Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool can reach Capital One Cup final

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Brendan Rodgers
"We can go to Stamford Bridge to give the performance to get the result we need." - Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says his side can reach the Capital One Cup final after being held by Chelsea in the semi-final first leg at Anfield.

Eden Hazard put Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot before Raheem Sterling equalised with superb solo effort.

"I felt the performance here was a good benchmark of how we are working right now," Rodgers said.

"This has reinforced my feeling that we can go to Stamford Bridge to give the performance to get the result we need."

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The Reds are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions since their 3-0 defeat away to Manchester United in mid-December.

Rodgers recently said Liverpool have "regained their identity" and he thinks that the way Chelsea will approach the second leg of this tie could benefit his side.

"You'd expect Chelsea to open up a little more in the second leg," Rodgers added.

"That will help us because of the pace and invention we have in the team.

"They have got a good record at home but we haven't conceded in our last three games away from home."

Rodgers felt Sterling's performance warranted specific praise and says the 20-year-old forward was refreshed after a week-long break in Jamaica to recharge his batteries.

Rodgers added: "The rest has done him the world of good. I thought he was outstanding in his movement. He's got a great ability to run in behind defenders but also to run at them into the box.

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"His speed was frightening to get in and finish off his goal and he certainly deserved that for his performance."

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who Rodgers felt should have been punished for handling the ball outside the penalty area, impressed for the visitors.

And Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho now rates the 22-year-old Belgium international in the top three keepers in the world.

"The Premier League is full of top goalkeepers but we have the best two in Thibaut and Petr Cech," Mourinho said.

"I think the three best goalkeepers in the world are Petr, Courtois and Manuel Neuer."

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