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Reds' run halted

Vinnie Jones and Dennis Wise were Chelsea's heroes as they halted Liverpool's championship charge with their first league win at Anfield since the 1935/36 season.

Jones and Wise, FA Cup winners with Wimbledon against Liverpool in 1988, gave Graeme Souness' side another case of the blues.

And it ruined Souness' celebrations after being named manager of the month for January and receiving his award before the game.

Jones fired the Londoners in front with a spectacular shot from 20 yards that flew in off the underside of the bar in front of a stunned Kop.

Ronnie Rosenthal pulled Liverpool level 10 minutes later with an equally emphatic finish after a dreadful mix-up in the centre of the Chelsea defence.

Chelsea could have reclaimed the lead six minutes into the second half when Graham Stuart went round Grobbelaar five yards out of his area, but saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Rob Jones.

Rosenthal then hit the bar when clean through in the 64th minute as the play switched from end to end.

With 15 minutes to go Wise struck to put Ian Porterfield's Stamford Bridge outfit back in front.
Captain Andy Townsend fed Stuart on the edge of the area and he released Wise into the box. The winger held his nerve to bury a low right-foot shot.

With eight minutes to go Clive Allen was clean through with only Grobbelaar to beat but lifted the ball over the bar and two minutes later Chelsea were awarded a penalty. Substitute Mike Marsh, on for captain Mark Wright, brought down Allen and Wise stepped up for the kick.

But Grobbelaar threw himself to his right to beat out Wise's firmly struck spot kick and ensure an anxious final six minutes for the Londoners as they battled to hold out against Liverpool's increasingly frenzied attacks.

But Chelsea, who last won at Anfield in an FA Cup victory in 1966, held out to end the Merseysiders' 13-match unbeaten run and blight their surge into contention in the championship chase.

Furious Liverpool boss Graeme Souness attacked his players after their first defeat in 14 league games. Souness even said sorry to the Anfield faithful.

"That was maybe the most disappointing performance since I came to this club. All in all, it was totally inept," said Souness. “The players were guilty of believing what was written and said about them after Wednesday night (when Liverpool beat champions Arsenal at Anfield) and I apologise to all our supporters for that performance."

Wise, a member of the Wimbledon side that toppled Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final, said: "It was great to get the winner but it wasn't just me out there. There were 10 other Chelsea players on the pitch and they all did brilliantly. It was a great performance and we deserved it."

But Wise still believes Liverpool can challenge for the championship title despite this reverse and added: "Don't write them off. They will be up there at the end."

Jones said: "I can't wait to come back here again. I've won here with Wimbledon, now I've won here with Chelsea and I've drawn here twice. It was a good way for us to bounce back after the midweek humiliation against Southampton in the Zenith Data Systems Cup. Now the gaffer has given us three days off and told us just to go away and put our feet up."

Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield said: "It's 57 years since we've won here, so that proves how formidable Liverpool are. It's a great result for everyone."

Souness received his manager of the month award for January before the game.

Copyright - British Soccer week

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