Carling Cup: Chelsea v Liverpool, 19:45GMT, Stamford Bridge, 29/11/11 (0-2)

Much maligned for being played so soon after our match against City, both teams used their squads and fielded changed line-ups fro the weekend prior, but both still fielded strong sides. Andy Carroll started for us and Suarez was on the bench. Carra and Coates were in central defence instead of Skrtel & Agger, with Martin Kelly as RB and Craig Bellamy also started but  was visibly in tears during the pre-match tribute for Gary Speed.

The first half had few chances, but we seemed to be the better side. It was early on that we nearly conceded a first chance however when David Luiz appeared to have been fouled in the area by Coates, however Ref Phil Dowd awarded a free-kick to Liverpool and booked Luiz for diving – which to my surprise, was a decision the replays seemed to vindicate.

At the other end, neither he nor the Assistant seemed to spot Andy Carroll get pushed by Luiz as a cross came over, but when Carroll went up for a ball with Alex, the Chelsea defender somewhat bizarrely raised his arm and knocked the ball away. Dowd did not see that, but the Assistant did. Alex was booked and Carroll took the penalty – but smashed it straight at stand-in keeper, Turnbull.

The game continued in a similar vein in the second half. There was a scare for us as an attempt by Malouda came down off the cross bar and the resulting brief scramble led to a blocked shot for a Chelsea corner, but just before the hour, we took the lead. Bellamy was fed on the right and we took the ball forward and yet again was provider for Maxi on the left who again scored.

A few minutes later, a free-kick on the left was taken by Bellamy whose wickedly whipped-in and curling cross went just over a central pack of defenders and attackers – to an unmarked Martin Kelly, who nodded the ball down and inside the right post for our second.

Lucas Leiva then went down injured and had to be replaced – our one major draw-back from this game, although one must also start to wonder about the mind and morale of Andy Carroll after this, whom the commentator’s noted was doing about as well for us as Torres is for Chelsea.

Chelsea brought on Anelka late on, but we stood firm to a late, if somewhat disheartened attacking flurry from Chelsea, as we saw our way into the Carling Cup semis for the first time in several years.

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