A Step Closer

Chelsea has one hand on their first English Premier League trophy since 2006 after a straightforward 2-0 win over embattled Liverpool at Anfield.

Yet again, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard stepped up for the occasion, as a goal in each half proved more than enough against a limp and uninspired opposition.

There was only one change to the side that thrashed Stoke City 7-0 last week. As predicted, John Terry returned in place of Paulo Ferreira, with Branislav Ivanovic moving to right back.

For Liverpool, Glen Johnson was left out with Javier Mascherano playing out of position at right back, whilst Maxi Rodriguez came in to the side also.

The first half an hour was unimpressive from both sides, but Chelsea opened the scoring after Drogba, who rounded Pepe Reina to score, intercepted a back pass from Steven Gerrard. It was yet another in a catalogue of shocking blind back passes from Gerrard over the years.

Chelsea should have had a penalty when Salomon Kalou had his heels clipped when through on goal, but referee Alan Wiley waved it away, despite placing the whistle in his mouth as the challenge occurred. Yet again, an official bottled it on the big occasion.

Mascherano’s inadequacy was making Kalou look like Pele and the Ivorian set up Anelka early in the second half, who somehow failed to make contact from a yard out.

Not deterred, the French forward, now on the right, set up Lampard to slide in from six yards to score the potentially title winning goal. The celebrations certainly indicated the significance of the goal.

Chelsea started playing with their customary swagger, but stopped short of routing Liverpool despite the scent of blood. Manchester United’s victory at Sunderland though, means nothing less than a win will do next week against Wigan Athletic to bring the title back to Stamford Bridge.