Articles

Reina heroics put Chelsea on the spot

The Telegraph report by Henry Winter.

Be careful what you wish for: Jose Mourinho had been moaning about never receiving penalties and his Chelsea team were put painfully on the spot at a crowing Anfield last night. Arjen Robben and Geremi both missed in the shoot-out, denied by the brilliance of Pepe Reina, and Liverpool were off, laughing and dancing, singing and shouting, to Athens for the May 23 final of the European Cup.

“In ancient Greece, we’ll win it six times,” chorused the Kop, before reminding Mourinho that talk is cheap, European trophies are real riches. “Some Teams Make Headlines – Others Make History,” read one banner. And the real special ones make really special saves.

Reina seems to come most to life when the ball goes dead. In years to come, Liverpool school art-classes will feature tableaux of the remarkable shoot-out, fabled images of Reina flinging himself this way and that, echoing past European feats of Bruce Grobbelaar and Jerzy Dudek.

Chelsea’s spirit subsided, like a rapidly deflating balloon, crushed by the reflexes of Reina. The Spaniard was a feared stopper of penalties during his time at Villarreal, and most famously in last season’s FA Cup final, where he broke West Ham’s hearts.

Yet Chelsea had Petr Cech in goal, and respected penalty-takers throughout their line-up. Maybe this was where Liverpool’s 12th man, the fans, came into play; even though the shoot-out was down the Anfield Road End, close to the away support, the noise was still deafening. Bolo Zenden tucked away Liverpool’s first against his old club, and then Reina saved magnificently from Robben. When Xabi Alonso drilled home Liverpool’s second, the force was really with Rafa Benitez’s side.

Up stepped Frank Lampard to restore Chelsea’s hope, slamming his kick past Reina. From one England midfielder to another, Steve Gerrard calmly guiding his to Cech’s left. With whistles of derision ringing in Geremi’s ears, Chelsea’s next taker badly fluffed, again denied by the agile Reina. How fitting that Dirk Kuyt should apply the coup de grace, having embodied Liverpool’s endeavour throughout 120 minutes, and even been thwarted by the bar and an errant linesman’s flag.

Kuyt triggered amazing scenes, all the Liverpool players hugging each other, except for Carragher, who set a new speed record in racing towards the Kop, a smile the width of the Mersey creasing his face. As Kuyt’s ball nestled in the back of Cech’s net, a guttural roar ripped through Anfield. Imagine the Carragher family impersonating Beatlemania at a Christmas party and that was the loud, proud sound seizing this famous old ground. How they revelled in Chelsea’s demise, and Mourinho’s hubris.

Liverpool, celebrating their 10th successful shoot-out out of 11 in their history, deserved victory. Carragher was immense. Steven Gerrard worked tirelessly in midfield, his example inspiring Zenden and Javier Mascherano to displays of sustained excellence. Chelsea, so full of talent, were disappointing. Didier Drogba was isolated in attack, and rarely looked like troubling Carragher or Daniel Agger, whose fine goal had forced extra time.

Even before Agger’s spectacular intervention after 21 minutes, a spiky local reception committee had been ready and waiting for Chelsea. Carragher’s oratory adorned the blood-red programme.Liverpool’s wry centre-half also informed the “Echo” that “Mourinho is the funniest thing to come out of London since Del Boy and Rodney”. Clearly, this was never going to be a jolly boys’ outing for Mourinho’s men.

Liverpool tore into Chelsea, even Zenden sliding in hard on Salomon Kalou. After the anaemic first meeting, this was far more full-blooded affair. Rugby great Martin Johnson looked on, marvelling at the commitment and high-speed collisions of Gerrard and John Terry, Carragher and Drogba. Gerrard flattened Terry, a sight to send palpitations racing through England’s head coach, Steve McClaren, squeezed into a front-row perch in the press box.

Benitez’s side lacked for nothing in determination, as John Obi Mikel discovered when a rash decision to dawdle in possession was ended by an express train from Huyton called Gerrard. Liverpool’s captain was everywhere, soon winning a slightly soft free-kick when Joe Cole mistimed a challenge. Seeing the tackle coming in, Gerrard played for the dead-ball, which proved richly rewarding. Everyone expected a free-kick to the far post, looking for the towering Peter Crouch. Chelsea were certainly caught out as Gerrard rolled the ball to the edge of the area. Here was a goal made in Melwood. Kuyt leant into Salomon Kalou, and Agger had clear water.

Timing his run perfectly, meeting the ball sweetly, Agger sent it racing left-footed past Cech. Level on aggregate, Carragher and his footballing family had to beware the away goal. When Drogba stole a yard on Agger just after the half-hour, the Kop feared the worst. But Reina stood firm, and blocked Drogba’s hard shot. Relief rolled down from the terraces. Having given everything in normal time, Liverpool needed the 12th man of their support, and the inspiring rhetoric of Benitez, who walked amongst them, coaxing and cajoling, as they awaited the additional call to arms. And again before the shoot-out. Benitez’s words, and Reina’s safe hands, guided Liverpool to Athens.

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Comments on the report in The Telegraph

Chelski, Chelski.. Chelski. Wheels are coming off. As a life long Man Utd fan i am so happy that chelsea lost (not at Ac Milan winn though) - not because of the team, but because of that whingeing, rude, arrogant and obnoxious idiot Mourinho. I think it is time he learnt another language - maybe French? To not comment on Liverpools deserved efforts shows zero respect for a team that a) are not little, b) have a fantastic European record and c) dominated the Englisg game in the 80's. Much like Man Utd did in the 90's. 2 premierships back to back does not make you a special one - unless it refers to the title of Special Idiot. PLease leave the premiership, your arrogance is not helping the sport. My blood boils at your inability to show grace in defeat. Best team my a**.
Posted by lozza on May 3, 2007 4:23 AM

As the old saying goes, “If if’s and but’s were pretzels and nuts oh what a party we would have.” While not a fan of either club, it was an ABC (Anybody but Chelsea) day for me. I am a fan of many of the individual players but as a club I see Chelsea as the NY Yankees attempting to buy championships. At any rate Liverpool disserved the day. Yes I am a Yank but I am in the Reading Camp and it did pain me when Liverpool chose not to show up against Pompey. Looking forward to an All-England Final.
Posted by JW Semler on May 2, 2007 7:14 PM

I am a long time soccer fan of British soccer, and Chelsea used to be one of my favorite teams, with great player like Peter Osgood, (that shows how long I had followed them) and Zola, amongst others.
However, with the arrival of Jose Mourinho, he had managed to turn all of us neutral soccer loving fans away from Chelsea. Now, Chelsea had become the most hated clubs in EPL.
Well, personally, I think Jose Mourinho had done a great job, of uniting soccer fans worldwide against Chelsea.
Three cheers for Jose Mourinho!!!
Posted by Paul Siu on May 2, 2007 5:34 PM

Rejoice! A triumph for sport!
Posted by Andrew Golland on May 2, 2007 5:28 PM
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AS I predicted two days ago, after the way he treated Ronaldo, everybody around the world was supporting Liverpool to teach Mourinho a well deserved lesson.But it's not over yet: until he loses sight of the Cup and the Prem he still brags about how great he is. I fear for his mental sanity (this is no joke), he's growing out of touch with reality more and more. He simply cannot understand that tactics(pragmatics and mind games) are not enough and he doesn't have a clue about strategy.And he doesn't have a clue about his boss either. I believe this last week was the last drop in Abramovich's cup as far as Mourinho is concerned: the laundry cart story gives the club a bad name he doesn't want, certainly; and the attack on Ronaldo's poor origins reminded him where he came from, for sure. Together with all the rest, I guess he'll fire him with just cause. Bless him! The world needs a rest!
Posted by mario vaz on May 2, 2007 5:05 PM
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If the second Fulham side really want to establish
themselves they need to focus on building a
team.

Mr Kenyon laid out the conditions for Saint Jose’s
employment – not being self seeking with the
press was principle amongst them.

However the verbiage towards, Renaldo,
Furguson, Referees, Anfield, Liverpool, Benitez,
etc. continues at a blistering pace that is sadly,
for the Club, absent on the pitch.

St. Jose has peaked – he has run out of ideas, he
cannot develop the team, and cannot make it
work at Chelsea.

Money cannot bring you love or happiness – just
careful though, long term strategic thinking, and
putting the club first.

Chelsea supports know this in their hearts; but
cling pathetically to what they have as they lack
the courage and imagination to move forward.
Very sad but not unexpected.



Posted by Jamie - Red Deer Canada on May 2, 2007 4:48 PM
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"...but you cannot deny the fact that Chelsea have gone for everything this season and you cannot say that about Man Utd,Arsenal and especially Liverpool." Howard Eve 3.18am

Of course Chelsea have competed on all fronts. In midfield alone they have Lamps, Essien, Robben, Makelele, Ballack, SWP,Cole, Mikel,Diarra. Who can compete with those riches?

Man Utd actually went for everything as well but a strong team was knocked out of Carling cup by Southend in a good old fashioned "cup shock" - remember them?

You talk about Liverpool at Pompey. However,Jose didn't exactly send out his best team against Bolton either, a team that Liverpool beat 3-0 at home and Man Utd beat 4-1.
Posted by Patrick on May 2, 2007 4:47 PM
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howard eve. granted man utd didnt go for the carling cup. but last year was the only year ive known them to have done. chelsea went for everything, and good on them for doing so, but in the process it seems they've slightly overstretched and realised they werent good enough to get all four. credit to liverpool, focused on the one trophy they have found realistic to go for and look where they are.
Posted by joe janman on May 2, 2007 4:43 PM
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The annual treat served up by the Champions League is significantly superiour to international football.

Indeed, the day must be looming where clubs exercise power to restrict players from international duty due to fear of injury. Perhaps also, there will be more players retiring early from international football to focus on club priorities - a la Scholes..
Posted by James on May 2, 2007 4:17 PM
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Stephen Walshe on May 2, 2007 11:46 AM. As a real mans game fan, that rugby, I hesitate to offer my opnion about the nuances of the game but Liverpool certainly showed the greater passion and commitment last night. Whoever their opponents are in the final, I reckon they will lift the cup for the 6th time, which will humble Ferguson as much as the special ordinary one got humbled last night Pdiction one trophy each with Chelsea taking the FA Cup Man U the premiership. Forgwt two titles you fans
Posted by Phil Slocombe on May 2, 2007 3:21 PM
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How predictable to read all of the bitter and nasty comments directed at Chelsea after last nights game.
Yes Mourhino says a lot,too much at times but you cannot deny the fact that Chelsea have gone for everything this season and you cannot say that about Man Utd,Arsenal and especially Liverpool.
Man Utd didnt bother with the Carling Cup,Arsenal tried not to bother with both domestic cups and Liverpool have only had one egg in there basket since the beginning of January,the Champions League,very ambitious?.Have you Liverpool fans not felt short changed by your club at places like Portsmouth where you didnt even try to win it,what a bad attitude from Benitez.
I for one am very proud of the Chelsea players for what they have done this season.As for last night,well over the two legs Chelsea were the better team.Yes Chelsea were not great last night but at least they had the best player on the pitch.Michael Essien was awesome.Here we had a player playing out of position yet you would not have thought so.Had Michael Essien been playing in midfield i think Chelsea would have won,what a player.
Posted by Howard Eve on May 2, 2007 3:18 PM
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RDG

You may say they are better so why didnt they win? yeh yeh yeh averages. But when it counts you need to score goals and stand up and be counted. I would rather be the winning team than a restrospective better team every time.Chelsea have played a lot of boring football this season. I'm looking forward to more excitment next.
Posted by noel mavius on May 2, 2007 3:15 PM
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Chelsea’s tactics were predictable and unsophisticated. Pumping long balls to Drogba may have worked in the first leg but when Liverpool had an answer for it Mourinho did not adjust the tactics early enough to pose any real threat to Liverpool’s defence.

The absence of Carvalho in particular meant that Chelsea’s midfield was weakened missing the power and drive of Essien

Pennant’s threat on the right restricted Ashley Cole from venturing forward as often as in the first game or of placing those long diagonal balls to Drogba.

The conclusion? Benitez tactically outsmarted Mourinho.


Posted by Arsenal Analysis on May 2, 2007 2:59 PM
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liverpool did not play there best last night but still managed to overcome chelsea. jose mourinho needs to know when to admit that his team were not the better side though. if they were the better side, they would be playing in Athens in 3 weeks time. Liverpool to win!!!!
Posted by Graeme Watson on May 2, 2007 2:57 PM
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Just to tell the truth:
1. The players love Mourinho.
2. Money = success??? It´s not that easy. Ask Real Madrid. It´s a great managerial performance. (And to dominate the best league of the world is good!)
3. Mourinho already proved that he´s able to work successfully without the big money (remember Porto???).
I can understand that people hate him, but I like him. He says what he thinks.

Posted by Dany blu on May 2, 2007 2:48 PM
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was kuyts goal on side it clealy was so why did the ref disallow it?????????????????????????????????????
Posted by richard on May 2, 2007 2:40 PM
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I wonder what 'Cashley' Cole thinks now. He insulted his team-mates at Arsenal by saying he left to get trophies. Alright, so he got the Carling Cup - but against Arsenal juniors, who outclassed Chelsea but lost only due to their inexperience.
Posted by Ronald E. Watts on May 2, 2007 2:28 PM
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Without the flair and drive of Michael Essien in mid-field, Chelsea never looked to have the edge on Gerrard and Mascherano. Lampard is increasingly looking a spent force and is looking tired and jaded, as evidenced by his misdirected free kicks and corners.
McClaren should finally recognise that Gerrard and Lampard are not compatible partners in mid-field and replace Frank before our next round of qualifiers.
Liverpool were deserved winners of this clash, but Chelsea could have put the the issue beyond their reach - having squandered so many good chances at Stamford Bridge last week.

Mourinho's constant carping about penalties never being awarded to Chelsea and rarely ever given against Manchester United came back to haunt him at Anfield and it would be ironic if the Cup Final should result in a penalty shoot-out in favour of Manchester United !! Such a happening would certainly result in Mourinho's hasty departure from these shores and possible banishment to Siberia !

Terence Harvey

Posted by Terence B. Harvey on May 2, 2007 2:08 PM
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VIVA EL LIVERPOOL. Congratulations for all the Liverpool supporters and specially for the Spaniards, Benitez, Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia and Pepe Reina. We will be the Champions.
Posted by Jacinto - Cáceres, Spain on May 2, 2007 1:43 PM
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Liverpool fans used to applaud the visiting goalkeeper, last night they booed Chelsea whenever the Blues had the ball. Dont get bogged down in all the unsportsmanlike conduct, Shankly would not approve. Chelsea have a long way to go to match Liverpool. That includes a deep history and a solid support (who can sing)which was the difference last night. We will be back, but not soon.
Posted by Nick from Savannah on May 2, 2007 1:32 PM
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My heart bleeds for Chelsea having to play too many games. It's supposed to be hard to win any trophy, let alone four. I thought that's why we no longer have teams but squads. Good managers preparing for success have to take the number of games into account. In 2001, Liverpool played the maximum number of games possible wining League, FA and Uefa cups. You need stamina as well as skill, José.
Posted by Steve on May 2, 2007 1:27 PM
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That's what happens when Shevchenko is missing. Jose would not let him play in the Mid season and points were lost, Sheva did not play against Bolton as well as yesterday.
Posted by Alex on May 2, 2007 1:20 PM
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What a surprise...... the 'Cup Specialists' that Liverpool have become won through on penalties. Like most other neutrals, my heart sank when Liverpool scored early, you just knew that was the end of the game as a football match and would, inevitably, lead to a penalty shootout which the 'Cup Specialists' would undoubtedly win. If only Chelsea had scored first thus forcing Liverpool to play more inventive and attacking football but sadly not (their pass and move philosophy went out of the window when the back-pass to the Keeper, which proved so successful in Europe, was banned). Let’s hope that whoever wins the Milan vs Manchester Utd match tonight goes on to win the competition - the European Cup should be won by a pure footballing team, not one with 11 men behind the ball, one 'star' player and an over-reliance on long balls and penalties to win a game.
Posted by A Purist on May 2, 2007 1:16 PM
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Malcolm en Francais

Just because previous managers havent performed doesnt make it ok. You have to match your achievments to your mouth. Check out Roy Keane. No Budget, No Players, and when he arrived No hope. With out a lot of noise he just got in premiership. Quality.

Agree about the Ricard
Posted by noel mavius on May 2, 2007 1:15 PM
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Look Gentlemen (& Ladies)cur the you know what. Chelsea deserved to win the first leg decisively but didn't take the chances they carved. Liverpool are very well organised but they were lucky to progress against demonstrably the better side across the two legs.
It doesn't matter what you think of Jose the truth is the truth - deal with it.
I am NOT a Chelsea supporter, I'm just sick and tired of lies.
Chelsea are better than Liverpool and if they played 20 matches would probably win more than half with only a couple to Liverpool and the remainder draws.
Rafa is a great tactician I grant you but please stop the lorry loads of BS.
Posted by RDG on May 2, 2007 1:07 PM
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Drogba rolling around on the floor feigning a head injury so the ref would stop the game. How embarrassing for him that the tv cameras showed the only thing that touched him was the ball. A great player but the champions league final is no place for cheats.
Posted by Raws on May 2, 2007 1:06 PM
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Ive just had granite worktops fitted to my kitchen and I thought 3k was a bit pricey so I am a tight wad but even so I cant believe Roman thinks £500m for a league cup is good value!
Posted by Mike from Leeds on May 2, 2007 12:57 PM
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As a football fan (well, Oxford United anyway...HEY! IT STILL COUNTS!!) It was great to see the game last night. But I thought Jose was a bad loser by saying that his team were better and "the ones trying to win the game". It is amazing how much resentment this man has created for his team. He has become like a stuck record, I mean did anybody think he would say anything other than this after the game? even if Liverpool had won 10-0 I have no doubt that Jose would say his team was cheated and the better team and deserved to win. Saying these things all the time just means that people don't take him seriously even when he's right. Any gloating and over reaction from Liverpool fans was surely a result of Jose's arrogance and complete unwillingness to respect any other team, and not because Liverpool fans are bad winners. I am a Londoner and as a non premiership fan watching a game like this (where I would normally be impartial) I would normally want a London club to win, but simply because of Jose I can't do it. You're turning the whole country against your club Jose and it will come back to haunt Chelsea if they don't do something about him.
Posted by James on May 2, 2007 12:46 PM
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I guess Liverpool and Chelsea have one thing in common this season. They're both cup sides.:-) Although I think I'd rather have the Champions League cup over the Carling and possible FA cup. What do you think Jose?
Posted by Andy S on May 2, 2007 12:41 PM
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malcom fergusson what are you on about. huge funds - lost again not the signs of the worlds best manager!!!
Posted by adam henshall on May 2, 2007 12:37 PM
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No way Jose.
Get ready for the dole Moaninho.

Posted by Mike on May 2, 2007 12:33 PM
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If Man Utd reach the final in Athens on May 23rd, Ferguson will be concerned that his team will only have four days between The FA Cup final and the UCL final. Liverpool have nothing else to play for between now and the final. Freshness may well be a deciding factor on May 23rd.

Perhaps Mourinho is correct on one thing - Liverpool are a cup team only.
Posted by James on May 2, 2007 12:33 PM
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Cockneys learn yet again--- " Money can't buy me love"
Posted by Mike on May 2, 2007 12:29 PM
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Messrs Hanna and Mavius two facts about Jose 1.The previous three Chelsea nanagers had the same sort of buying power and had wonderful players such as Zola and what did they achieve? 2.Look at what Jose achieved at Porto without a huge budget. As for the Watford question.What other manager including Ferguson Benitez et.al. would have great success with the players etc. at Watford, apart from Steve Coppell I can't think of one,can you.
By the way Ricard is my preference and the best team in the competition was Lyon until cheated out by the despicable Roma.
Posted by malcolm ferguson on May 2, 2007 12:25 PM
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Its ironic - last week Mourinho was complaining Chelsea didn't get penalties. Last night he had 5 chances and Chelsea blew it. You should be careful what you wish for Mourinho
Posted by Isaac Howboy on May 2, 2007 12:22 PM
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It looked good on Mourinho. Not to mention, Jose was watching a different match than I was. The self-anointed one has no sense of sportsmanship. I’d like to see Jose manage a team with a limited budget – then, Jose would have the opportunity to prove that he, truly, is the special one. Not!
Posted by Ric on May 2, 2007 12:17 PM
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Villa Fan Mel
I cant see much reference to what you say infact i think most agree with you about the state of Chelsea. I think the jist is more about Jose and his mouth, his lack of class and lack of results than a Liverpool love fest or hateful attack of Chelsea. Take a look at his very recent direct comments about Ronaldo. Now that really is nastiness
Posted by noel mavius on May 2, 2007 12:13 PM
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Strange how a lot of folk seem to have forgotten that this was a two match tie and that Liverpool were as disappointing at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were last night. Over the two matches I don't think there was a lot in it but I do think that once again Liverpool having the second leg at home probably swung it. I also think both Chelsea and Man Utd are suffering the effects of fighting on 3 fronts with so many games at the sharp end of the season. Neither has had the luxury of near meaningless games or resting many of their players as Liverpool and probably AC Milan have. Mainly for this reason I hope Man Utd go on to win.
Posted by Paul on May 2, 2007 12:11 PM
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Cruzeiro fan from Brazil here. Quite a good game, but nothing special as H Winter suggested. Mourinho is not as good as everyone thinks, Lampard was hopeless yet again, A Cole actually played well for once, Gerrard was average, Carragher was superb & Mascherano was outstanding, as he was here in Brazil. West Ham would be in the Uefa cup places now had Pardew any insight into real football. Benitez knows football. Liverpool just deserved to edge it, but they still only managed a technical draw. Chelsea lost because of Mourinho`s cowardice, his refusal to attack and his inability to see his own weaknesses, (such are Portuguese and Brazilians when it comes to football). Tiredness is not a factor, as millions work every day and play football, or go to the gym at night and on weekends. Jose only knows how to stop teams playing, but Man Utd and Milan also know how to play. It will be a very interesting final.
Posted by chris manchester on May 2, 2007 12:05 PM
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is it just me, or were the commentators on ITV very biased towards chelsea. they must have spent 25 mins solid on why claude makelele was a god. a amount of time was spent on drogba. yet they didnt praise any of the liverpool players to any great extent; even with an unstoppable gerrard in the middle - im outraged. bt we did win tho lol
Posted by adam henshall on May 2, 2007 11:59 AM
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I like the match details of Telegraph; showing the systems in details,of how the teams have played
Posted by MANOEL JAIRO SANTOS on May 2, 2007 11:53 AM
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As a Man United Fan, I have to congratulate Liverpool on a great result, and praise the fans, who were magnificent. I do however, believe that Liverpool were dragged down a level by Chelsea, and only a handful of nice moves ( including a great free-kick ) were put together by either side over the 120 minutes, while the long ball up to the 'big striker' seemed to be all that was on offer from both teams. It was a tense-filled semi-final for sure, but I hope either AC Milan or Man United, along with Liverpool, produce a better final on the 23rd.
Posted by Stephen Walshe on May 2, 2007 11:46 AM
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Liverpool may have reached another Champions League Final, but the continued defensive approach of Benitez's team must be questioned.

Compare the attack minded attitude of the teams managed by both Ferguson and Wenger against Benitez and Mourinho who believe in defensive pragmatism. Benitez may be supplying Gerrard with a means to winning European Cups, but at what cost? Gerrard is usually used on the right, criminally wasting his potential that should be utilised in the centre of midfield.


Posted by James on May 2, 2007 11:45 AM
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VIVA el Liverpool !!! UP THE REDS !!!
All Spain is with you.

My favorite team is Real Madrid, but the second one is Liverpool !!!

Good luck, my english friends.
Posted by Gabriel - Malaga (Spain) on May 2, 2007 11:38 AM
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i doubt if chelsea fans are that worried 3 years ago most of them were liverpool or man u fans anyway. moaninho the special one dont make me laugh
Posted by pebbles bazley on May 2, 2007 11:35 AM
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I'm really starting to hate Mourinho's constant complaints. In Portugal nobody really liked him untill he signed for Chelsea; but that was because he coached F.C. Porto (almost everybody hates Porto in Portugal, due to the tremendous superiority gained in the last 30 years). The portuguese started to treat Mourinho like a god because he was coaching a foreign team and people think: he wins, he's portuguese, Portugal wins... But now that is gone. Mourinho has finaly fallen of the pedestal he was on and that is not due to his results (if it was other manager in his position nobody would say a word) but due to the lack of moral, fairplay and humilty. He has surely become greedy, having too much money to spend, instead of looking for good low-price players like he did in Porto. I believe he can be the Special One again, but only after a long cross in the desert. (By the way, I'm portuguese and a Benfica supporter. Good look for Manchester today - against sly Milan, they're gonna need it).
Posted by Paulo Martins on May 2, 2007 11:22 AM
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Chelseas long ball tactic to Drogba all night was a miserable failure. I was surprised Mourinho never changed tactics at all. The better team on the night won. Over the 2 legs it was even . Jose needs to show a bit of dignity in defeat . What a bore he is becoming.
Posted by John S on May 2, 2007 11:19 AM
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Roman`s millions once again have failed to deliver club football biggest prize for Londons third biggest club ! Liverpools knack of winning two leg ties have been rewarded with a seventh European Cup Final. Not bad for a small club, what do you think Jose ?
Posted by Sheep on May 2, 2007 11:08 AM
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Thanks to s.g.mackenzie - magnanimous in defeat and a fine example of a real Chelsea supporter. As a lifelong Liverpool fan I thought the match was scrappy but overall Liverpool deserved the win for going out aggressively for at least the first 80% of the 120 mins... thought things dropped a bit when Pennant left the field. A shame for Chelsea that such good players (Drogba, for example) devalue their formidable skill with just a little too much diving...

Overall an entertaining match, with scope for much improvement on both sides... Good Luck in Athens the reds, and hope we'll be meeting Man U there...
Posted by Lou Thatcher on May 2, 2007 11:03 AM
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I'm a Villa Fan and think this Liverpool love fest needs to get some perspective. Yes you won through - fantastic for you. But the match was in effect a 1-1 draw and by losing at penalties, Chelsea just revealed what a frightfully english team they really have become.

The Liverpool diatribes at Chelsea show a real lack of maturity and a nastiness that is not becoming of the 'class' they so frequently protest they possess. Accept that others (albeit more recently) now have the funding you had when you were at your peak.

A good result for you - oh yes. The end of Chelsea? I don't think so.
Posted by Villa Fan Mel on May 2, 2007 10:31 AM
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Malcolm Ferguson at 9:15 AM. Are you trying to tell me that Watford would be playing Premiership football next season had Mourinho been in charge with Aidy Boothroyd's players and budget - Get Real. It does not matter who gets through tonight though I can hardly believe I'm saying that I hope it is Man U but Liverpool will win this trophy three weeks from tonight. They'll Never Walk Alone
Posted by Tom Hanna on May 2, 2007 10:30 AM
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Malcolm in France.
Spending a lot of someone elses money, being given a completly free reign and having nothing to show for it is as you say is quite remarkable. May be your judgement is clouded by all that pernod.
Posted by noel mavius on May 2, 2007 10:24 AM
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TW dont put your team down and it is only the third time you are there, thats not too often.
Posted by Ian on May 2, 2007 10:21 AM
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I find the congratulations of various Manchester United fans rather odd. I grew up half way between Liverpool and Manchester, supporting Liverpool and the poison was unadulterated. The thought of cheering when Man Utd score makes me feel nauseated. Come on Milan!
Posted by Hungry Sam on May 2, 2007 10:17 AM
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To Jamie red deer Canada.

Quite right, the owners money did save us from collapse, and it really sticks in your craw doesn't it? On the point of no tradition, do you mean no success (by comparison to liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal)that is true we have not had the success of these clubs, yet, dont dis-count it for the future though.
Chelsea will be back bigger, stronger, and better than before, doubt that at your peril

I have just heard of the helicopter going down over the East Midlands last night, can we please spare a thought for all on board, and their families.
Posted by S.G.Mackenzie on May 2, 2007 10:14 AM
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Considering the amount of money spent,even Scunthorpe have proved themselves more successful than Chelsea.What's so great about Jose anyway?
Posted by Bob Allen on May 2, 2007 10:13 AM
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On the night, Liverpool deserved to win. Liverpool - 1 Goal, 1 Disallowed, Hit the crossbar, Chelsea - 1 shot at goal saved.

But can I mention the referee who had a great game. For a continental he managed to let the game flow (baring in mind the game was played in a very typical English style) and ignored the childish attempts by the players of getting fouls.


Posted by Jason on May 2, 2007 10:10 AM
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excellent report!!!

as for the match simply amazing , all who played last night put everything and more into the game. yes we can win in Athens!!The best team won jose.
Posted by louise on May 2, 2007 10:05 AM
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Has Mourinho's Chelsea ever lost a match fair and square? Mourinho's constant whinging and whining about decisions, injuries, tiredness, fixture pile up has made me glad that Chelsea may only be left with the Carling Cup. There always seems to be an excuse. Face facts Jose, Liverpool were better, far better,and should have won long before the penalty shoot out.
As a neutral I am looking forward to the final and the FA Cup - 2 fantastic fixtures which will cap off a thoroughly enthralling season.
Posted by Chris in Stevenage on May 2, 2007 10:04 AM
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Chelsea did not deserve to win - they are too negative (I am a Chelsea fan by the way)
Now that we have cleared that up may I express my sense of nausea as I read through these vitriol ridden postings - and poems for Gods sake - why do all Liverpudlians think they are either poets or comedians ?
You people certainly don't know how to win with good grace. I often wondered what it was that made me loathe scousers - now I know what it is.
Posted by Barry Chapman on May 2, 2007 9:59 AM
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Fantastic Liverpool, fantastic Pepe.
Posted by Ferdinand on May 2, 2007 9:56 AM
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As a staunch Everton supporter, living in Australia, I was up at 4:40am to watch the game, desperately wanting a Chelsea victory.It was not to be, and I applaud Liverpool for an outstanding performance.
How Mourinho can say Chelsea were the better side and deserved to win is beyond belief - he must be taking something!
When will he start to earn respect by recognising his and his teams deficiencies?
They could have played all night at Anfield and never scored.
Time to think again.
I hope Man Utd beat them at Wembley too - it's what their manager deserves!!
Posted by Eddie on May 2, 2007 9:53 AM
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"i know that Liverpool fans will learn to win gracefully one day but I wouldn,t put too much money on it."
Malcolm Ferguson 9.15am

As West Ham fans (Cardiff 2006) or Milan fans (Istanbul 2005) will tell you, no fans are more gracious in victory than Liverpools.
This year, Barcelona's manager and their players were applauded and cheered off the Anfield pitch following their one-nil victory there.

The scorn heaped on Chelsea last night is due to the mouthy arrogance of their manager, the cheating and diving of their players and the crassness of their supporters.
Posted by Patrick on May 2, 2007 9:51 AM
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Congratulations Liverpool, not a classic, but totally enthraling from start to finish, good luck in Athens.

Memo to Martin Hayes.
You are making the same mistake that a lot of armchair fans make, confusing pride with gloating, all football fans have pride in their club, why do you think all clubs, not just successfull ones have supporters, you pilchard.

S.G Mackenzie
Chelsea fan of 40 years, Gutted, totally gutted
Posted by s.g.mackenzie on May 2, 2007 9:51 AM
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I don't understand your comment Mr. Paul Rogers. If Chelsea had won the penalty shoot-out surely, to your way of thinking, they would have "scraped through" as well. Would they have been equally as unsatisfactory as finalists to you? If you find yourself in a shoot-out you must have done some hard work to get there, so you may as well try to win it. Anyway, Liverpool didn't "scrape through the shoot-out - they scored all their penalties and Reina saved two of Chelsea's.
Posted by Paul McMahon on May 2, 2007 9:48 AM
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Well done the Reds, let's hope AC Milan can do the business tonight to set up a replay of the greatest European final ever.

Posted by Steve Lee, London on May 2, 2007 9:46 AM
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I can't help but wonder how a journeyman team of poor premier league performers make it so far so often in the European Cup.
Posted by TW - Manchester on May 2, 2007 9:46 AM
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Well all I'll say is this, a picture can say a thousand words, and Jose Mourinhos face in the post match interview spoke volumes. He probably chooses to say his team were the best to show support to his own players. Thats fair enough i guess. But then to say nothing about Liverpools gutsy performance is sour to say the least.
Oh well we all know who really looked like deciding it before penalties, and it wasn't Chelsea. Bring on the final cos whoever we end up playing is gonna have 2 have balls to beat us!
Posted by Kopite101 on May 2, 2007 9:45 AM
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Ah Jose, that bitter breakfast of humble pie.

The mouth from the south is looking at a bleak end to the season,

1st the Premiership
2nd the Champions League
Come on Man U for the Treble
Posted by Steve on May 2, 2007 9:35 AM
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To malcom in France - maybe the 'special one' will learn to lose graciously. You give it big licks in the press, and fall on your face, you deserve all you get from the kop. You go about your business in a confident, quiet, assured maner and you get your reward.
Posted by Al on May 2, 2007 9:33 AM
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Watching this over hyped Chelsea team resorting to hoofing the ball up field to a lone striker made me fall about laughing. Where were all the skills that this lot are supposed to have? Left behind in the King's Road no doubt. Has the "Special One" been taking coaching lessons from Graham Taylor? Well done Liverpool, we'll see you in Athens. From a ManU supporter.
Posted by Geoff Turner on May 2, 2007 9:31 AM
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They say form is temporary and class is permanent.
Lets just say that the form had left us last week and
the class showed itself at anfield last night. Come
on you reds. Lets make it six
Posted by Stephen Mutembei on May 2, 2007 9:29 AM
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As a diehard Man Utd fan, I am thrilled at Liverpool getting through, odd as it may sound. Putting Chelsea in their place feels nearly as nice as us reaching the final tonight and then winning it in Athens (well, not quite). What a turnaround from the 1970s and 1980s when Liverpool were the enemy for us. Thank you Pepe Reina for producing the loudest cheers my family can recall in ages (and the dog's first experience of 'real' human noise). The anti-Chelsea sentiment sweeping Britain at present surely deserves in-depth sociological research.
Posted by Karl McLaughlin on May 2, 2007 9:18 AM
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AC Milan all the way.
Posted by zack raikov on May 2, 2007 9:16 AM
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I am not a Chelsea supporter but I must protest at the vilification of Chelsea and Mourinho.I don't think I am being too cynical when I say that Liverpool supporters would have bitten your hand off not to long ago were they offered the chance of Jose replacing Rafael.
What Jose has achieved at Chelsea is truly remarkable and a blessed relief from the successs of the usual suspects. I watched the entire game live on terrestrial French TV and thought Chelsea were the better side but ironically Jose's decision to leave Drogba up front on his own was the difference.
i know that Liverpool fans will learn to win gracefully one day but I wouldn,t put too much money on it.
Posted by malcolm ferguson on May 2, 2007 9:15 AM
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Talk is cheap, Passion is priceless.


Posted by noel mavius on May 2, 2007 9:13 AM
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It's probably just as well that Chelsea didn't get through to the final. I watched a Chelsea supporter being interviewed on TV, and he assured the reporter that Chelsea would 'get froo, and go to Affins'. I've looked in every atlas I can find, and there is no mention of any city by that name. Well done, you reds.
Posted by Alan Rowley on May 2, 2007 8:45 AM
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So where does this leave Mourinho? In his first year he won the Premiership and Carling Cup. Last year he won only the Premiership and this year he is left with the Carling Cup and possibly, the FA Cup. Not a vey good return to the chairman for his £500 million investment! Despite the bold words Mourinho must be seen as a failure and will surely step down from Chelsea in the summer. He has been outmanouevered by both Ferguson and now Benitez this year and his team have looked second best all season. Time to go Jose!!
Posted by David, Guildford on May 2, 2007 8:36 AM
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I don't support either team but I'm delighted with this result. Chelsea make me want to hate them more than I did the "chopper" team of the 70s. Drogba is a great player who makes himself look like a whining child. He goes down everytime, claims the decision everytime, then sulks when a correct decision goes to the defence. For a player who gets mortally wounded so often his ability to run around when play resumes is miraculous.

I used to think Lampard was a great player, but all I saw last night was him going missing for long periods of time before turning up for a few minutes of top-level scowling.

Were Mikel, Robben, Kalou, or Wright-Phillips ever on the pitch? If players of that alleged quality don't bother to turn up, what hope is there for a team? I hear that Josie said afterwards that Chelsea were the better team. Liverpool were. If Chelsea can't acknowledge a fair defeat and wish Liverpool good fortune in Athens they don't know the meaning of sport.
Posted by Pack Rat on May 2, 2007 8:25 AM
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What a ridiculous little man Jose really is. This
nonsense of the quadruple we have been
subjected to has been truly absurd.

Jose talents lie in spinning the press while the
most expensive team in Europe flounder
rudderless on the pitch.

We cannot forget that had the Russian billions
not come along, Chelsea would have gone belly
up years ago.

Unlike Arsenal, ManU, Liverpool, this Fulham
based team has no great traditions other than
one of violence – and even that is second to
Millwall.

Posted by Jamie - Red Deer Canada on May 2, 2007 8:24 AM
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Following Liverpool is a fantastic experience and this proved to be another awesome evening. While the whole team was fantastic especially Kuyt and Reina, I wanted to make a mentioned of Javier Mascherano who was immense and the unsung hero of the evening. This was an excellent bit of business by Rafa to get him and he is only 22 !!

Roll on Athens and whoever we play.
Posted by Nicholas Graham on May 2, 2007 8:05 AM
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Chelsea were lucky to only be beaten on penalties Liverpool are in a different class in Europe.
Posted by P Gardiner on May 2, 2007 7:58 AM
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What is there to say? Once again Liverpool FC make it a very entertaining match, taking it to penalties and winning. And once more Mr Mourinho has no grace in the after match interview - game over!
Posted by Pauline Roberts on May 2, 2007 7:31 AM
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I suppose it was consistent of Mourinho to declare Chelsea were the better team last night, but it was wrong to do so. Kuyt's goal should have been allowed, especially due to the amount of effort I put into its celebration.
Posted by Hamish on May 2, 2007 7:09 AM
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Fantastic game! Liverpool at their Best! Half a Billion quids worth of talent humiliated! Jose has not long to go?
Posted by Joe Moran on May 2, 2007 6:41 AM
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To see the arrogance of Chelsea positively taken care of by the workmen of Liverpool gladdens my heart but better yet to see the light defeat the dark forces was even better.

Next lesson coming, how to lose the FA cup. Special one, bunch of thugs exposed for what they are.
Posted by Ean Craigie on May 2, 2007 6:29 AM
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VAMOS LIVERPOOL!!
ALL SPAIN SUPPORTS YOU!
Posted by RAUL- ALICANTE on May 2, 2007 6:22 AM
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Liverpool have the spirit and Chelsea has the skill. Chelsea came expecting a simple passage to the European Cup Final and learnt, yet again, that passion and committment count for more than just pure skill.
Posted by A. Carrington on May 2, 2007 6:00 AM
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When interviewed by ITV after the game, Mourinho maintained that "Chelsea had been the better team and that only they had tried to win in 90 or 120 minutes".
As usual, he "forgot" the achievements of the opponents. Firstly, Liverpool scored the only goal in normal & extra time - a well planned & executed free kick with flair. Then they scored another good goal from Kuyt which was disallowed for offside - not proven later with TV replays but the more reasonable among us do "forever go on" about such decisions as they are all part of the game. And, of course, Kuyt hit the crossbar when another night it would have gone in.
To my recollection, Chelsea never really looked like scoring, except in the Penalty Shoot Out. And we all know who finished well on top in that part of the game.
So for Mourinho to claim Chelsea were the better side is yet another instance of sour grapes - what a bad loser !
Posted by Eric Foster on May 2, 2007 4:44 AM
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It feels so good! maybe this will temper down the mouth of jose and his mery men of vanity. The ones with great charactr and humility between the two teams have prevailed. Poetic justice.
Posted by jana jane on May 2, 2007 3:44 AM
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Yet again we see Liverpool scrape through on penalties.
Though the history books will show a win, it would be a refreshing change to see this Liverpool team actually win something in open play.
Posted by Paul Rogers on May 2, 2007 3:20 AM
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When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm,
There's a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown..

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone.......
You'll never walk alone.

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone.......
You'll never walk alone.

Posted by John Mason on May 2, 2007 3:11 AM
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Oh dear oh dear Mr. "Special One."
The wheels have rather fallen off your wagon, haven't they? Lost the title race to United and now the Champions League to Liverpool - all within a few days.

Remember what we have at Liverpool - which you will NEVER have. Pride in our past. Faith in our future.
Posted by Martin Heyes on May 2, 2007 2:40 AM
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At last they have put a zipper on the guy with the run away mouth. Well done the reds, you fully deserved it and to do what you did to that bunch of overpaid pretenders was just awesome !!!
Posted by AH in TP on May 2, 2007 2:39 AM
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This was a well deserved win. Liverpool completely out played Chelsea and could easily haver had another two goals. Chelsea lacked conviction. The return of Steve Finnan was important in denying Chelsea the space on their left that they exploited so well in the first leg and so restricting the supply to Drogba......very pleasing to see that money doesn't buy everything!
Posted by blindboy on May 2, 2007 2:33 AM
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The Chelsea coach, Mr. Jose Mourinho is a very bad loser. He is very unworthy of involvement in the beautiful game, soccer and he is a major problem for Chelsea and will continue to do the team a lot of harm with his reckless utterances, arrogance cum hubristic air, and disrespect for opponents. When a match does not go his team's way, then the referee was either bias or the other team cheated. He should be told that when two team play, you can only have a better team and not the "best" team, and his team is best team without the trophy. Mr. Mourinho should be ashamed of himself and learn to seal his lips.

Posted by Babs Ajayi on May 2, 2007 1:29 AM
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KOPECKS VERSUS THE KOP

Chelsea spin quite near the top,
Their cheque book flutters with each breeze,
But kopecks ne'er will beat the Kop,
And Lancashire brings 'em to their knees.

Bolton Wanderers filled them with wonder,
Now Liverpool have shown them grit;
Soon ManU the League will plunder
From 'neath their noses and that`s it.

'Cos Russian kopecks,
Are not enough when gumption's needed,
Back down South rich Chelsea grey goes,
Let`s pray this blow goes not unheeded...
Posted by JAMES DONAL FAULKNER on May 2, 2007 1:27 AM
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Another heroic performance from Rafa and the boys on the big occasion, well done! In Ancient Greece we'll win it 6 times!!
Posted by Gerald Melvin (Salamanca, Spain) on May 2, 2007 1:02 AM
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I can`t sleep so elated i am at the demise of M-o-a-nrinho,
(as i like to call him) and his troops sent packing back to The Nag`s Head.
Pack your bags Jose, and remember the most decorated club in England is one LFC!Chelsea,well what can you say? Didn`t Ken Bates buy them for a £1 a few years back?
Now the Russian is pumping millions to their coffers and still no Champions League to show for it.
Posted by LFC 5 on May 2, 2007 1:02 AM
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It seems that every year of Mourinho's tenure at Chelsea, his tean are destined to be knocked out of a major competition at the semi final by Liverpool - a team with history on its side. How many years will it be before the special one learns to lose with a modicum of grace?
Posted by M Partial on May 2, 2007 12:48 AM
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