Premier League
Liverpool0Chelsea2

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool

Chelsea blew open the race for the Premier League title by ending leaders Liverpool's 11-game winning streak with a deserved victory at Anfield.

Demba Ba gave the Blues the lead at the end of the first half after Steven Gerrard's slip and Willian capped the win with a breakaway goal in stoppage time.

Chelsea played with a back six - Rodgers

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Chelsea played with a back six - Rodgers

The result ends Liverpool's 16-match unbeaten streak that had seen them march to the top of the table and means the title is no longer in their control.

Manchester City can draw level with them if they win their game in hand, while Chelsea are two points behind, within touching distance should Brendan Rodgers' side slip up again.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho had threatened to field a weakened team at Anfield ahead of his side's Champions League semi-final second leg with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday but, helped by a disjointed Liverpool display, he produced another tactical masterclass to earn the points.

Liverpool's attempt at a trademark fast start failed in the face of a wall of blue shirts, with the visitors' five-man midfield sitting deep to protect their back four.

Chelsea were keen to disrupt the home side's flow in other ways too, taking their time over set-pieces from the first minute onwards to visibly frustrate Liverpool's players as well as annoying their fans.

The game's pattern of play was soon established. The Reds were still dominant in terms of possession but, on reaching the edge of the Chelsea area, they struggled to open up a typically well-organised defence.

After Liverpool wasted a rare sight of goal when Mamadou Sakho blasted over, they failed to bring a meaningful save from Mark Schwarzer in the first half.

Aside from a skidding Ashley Cole shot and an appeal for a penalty when Mohamed Salah's shot hit Jon Flanagan's hand inside the area, Chelsea did not threaten much either.

But, with Branislav Ivanovic solid alongside rookie Czech defender Tomas Kalas at the back, their game-plan of frustrating their hosts was working and received an unexpected bonus before the break.

Gerrard miscontrolled a Sakho pass then slipped inside his own half, allowing Ba to run unopposed towards the Kop before coolly slotting the ball past Simon Mignolet.

Chelsea celebrate a goal at Anfield
Fernando Torres was unselfish in squaring the ball for Willian when Chelsea scored their second late on

The Liverpool fans chanted Gerrard's name at half-time but, try as he might with a succession of long-range shots, their usually inspirational skipper could not make amends for his mistake.

An absorbing second half again saw Liverpool's attack up against Chelsea's defence and, again it was the stubbornness of Mourinho's men that prevailed.

Mourinho revels in 'beautiful victory'

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Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Jose Mourinho revels in 'beautiful victory'

Even the introduction of Daniel Sturridge to join Luis Suarez in attack made little difference, with their usually prolific partnership failing to find a way through.

Liverpool's best effort was a volley from Joe Allen from the edge of the area that a diving Schwarzer brilliantly palmed away, but in truth Schwarzer had little else to do until he acrobatically denied Suarez in stoppage time.

Moments later, Chelsea made sure of the three points that puts the title race back in the balance. Fernando Torres broke clear and unselfishly played in Willian to fire home their second goal and ensure it was Mourinho, and not Rodgers, celebrating at the final whistle.

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Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 38FlanaganSubstituted forIago Aspasat 81'minutes
  • 8Gerrard
  • 37Skrtel
  • 17Sakho
  • 21LucasSubstituted forSturridgeat 58'minutes
  • 24Allen
  • 7Suarez
  • 31Sterling
  • 10Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 5Agger
  • 6Luis Alberto
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 15Sturridge
  • 20Cissokho

Chelsea

  • 23Schwarzer
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 3ColeBooked at 90mins
  • 12Mikel
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 33Kalas
  • 21Matic
  • 8LampardBooked at 43mins
  • 19BaSubstituted forTorresat 84'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 15SalahBooked at 21minsSubstituted forWillianat 60'minutes
  • 14SchürrleSubstituted forCahillat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Torres
  • 16Van Ginkel
  • 22Willian
  • 24Cahill
  • 27Aké
  • 40Hilario
  • 47Baker
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
44,726

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home26
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home14
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 0, Chelsea 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 0, Chelsea 2.
Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 0, Chelsea 2. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Torres following a fast break.

Booking

Fernando Torres (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fernando Torres (Chelsea).

Booking

Ashley Cole (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mark Schwarzer.
Attempt saved. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.
Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Fernando Torres replaces Demba Ba.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by John Obi Mikel.
Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Gary Cahill.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Iago Aspas replaces Jon Flanagan.
Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Gary Cahill replaces André Schürrle.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Liverpool3625565080
2Chelsea3624664378
3Man City3524565877
4Arsenal3521772170
5Everton3620972169
6Tottenham3620610366
7Man Utd35186112060
8Southampton36141012752
9Newcastle3514417-1546
10Stoke36111114-1144
11Crystal Palace3613419-1543
12Swansea3610917-139
13Hull3510718-937
14West Ham3610719-1137
15West Brom3571513-1236
16Aston Villa359818-1735
17Sunderland358819-2032
18Norwich368820-3232
19Fulham369423-4231
20Cardiff367920-3830
View full Premier League table

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