rivals on the counter-attack.


They survived a scare when keeper Charles Itandje pushed a Salomon Kalou shot wide before almost succeeding with a goal on the break.

Ryan Babel surged towards Chelsea's goal but took too much time to pick out a team-mate and his pull-back was blocked.

But there were signs of the match having more of an attacking edge as the first half progressed and Lampard should have put the home side ahead after 25 minutes.

Lampard was inadvertently put clean through on the Reds goal by Alvaro Arbeloa and seemed set to score only for Itandje to stand tall and block his shot as he tried to dink it in.

Almost immediately, a one-touch passing move on the edge of the Chelsea box gave Lucas a clean sight of goal and his angled shot was well saved by keeper Petr Cech.

Liverpool striker Peter Crouch is sent-off in his side's defeat at Chelsea
Crouch was shown red for his challenge on Mikel

The game quickly reverted to type and the rest of the opening half was a cagey affair with just a Michael Essien strike, which flashed wide, a rare threat on goal.

Essien again went close after the break when a similarly sweetly-struck effort was palmed round the post by Itandje.

Cech came to his side's rescue at the other end after Ricardo Carvalho's tame back header let in Crouch.

The Reds striker tried to chip Cech but the keeper managed to get enough of a touch to stop the ball going in and allow his backtracking defenders to clear.

It proved a vital miss as Shevchenko slipped Lampard in on goal and his shot was deflected in off Carragher.

The Reds suffered another setback before they could regroup as Crouch was sent-off for a reckless challenge on Mikel.

The striker lunged two-footed at the Chelsea midfielder and referee Martin Atkinson had little hesitation in brandishing his red card.

Liverpool carried little threat with 10 men as Chelsea comfortably closed out the game.

Shevchenko sealed the win with his late goal as he powered in a shot from an acute angle after a pass by substitute Michael Ballack.

Chelsea: Cech, Bridge, Carvalho, Belletti, Ben-Haim, Essien, Mikel (Ballack 68), Lampard, Kalou, Shevchenko (Sidwell 90), Sinclair (Joe Cole 57).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Ferreira.

Goals: Lampard 59, Shevchenko 90.

Liverpool: Itandje, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hobbs, Aurelio, Sissoko, Lucas, Alonso (El Zhar 60), Voronin, Crouch, Babel (Benayoun 73).
Subs Not Used: Martin, Hyypia, Riise.

Sent Off: Crouch (60).

Booked: Alonso, Lucas, Sissoko.

Att: 41,366

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

see also
Benitez defends sent-off Crouch
19 Dec 07 |  League Cup
Arsenal & Spurs face cup showdown
19 Dec 07 |  League Cup
Carling Cup as it happened
19 Dec 07 |  League Cup
Wednesday's football photos
19 Dec 07 |  Football
Chelsea Player Rater
13 Dec 06 |  Live Text

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