I hate Chelsea, the manager, the fans, the plastic flags, the people payed to wave flags, the team, the players, everything, but I have to admit they are good at winning football matches, I hate the horrible, snide way they go about winning them, but they do win. When the draw was made for the semi final there was no doubt that I was worried Chelsea are a very tough nut to crack and I doubted that we had enough to progress. But then came the first leg and we out played them our new system worked and we had the better of the game, of course Chelsea got a snide, half dive penalty and the game finished 1-1 but we were the better team, despite what Mourinho claimed. That result, however, left us needing a win at Stamford Bridge to go through, very difficult but this time I felt we were in with a chance, we could produce the same performance again.
We did produce the performance, especially in the first half but some exceptional goalkeeping kept us out with Moreno, Coutinho and Sterling all forcing excellent saves, in the second half we seemed to run out of steam, every one of our players left nothing on the pitch and worked themselves to a stand still, we had to to keep Chelsea out, they are an exceptional team with great individuals. The injury to Sakho really cost us and was the beginning of the end, he had been imperious at the back for Liverpool. Before the game, during the warm up he had been holding his back and it looked to me like he had played with an injury that had simply got to much Johnson replaced him and we immediately struggled and with Balotelli taking to the pitch shortly afterwards and producing nothing we were in trouble. We did manage to hold on until the end of normal time with most of the credit going to Mignolet for a couple of really good stops.
In extra time Liverpool looked exhausted Lucas especially looked out on his feet and it was Lucas who gave away the free kick, admittedly following a terrible ball from Balotelli, that led to the goal, poor marking, again, allowed a free header and the goal. Lambert took to the field at half time in the extra period and produced nothing with Liverpool unable to create anything in this period of the game Chelsea we simply to strong. We did have one glorious chance to take the game to penalties when some excellent wing play from Sterling found Henderson in the box but he put his header wide when it seemed a goal was certain.
For me today we played very well up to the point where we became tired, and Sakho became injured. The subs let us down Johnson, Balotelli and Lambert gave us nothing as has been the case from these three all season, The manager had little choice as to what to do, I know Lallana was on the bench but when you need a goal you turn to your strikers and ours aren't good enough, I think we all know where any money needs to be spent and I could name three players who for me are not earning their wages and I would have absolutely no problems if they left the club.
Now this may sound like sour grapes but i don't really care. The tactics employed by Chelsea as a team and by individual players are a disgrace and i don't know how they get away with it. We saw Costa clearly and purposefully stamp on players not once but twice. He also had a run in with Gerrard where he pushed is head into the Liverpool captains face, three times was accused of diving by the referee and as normal spent most of his time with his hands in the faces of Liverpool defenders enough to be sent off three times if you include a yellow for diving four times in one game and unbelievably Mourinho defends this so I assume that this behaviour is encouraged by his manager this is how he is told to play by Chelsea. If Suarez, whilst he was at Liverpool had acted in the same manner he would have been all over the front pages of the papers, had questions asked in parliament and would have been banned for most of the season, Costa picked up a yellow card eventually.
Further we see Mourinho at half time challenging the referee, putting pressure on for the decisions to be made in favour of his team, blatant cheating, this is not allowed, when he is caught by the fourth official what happens? No action, he is simply warned that the cameras are on him and he skulks away behind a crowd of players, cheating but no action taken by the officials, again.
We watch Hazard, a wonderful footballer, or could be if he stands on his feet diving time and time again, any action taken by the referee? of course not, Mourinho has already put the pressure on in the press and as we have seen in person so nothing gets done, again
We see John Terry smash through the back of Sterling in an obvious attempt to slow him down, a reducer, any action taken, nope, again, in fact later in the game when Ivanovic hacks down the same player we actually do see a yellow card for the Chelsea player followed by a warm handshake between player and ref.
Despite this when Liverpool foul, which they did, almost the whole Chelsea team would surround the referee requesting a booking, i'm certain this is an instruction, they do this to put pressure on the referee. Mourinho is the same, in the ear of the officials on the side lines continuously, in fact he missed his teams goal still moaning for a card to be given to Lucas several minutes after the foul.
Chelsea won this semi final because they had the stronger squad, we were not able to replace tired players with equal quality when we needed to at the end of the game and Chelsea could, on this occasion they were to strong, but i am proud of the Liverpool team we did well pushed them to the very limit, you can see by the tactics they had to employ to beat us. We have shown that we are good enough to compete with the best teams in the country so for that well done.