report generating LIVERWEB - Liverpool Chelsea Match Report - 05 May 2012

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Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

The Reds lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea on a disappointing afternoon at Wembley and it was largely down to a poor Reds hour and only threatening to play once Andy Carroll was sent on to the pitch.

They always say Wembley is great as a winner but an awful place if you lose and I have to say I agree but you could argue that any ground you lose a final on is an awful place to be.

It's always easy to look at the game in hindsight and not as the manager but for me we played the wrong side and showed too much respect to Chelsea. For their part they played well to take advantage of our weakness and deserved to win but it could have been a whole lot different had we started 442.

The Reds lined up with Suarez on his own up front whilst Spearing, Henderson and Gerrard played midfield. This for me is where the weakness shone through as their midfield were stronger.

A decent trip down to Wembley on what turned out to be a sunny day saw the teams come out at Wembley for the usual line up and presentation before the sides got ready for the big game.

Chelsea started the game and settled quickest in to the game. The Reds were a bit slow and just looked to get the ball down and crab like their way forward. It just meant that we never really supported Suarez much and that made us concede too much space.

The game was just ten and a half minutes old when Chelsea opened the scoring. We conceded possession in midfield and Mata sent Ramires free and as he managed to hold off Enrique he entered the area and then beat Reina at his near post. There was so much you could pick about the goal that was bad about us but it was still early and at least we had the chance to come back in to it. Perhaps the goal would shake us up a bit to get more with it.

I have to say the first half was all a bit dull really with Chelsea easily in charge of the game whilst the Reds looked lost and out of their depth. We created nothing and rarely threatened too whilst when Chelsea went forward you did have worries about them getting a move right.

On thirty six minutes the ref got the yellow card out for the first time as Jon Obi Mikel hacked Gerrard a bit and he couldn't really complain. That said the ref did have one of his easiest games to be honest. Nothing was too over the top and he kept it flowing when he could so in fairness to him he deserves some credit for that.

About five minutes before half time Suarez had a difficult header on goal but just couldn't quite guide it on target and that was about as exciting as we got in the first half. Just before the interval Agger was booked and like Mikel he couldn't really complain about it.

The second half was started by the Reds and surely half time would have seen a rocket aimed at the Reds and we'd blast our way to victory in the second half. That was all a bit pie in the sky until we were two down though.

The second Chelsea goal came six minutes in to the half when the Reds just seemed to be asleep and that allowed Drogba far too much time to shoot past Reina and even this early that just told me it was over. We had started the second half in the same lethargic way as the first and we just looked outclassed in every department. Something major was needed now for us to win the cup.

The Reds were stung in to action with Andy Carroll coming on for Jay Spearing who had been very ineffectual in the game and given the ball away far too often. It gave the Reds more shape and style and allowed us to have a proper target up front. At least now if we threatened to move forward we could cross the ball.

The substitution made a huge difference to the Reds and we started to move up the pitch a bit more. We did look slightly vulnerable on the counter but chances had to be taken now.

On sixty three minutes the pressure that we were starting to make paid off as Andy Carroll smashed the ball home after some neat play in the area. This was with just under half an hour to go and this could now see us build some momentum and that's what it did. Why oh why did it take the management and players to go two down before we reacted!

Jordan Henderson fired a shot over the bar just after the goal as we started to push Chelsea back and they really started to play us on the counter attack more now.

We really were starting to move forward well now and shots were going in but far too many were off target and not really troubling Cech too much.

With twelve minutes to go the Reds made a second change as Dirk Kuyt came on to replace Bellamy who had been very quiet in the game. Kuyt came on with bright orange boots which just didn't look right to me. Players all wear these kind of boots these days but for some reason they just looked wrong on Kuyt.

There was huge controversy with eight minutes to go as Andy Carroll managed to get an effort on target but Cech managed to save it on the line. Well that's where the controversy was - Carroll ran off celebrating that it was in but no indication was given and Chelsea continued to play. Suarez raced over to lambast the lino and earned himself a booking and everyone was left wondering whether it had gone in or not. Phones were out and trying to get replays or texts through with some saying it was in and some saying it wasn't. As it was a controversial incident of course the huge screens couldn't show it but the most important thing was that it wasn't given and we were still losing.

We continued to pour forward and try to bag an equaliser to at least force extra time but it just wouldn't fall for us. Chances were being missed and even with five added minutes we just couldn't do it and the ref blew for time. It was gutting I have to admit and you always expect to win finals but some times you do lose them. That really has to be a lesson to the players just as much as well and they need to learn fast.

The final was lost and the trip home was a mixed affair - a bit of singing with pride and a bit of sleeping thanks to the long day but we'll be back - we;re Liverpool FC. We could of course exact revenge on Tuesday in the league game but it won't make up for this one.

MotM : Andy Carroll - completely changed our philosophy in to the game and left you with the - if only he'd started thoughts.

Liverpool 25 Reina, 2 Johnson, 5 Agger, 23 Carragher, 3 Enrique,14 Henderson, 8 Gerrard, 19 Downing, 20 Spearing (9 Carroll 55), 39 Bellamy (18 Kuyt 78), 7 Suarez
Unused Subs
32 Doni, 11 Maxi, 33 Shelvey, 34 Kelly, 23 Carragher
Goal(s) Carroll (64)
Bookings Agger (45), Suarez (82)
Red Cards
Shirt Worn Home-Red
Manager Kenny Dalglish (2)

1 Cech, 17 Bosingwa, 2 Ivanovic, 26 Terry, 3 Cole, 7 Ramires (16 Meireles 76), 12 Mikel), 8 Lampard, 21 Kalou, 11 Drogba, 10 Mata (15 Malouda 90)
Unused Subs 22 Turnbull, 9 Torres, 5 Essien, 19 Ferreira, 23 Sturridge
Goal(s) Ramires (11), Drogba (52)
Booking Mikel (37)
Shirt Worn Blue
Manager Roberto Di Matteo

Referee Phil Dowd    Staffordshire
Att 89102
Venue Wembley
Kick Off Saturday - 17:15:00
Date 2012-05-05 
HT/FT LL   (0-1)/1-2
Goal Sequence (Liverpool first) 0-1, 0-2, 1-2
Competition FA Cup   Final

Match Stats

Liverpool   Chelsea
55% Possession 45%
10 Shots On Target 6
8 Shots Off Target 8
0 Blocked Shots 0
7 Corners 1
8 Fouls 5
4 Offsides 3
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0

Team Stats


Opposition form summary coming in to the match


Average Age of Starting Line-up - 26.8

Match Programme

Match number 49 of the season

Domestic Match number 49 of the season

FA Cup Match number 411 of all time

Match number 5307 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)

Match number 164 against Chelsea

Away Match number 85 against Chelsea

Cup Match number 26 against Chelsea

Away Cup Match number 16 against Chelsea