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Barclays Premier League, Tuesday 8th May 2012, Anfield, 20:00pm

Liverpool FC 4-1 Chelsea

Referee: Kevin Friend   H-T: 3-0   Att: 40,721 

Match Report

Liverpool gained a degree of revenge for their FA Cup final disappointment as they recorded an emphatic 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday night.

A bright opening from the Reds was rewarded on 19 minutes when brilliant play from Luis Suarez resulted in Michael Essien turning the No.7's low cross into his own net from close range.

Liverpool doubled their advantage six minutes later when Jordan Henderson capitalised on a slip from John Terry and found the back of the net with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Daniel Agger then headed in the hosts' third before the half-hour mark after Andy Carroll nodded back across goal from a Jonjo Shelvey corner.

Stewart Downing saw a penalty hit the post in first-half stoppage time before Chelsea reduced the deficit on 50 minutes when Ramires turned the ball over the line from Florent Malouda's free-kick.

However, Shelvey made it 4-1 on 61 minutes when he guided a poor clearance from Blues 'keeper Ross Turnbull into an unguarded net from 35 yards to put the seal on a fine night's work for Liverpool.

A little more than 72 hours after the final whistle at Wembley, the teams lined up again at Anfield for the Reds' final home fixture of the 2011-12 season.

The pre-match team news confirmed a return to the starting XI for Carroll, while there were also places for Shelvey, Jamie Carragher and Maxi Rodriguez, though Steven Gerrard and Jose Enrique were out.

Meanwhile, Fernando Torres made his first return to Anfield since leaving the club in January 2011 as he began upfront for Chelsea.

Liverpool got the game underway sporting the logo of Standard Chartered's 'Seeing is Believing' charity – an initiative which aims to tackle avoidable blindness – on their jerseys.

And any suggestions this game would be a low-key affair were quickly dismissed in a frantic opening to the contest.

Suarez had the game's first chance with eight minutes played, ghosting beyond Terry with the aid of a nutmeg before drilling a shot across the face of goal.

Next, the Uruguayan neatly teed up Carroll on the edge of the box from Martin Skrtel's long ball, but the No.9 could not hit the target with his curler.

However, Liverpool were afforded a real let off on 17 minutes when Branislav Ivanovic rose to cannon a header against the post after meeting Malouda's corner unmarked.

But within seconds, the Reds were ahead. Suarez again tormented Terry, beating the centre-back by once more putting the ball through his legs, before his cut back from the by-line was bundled into his own net by Essien.

Terry was enduring a night to forget – and it went from bad to worse on 25 minutes for the Chelsea captain.

The defender lost his footing as he and Henderson chased a Maxi pass, allowing the Liverpool midfielder to stride through on goal and beat Turnbull with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area.

And two quickly became three when Agger stooped to guide a header into the back of the net on 29 minutes after Carroll had set up the Dane by nodding back across goal from Shelvey's corner.

Carroll went close to a goal of his own when another mistake from Terry sent the striker bounding into the area, but his powerful drive was repelled by Turnbull, who had thwarted Maxi just moments earlier.

At the other end, Chelsea struck the woodwork for a second time when Torres's shot from an acute angle struck the underside of the crossbar to bounced to safety for Liverpool.

The Reds then hit the frame of the goal themselves when Stewart Downing's powerful dipping volley from 20 yards rattled the top of the bar with five minutes of the half remaining.

The England winger was again thwarted by the woodwork in first-half stoppage time when his penalty rebounded off the base of the post after Carroll had been hauled down by Ivanovic inside the box.

Still, the miss did little to dampen the delight of the Liverpool fans as the teams headed back down the tunnel for the break after an outstanding opening 45 from the home side.

However, Chelsea reduced the arrears soon after the re-start when Malouda's in-swinging free-kick struck the midriff of Ramires and squirmed beyond Pepe Reina and over the line.

But Liverpool restored their three-goal advantage just after the hour. Turnbull's clearance from a back pass only succeeded in finding Shelvey, and the midfielder steered an instant shot into the back of the empty net from 35 yards.

As the game entered its final stages, only a world-class reaction save from Reina denied substitute Romelu Lukaku from converting with a close-range header, while at the other end, Carroll skewed his volley wide from Glen Johnson's excellent delivery into the area.

The chances continued to come for Liverpool, and late substitute Raheem Sterling struck off target from Suarez's flick with his first touch after entering the action.

And while there were to be no further goals, the Reds' energetic display ensured they signed off from Anfield for season 2011-12 in the best possible fashion.

Team Line-Up's
Liverpool
Chelsea
Pepe Reina Ross Turnbull
Glen Johnson  Paulo Ferreira
Martin Skrtel  Branislav Ivanovic
Daniel Agger    John Terry
Jamie Carragher Ryan Bertrand
Maxi Rodriguez  Michael Essien
Jordan Henderson   Oriol Romeu
Jonjo Shelvey   Ramires
Stewart Downing Dean Sturridge
Luis Suarez Fernando Torres
Andy Carroll Florent Malouda
Substitutes
Substitutes
Alexander Doni Henrique Hilario
Sebastian Coates Ashley Cole
Martin Kelly Frank Lampard
Dirk Kuyt Juan Mata
Craig Bellamy Romelu Lukaku
Jay Spearing Saloman Kalou
Raheem Sterling Sam Hutchinson
Substitutions
Romelu Lukaku for Daniel Sturridge 68'
Dirk Kuyt for Maxi Rodriguez 84'
Raheem Sterling for Stewart Downing 84'
Goals
Michael Essien 19' OG Ramires 50'
Jordan Henderson 25'
Daniel Agger 28'
Jonjo Shelvey 61'  
Yellow Cards
Jordan Henderson 65' Paulo Ferreira 15'
Daniel Agger 71' John Terry 22'
Michael Essien 44'
Branislav Ivanovic 45'
Red Cards
Referee
Kevin Friend
Attendance
40,721
LFC Player Ratings
Pepe Reina
7/10
Glen Johnson
7/10
Martin Skrtel
7/10
Daniel Agger
7/10
Jamie Carragher
7/10
Maxi Rodriguez
7/10
Jordan Henderson
7/10
Jonjo Shelvey
7/10
Stewart Downing
7/10
Luis Suarez
8/10
Andy Carroll
9/10
Substitutes
Alexander Doni
DNP
Sebastian Coates
DNP
Martin Kelly
DNP
Dirk Kuyt
7/10
Craig Bellamy
DNP
Jay Spearing
DNP
Raheem Sterling
7/10
Referee
Kevin Friend
7/10

Match Stats
Possession
Liverpool
48
Chelsea
52
Total Shots
Liverpool
23
Chelsea
9
Shots on Target
Liverpool
13
Chelsea
5
Corners
Liverpool
7
Chelsea
4
Fouls
Liverpool
15
Chelsea
13
Yellow Cards
Liverpool
2
Chelsea
4
Red Cards
Liverpool
0
Chelsea
0

Head to Head - Chelsea