Liverpool gain revenge on Chelsea
After losing out on the FA Cup, Liverpool come out all guns blazing in Premier League fixture to record 4-1 thrashing.
Last Modified: 08 May 2012 22:23
Great goals and great strikes were the order of the day as Henderson scores a crisp second for Reds [GALLO/GETTY]

Just three days after losing the FA Cup final to Chelsea, Liverpool gained their revenge in the Premier League with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday.

In a thrilling end-to-end game, Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool were uncharacteristically decisive in front of goal causing endless problems for the Chelsea defence.

Blues manager Roberto di Matteo had chosen a weakened side to the one that lifted the trophy at Wembley and may pay the price if his team fails to win the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

The result means Chelsea finish outside the top four places in the Premier League and need to win the Champions League to be guaranteed a place next season.

Liverpool move back up to eighth with Chelsea definitely finishing sixth - the Blues' lowest finish in the league for a decade.

It was a well-deserved and needed victory for Liverpool after struggling recently at Anfield, which used to be viewed as a fortress, during a difficult campaign.

Chelsea went into the game having secured more away points (25) than Liverpool had managed at home (24).

Two cups finals and his legendary status have helped Dalglish escape widespread criticism for finishing well outside the Champions League places but he will not be so lucky if his team does not improve next year. Especially as Liverpool spent vast sums in last summer's transfer window.

Big money signings such as Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson have failed to rejuvenate an ageing side.

Ready reds

However, Henderson was on the scoresheet on Tuesday with Liverpool back to their best against a tired Chelsea side whose cups runs have resulted in a hectic end to the season.

With the Bayern clash looming, Di Matteo rested Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and started with Frank Lampard and Juan Mata on the bench.

Liverpool wasted no time in getting their revenge, scoring three times in the first-half to avenge cup loss.

 After spending millions in the transfer season, Dalglish would have expected to finish higher with Liverpool [EPA]

Without skipper Steven Gerrard, Liverpool were clearly desperate to put right the wrongs from a disappointing performance at the weekend.

And they never looked back after Michael Essien turned the ball into his own net in the 19th minute while trying to clear from Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had made a magnificent run towards goal.

Chelsea captain John Terry then slipped to pave the way for Henderson to double Liverpool's lead in the 25th minute, the former Sunderland player producing a delightful finish past keeper Ross Turnbull.

And Daniel Agger made it 3-0 in the 28th minute when the Dane nodded home after clever work by Andy Carroll.

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, who had managed just seven goals in his previous 44 Premier League appearances for the Londoners, was denied by the woodwork before half time with an angled shot.

Liverpool's Stewart Downing, yet to score a league goal since joining from Aston Villa in pre-season, then twice hit the woodwork himself before the break. Having struck the bar with a dipping 25-yard attempt, the winger then hit the
post from the penalty spot after Branislav Ivanovic had fouled Carroll in the dying moments of a thrilling first half.

Chelsea did reduce their deficit in the 50th minute. Ramires scored against the Reds at Wembley and the Brazilian was at it again as Florent Malouda's free-kick hit his midriff before trickling into the net.

But Chelsea's revival was short-lived thanks to Turnbull.

The keeper's attempted clearance landed at the feet of Jonjo Shelvey, who rifled a first-time effort from 30-yards into the net in front of the Kop to make it 4-1 in the 61st minute.

There was time for Liverpool to bring on 17-year-old Raheem Sterling while Maxi Rodriguez appeared to wave goodbye to fans when he was substituted in the closing stages.

As the Liverpool players, decked with babies and children, did a lap of honour in front of their home crowd, Dalglish reflects on a season where his team have underperformed in the Premier League.

The same can be said for Chelsea, although a Champions League title would certainly make amends for that.

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