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Dalglish revival outshines Torres

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Phil McNulty | 22:01 UK time, Sunday, 6 February 2011

Stamford Bridge

Fernando Torres declared football's age of romance was dead as he explained the cold logic behind his move £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea. If it is, the message has yet to reach Kenny Dalglish.

Given Torres' icy assessment of exactly why he insisted on leaving Anfield, a quest for silverware as opposed to Roman Abramovich's gold, it will have come as no surprise to him that his debut ended in the ignominy of an early departure and defeat against his old club.

Torres found no love off the pitch at Stamford Bridge as he endured the taunts and saw the banners of the same Liverpool supporters who idolised him a fortnight ago. On it the misery of his 65th minute substitution was compounded by Raul Meireles' winner.


Torres was substituted in the 65th minute against former club Liverpool

Torres was substituted in the 65th minute against former club Liverpool. Photo: AP


Liverpool's revival under manager Dalglish, back in the job he loves after a 20-year absence, provides the counter argument to the emotion-free analysis of Torres as the Scot put them in the top six for the first time this season.

Dalglish gets the hearts of a club that was on its knees beating faster with every game.

When he swept back into Anfield on a wave of emotion and hope from Liverpool's supporters after Roy Hodgson's sacking, Dalglish admitted romance was nice but it would only go so far before reality kicked in.

After a tentative start Dalglish is combining romance and reality with a fourth straight win and fourth successive clean sheet that resulted in the Scot navigating his way around questions about the possibility of Champions League qualification.

Not even the romantics would portray this game as a classic or glowing advert for the Premier League. Too many misplaced passes, too many mistakes and too many passages of mediocre play - but Liverpool were unquestionably superior and will not dwell too long on the technicalities or the demands of the purists.

The manner of Liverpool's victory, greeted with the widest smile in football as Dalglish clasped right-hand men Sammy Lee and Steve Clarke at the final whistle, was more hard evidence of a remarkable rejuvenation in just a few weeks.

Torres is no longer part of that process. The sub-plots of this day made it almost inevitable that the outcome would not be neutral - Torres would either be a hero or receive a swift slap in the face for having the audacity to state in such stark terms that the grass is greener away from Anfield.

It turned out to be the latter. He was greeted uproariously by Chelsea's fans but the welcome, and the term is used in its loosest form, from Liverpool supporters was hostile.

"He Who Betrays Will Always Walk Alone" read a banner draped from the stand, one of many including an unflattering comparison between Torres and a Liverpool actress he is unlikely to have ever heard of.

Liverpool's players showed good grace and affection to him in the pre-match formalities with bear hugs for their former team-mate but once the action got under way it swiftly turned into an occasion Torres will be glad is now in the past.

Dalglish celebrates Liverpool winner with coach Sammy Lee

Dalglish celebrates Liverpool's winner with coach Sammy Lee Photo: Reuters

Torres' day can be summed up quickly. A shot over the bar from just about the best service he has ever had from one-time colleague Maxi Rodriguez in the opening moments. A belt in the mouth from Daniel Agger. A threat on goal snuffed out by a perfectly-timed block from the splendid Jamie Carragher, back after three months out with a dislocated shoulder.

After that it was game over and plenty for Carlo Ancelotti to ponder as he works out how best to utilise his new British record signing in an attack that already contains Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.

Ancelotti used all three against Liverpool. It did not work as Chelsea looked lop-sided, lacked width and too often saw too many strikers chasing too many of the same passes. Anelka is talented but ill-suited to a deep-lying role.

Chelsea's coach said: "Fernando did a good job. He tried to do things and his movement was good. We have to try in the training sessions to get him to combine well with the other strikers."

This may take many hours of work on the training ground with no guarantee of success but even £50m assets take time to settle in. The start may have been a disappointment but the future is still full of exciting possibilities once Torres adjusts to life away from Anfield.

If Ancelotti can get the formula right Torres can be a magnificent signing for Chelsea and the Spaniard's mind may actually be clearer for getting the meeting with Liverpool out of the way.

For Liverpool it seems it is only onwards and upwards under Dalglish. Every word and deed from the man who can do no wrong in the eyes of their fans illustrates the relish and sheer enjoyment he is getting from being back in charge.

Dalglish is in control until the end of the season but it is hard to see - barring a catastrophe - how John W Henry and the Fenway Sports Group can do anything other than give him the job permanently, especially after entrusting him with more than £50m in the transfer market.

Indeed, there is almost a case for making the announcement now given the upturn in results, performances and club morale since Dalglish started this winning sequence.

He brushed off such talk, saying: "I'm only doing what I said I would do, which is to come in and help. I will never stand in the way of progress at this club." Dalglish then revealed there have been no talks with the owners on the possibility of permanency and none are planned, but it seems little more than a formality.

The win was even more impressive as it was achieved without Liverpool's two big January signings. Andy Carroll, who cost £35m, is injured while Dalglish's side was in such control that £23m signing Luiz Suarez's activities were limited to some brisk warm-ups.

Liverpool's players, who looked lost and dispirited under Hodgson, have purpose and direction again. Dalglish has reconnected the team to Liverpool's supporters and this sense of unity has provided the foundations for the revival.

It has not simply been about Dalglish smiling and saying the right things. None of this would have mattered without the man-management and football wisdom he has brought back to Liverpool.

Aided by his shrewd fellow Scot Clarke, Dalglish has devised a system that suits Liverpool and tactically he was spot on again at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool's use of three central defenders crowded out Torres and his fellow strikers while Martin Kelly and Glen Johnson ensured Chelsea had little joy on the flanks. In midfield so many of the honours went to the unheralded Lucas Leiva for his reliability in possession and determination to pressurise Chelsea.

Torres barely had time and space to make an impact and on the few occasions he did he was swiftly shrouded in a red blanket of defence, invariably led by Carragher.

Chelsea never applied serious pressure to Liverpool and were fortunate to escape Maxi's shocking first half miss, although they were denied a clear penalty in injury time when Johnson barged Branislav Ivanovic to the ground.

It made for a day of frustration for Torres and sheer elation for Liverpool's fans, who shouted "You Should Have Stayed At A Big Club" when he sat stone-faced behind Ancelotti in the moments after Meireles' winner.

The better days lie ahead for Torres, he is too good for them not to, but Dalglish's deeds at the club he left behind suggest his announcement of the death of romance in football may be premature.

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Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Well if Liverpool couldn’t do Man Utd a favour at the end of last season they’re certainly making up for it this season. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season, with all their problems and uncertainties, that they would manage to pull a league double on the defending champions!? Man Utd’s rivals, man city apart, will almost certainly rue this missed opportunity to take advantage of our slip-up at Wolves.
    To the game itself – it was always going to be a challenge on Carlo Ancelotti to accommodate Anelka, Drogba and Torres into the starting lineup. Malouda I thought was the unfortunate victim of the new lineup this game. It will take Fernando Torres some time to adjust to life at Chelsea and certainly it will take Carlo Ancelotti time to find the perfect formula to get the best out of his new striker. Perhaps then this was the absolute perfect time for Liverpool to take on Chelsea…

  • Comment number 2.

    One thing that seems to be flying under the radar is Kenny's brilliance in the "covert" mind games he seems to be playing. His constant mantra of "no player is bigger than the club" seems to me to be an indirect dig at Ferguson and his (and Man United's) desperation to hold onto Rooney. Then, yesterday, he beats Chelsea (and Torres) with a team minus any new buys, as if to stick two fingers up to the whole "two-man team" naysayers; as if to say Torres's exit has had absolutely no impact on the club, even without the need to play a replacement.

    The man is doing a great job. But for me, the best signing Liverpool made recently was the capture of Clarke. To bring in the "no man bigger than club" angle yet again, it's my belief that no manager can do it alone; he needs his own team behind him. That's always been the case at Liverpool. Indeed, it's my belief that the decline of Benitez coincided with his right-hand man, Paco Ayesteran, leaving the club. And with Clarke, Dalglish has a great accomplice.

    Long may the red revolution continue.

  • Comment number 3.

    Liverpool are back - simply awesome display.

    Playing Torres, Drogba and Anelka in that formation was however ridiculous.

  • Comment number 4.

    It seems Liverpool are out of jail. But I want to know what pool fans think, sure you're happy with the win but what about the quality of play and player in this squad? Is lucas good now?
    Kenny is obviously a better fit than Woy, but would last seasons Chelsea team not have win this game with something to spare?
    None of the top teams are playing great. Does this result paper over the cracks at anfield or as Phil suggests is this a return to the top?

  • Comment number 5.

    Not the best start but we all know that on his day he is a world class player. All he needs to do is start improving his work ethic on the pitch and "get stuck in" and he will start to win over the Chelsea fans who think it was a complete waste of money.

    Well played Liverpool and King Kenny. Great tactics and you played as a team. It is amazing the results you can get when teams do this. I wonder what would happen if Chelsea started doing this again as 11 individuals will not win much!!!

    The title is not over just yet as if we beat Man Utd twice it is only 4 points in it, but, and it is a big but, we have to beat them twice or the title race really is over.

    My advice, one game at a time - and WIN it !!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Nice post. Last Summer, prior to the world cup,Sky were showing the football greatest programs. When I saw the Dalglish edition. I knew that he was the man to restore the pride back into Liverpool F.C. The bond that he shares with the club, the fans and the city is a true testament of the strength that loyalty and values can bring especially in adverse times.
    Kenny 2.0 is a bit like Flynn in Tron Legacy (awesome film). Wisdom is on the side, they both know the game inside out and both know the values of what is important. Liverpool biggest downfall has been trying to be like Chelsea. They chased the ££££ back in 2007 and sold their soul for it. In 2010 Liverpool were on it's last knees and were lucky that they didn't suffer the same plight of Leeds Untied. Dalglish has now given them their soul back.

    This time next week Liverpool could be just 3 points behind Chelsea.... truly remarkable considering this is the same team that only a month ago that lost at home to Wolves producing one of the worst performances of in the history of the club.

  • Comment number 7.

    Kenny got the strategy spot on. Chelsea will play 4-3-3 and show off Torres but the player carried on where he left off in Liverpool, a big sulk. Even a 31 year old CB which have been off injured 3 months blocked his shot, just shows Torres lacked pace yesterday.

    Chelsea lacked width?!Thats like saying "Mr Bean" is a little naive ! Kenny played Kelly and Johnson as wing-backs and pushed them up. Bosingwa and A Cole was cancelled out, simple as that. Playing Anelka deep behind Torres/Drogba and have the £50M man playing wide right was desperation.

    Torres best effort was a shot over, which he commonly do at Liverpool, by a pass from Maxi!! lol. That was a freebie and he still missed the target. In fact, it was only when Torres went off that Malouda hit Reina with a close range shot. Unless Torres adapts this formation or Ancelloti sorts it out, the three world class strikers will be chasing shadows. If Liverpool at their weakest state can beat them at the Bridge, then any team will think they have a chance. I would await those matches with glee !

  • Comment number 8.

    I support Chelsea, but I don't think anyone should be questioning Liverpool's style of play, not at least for this season.

    For Dalglish it about getting points, as it should be, and the way they set up yesterday, and then executed their plans, suggests to me they are not going to concede many more goals this season, and that they win quite a few games 1-0.

    Is that Steve Clarke's influence?

  • Comment number 9.

    A good player dont become a bad player overnight, its how the manager plays him that really matters. Hodgson really didnt have a clue with people like Lucas. Lucas played well and helping out in midfield on the right with Maxi on the left doubling on Bosingwa. Meireles and Gerrard really had a free role in the middle of the park with more space and time. With the three Chelsea strikers stranded up front and Anelka trying to link up play from deep, it was never going to work. Chelsea ended punting the ball forward or shoot from outside the box (hence the many off target attempts), which is not their style. At the end, Kenny got it right on the day.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hats off to Dalglish and Clarke. Special mention for Lucas and the return of Carragher. The fact Carragher's been out for 3months and played a game of such high quality goes to show how much he can still offer at his age, he was truly faultless against his old colleague today.

  • Comment number 11.

    >I want to know what pool fans think

    Our manager and players did their best and we got a great result. Looking forward to Wigan next Saturday. Why think any deeper than that? Three points is the most you can get in one game!

  • Comment number 12.

    This result got me dreaming.... What if we were to take Chelsea's champions league spot. Yes dreaming, but wouldn't it be funny :) I'm not bitter :D

  • Comment number 13.

    United fan in peace!

    "Indeed, there is almost a case for making the announcement now given the upturn in results, performances and club morale since Dalglish started this winning sequence."

    It is a regular phenomenon in football that a mediocre side punches above it's weight after the appointment of a new manager - even more so perhaps with the euphoria surrounding Dalglish.

    Half a dozen games is not enough time to judge whether this will be a long term effect. In my opinion the owners of Liverpool would do well to wait until the end of the season before making their mind up. They're not in any rush....and why should they be.

  • Comment number 14.

    Liverpool set up for a draw and won because Chelsea were poor.
    Some Chelsea players are simply not working hard enough. Ancelotti said the other week that they were not moving the ball quickly enough and yesterday he repeated that after the game, crazy.
    Torres was in a difficult situation and nothing should be read into this game.
    There was no urgency in Chelsea's game and they were lacking a dynamic edge and the first touch of players like Drogba, Anelka and Essien is shameful.
    One positive was that Luiz makes Terry look like a 2nd division centre half.
    Britain doesn't produce defenders like that for some reason.
    I hate to use the word but he looks class.
    Tactics only work if the players do their job and too many Chelsea players are not doing there's.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think any talk of champions league qualification for liverpool is somewhat optimistic. last season, spurs required 70 points to get 4th. Assuming a similar total is required this year, that would mean that liverpool would need 32 points from their remaining 12 games - a feat that would require them winning 10 and drawing 2 of those games. Chelsea and spurs require only 26 more points to get to 70 from 13 games - a more 'gettable' 8 wins and 2 draws. Liverpool also have a considerably worse goal difference than Chelsea. Another year of non-champions league football beckons i'm afraid, and it'll only keep getting harder to get back into that top 4.

  • Comment number 16.

    Ancelotti should have stuck with the team and gusto of the midweek win over Sunderland. In the Sunderland game, Chelsea played with verve and hunger, and I wasn't surprised when they came away with three points.

    In yesterday's game, Torres could have come in as a sub. Without Malouda, Chelsea desperately lacked width and going down the middle remained ineffective for long swathes of time. Tinkering with his winning formation to accommodate Torres was a gamble which boomeranged on Chelsea. Chelsea play better with Malouda in the team.

    It's amazing how Liverpool have improved in such a short space of time, from wallowing in the drop zone to six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea is a great recovery for them.

    This season is turning out to be an interesting development. What with bottom-of-the table beating top-of-the-table! Amazing that Wolves have gotten half of their total tally of points from beating Man U, Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool! Ok, I'm digressing somewhat so I going to stop there ...

  • Comment number 17.

    Finding the comments re Dalglish's management tiresome - this was a poor game similar to many Chelsea/Lpool games whilst Benitez or Houllier in charge

    These are players 'putting in a shift' who didn't do so under Hodgson, there is usually a honeymoon period under a new manager when the players gave up under the previous one but Liverpool are a million miles away from the teams Dalglish was involved in as player or manager

    Dalglish's comments regarding the fans are patronising - fans are customers whose loyalty is exploited commercially, Liverpool are no different to any other club in this respect as they will find out when Mr Henry squeezes as much revenue as he can from anfield rather than investing in a new, bigger, stadium

  • Comment number 18.

    Judging by his comments, I don't think Torres will actually care a jot. Not at the taunts, not even that Chelsea lost. He's made it plain it's simply about the money and he'd rather be back in Athletico anyway...anyone looking for their schadenfreude kick from this are wasting their time on Torres.

    And here's another unpalatable opinion - Hodgson would not got that result. Plain and simple, no matter how much other pundits hate putting the boot into such a nice chap.

  • Comment number 19.

    Read the exciting new football blog written by passionate students : thefullcircleblog.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 20.

    whats on your blog??? Anything but obvious.

  • Comment number 21.

    Cor Blimey exciting weekend huh?


    Anyone who did not find themselves smiling when watching Dalglish's recent reactions has lost thier football heart.

    When romance prevails against the cruel rod of financial superiority it gives me the fuzzies, mmmmmm.......Fetch my walking stick Margaret!

    What a man.







  • Comment number 22.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the game and a great result for Liverpool with Meireles scoring again with another well taken goal. Torres was well shackled by the Liverpool defence who, having played alongside him for three and a bit years, will know how to defend against him.

    It will be a concern to Chelsea that they had so many shots on goal without seriously troubling Reina and Maxi will be a relived man as he would have been having nightmares after that miss had Liverpool not won. I could see KD thinking "I could have scored that and I'm 59".

    Well done to Liverpool but we have to put this game behind us and concentrate on Wigan at home on Saturday. Fulham away will be an interesting game for Chelsea and it will be interesting to see how they fare in their derby.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well as a Manc thank you ! Liverpool for that wonderfull present after our abject display on Saturday.
    For me Chelsea still not together as a team/club since the fallout from the Wilkins saga.Whereas Liverepool has come together since the arrival of Dalglish.
    I always thought three into two did not go, so who sits down Drogba or Anelka as you cannot buy a player for £50 million and not play him?
    Strange Premiership this year, we are top of the league with probably the poorest team /squad we have had for a very long time.
    If we do go on and make it 19 ,it will SAF greatest achievement for me as im sure we are heading for a big clearout in the summer.
    But nothing is certain this season, 5 games will define our season Man City (H),Liverpool (A) Arsenal (A) Chelsea ( H & A), certainly a lot too play for yet till the title is dusted.

  • Comment number 24.

    ryangiggsetc - I think u r right, SAF must be in disbelief they are ahead & clear with his worst squad since prior to CDR and with Rooney's form not great.


    However, we all thought Chelski would walk it after thier early season form, they have the same squad so what has changed there?

    I think they could easily win 10 on the bounce and Torres will score big I think

  • Comment number 25.

    I think any talk of champions league qualification for liverpool is somewhat optimistic. last season, spurs required 70 points to get 4th. Assuming a similar total is required this year, that would mean that liverpool would need 32 points from their remaining 12 games - a feat that would require them winning 10 and drawing 2 of those games. Chelsea and spurs require only 26 more points to get to 70 from 13 games - a more 'gettable' 8 wins and 2 draws. Liverpool also have a considerably worse goal difference than Chelsea. Another year of non-champions league football beckons i'm afraid, and it'll only keep getting harder to get back into that top 4.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Few things to say about 4th spot:-

    1. Not sure it will need 70 points. This season has been very strange and there are some big games ahead.
    2. We only have the Premiership to focus on.
    3. No-one including ourselves expects us to or expected us too after the season we've had so far.

    We have nothing to lose, just take each game as it comes, blend in the new sigings for next season and who knows. Maybe even worth a cheeky bet!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    wow!
    another blog about chelsea and liverpool. your two favourite subjects

  • Comment number 27.

    Let me put aside Liverpool's performance and overall run of results since this is clear to all to see. It is a good sight and a welcoming one tough.
    But Chelsea really lost yesterday mainly because we were not quick enough.
    Not quick in moving the ball and also not quick in realising mistakes.
    I somehow understand that Ancelotti wanted to use Torres straight on without though removing any of the settled Strikers but at the moment he saw how bad we were performing, he should be quick enough (i.e. by half-time) to change the setup.
    Yet, even when he decided to remove Torres (which in my opinion was wrong since he was getting a lot of attention and Liverpool were concetrating on him...), he brought Kalou rather than Malouda or even Ramirez.
    It was clear from the starting line up that we would lack width so when it was not working out, it was exactly what to address. Yet, we ended up going down 1x0 immediatelly after.
    The other clear issue on this is Cech. I am sorry and people may coplain heavily but the truth is that since the dreaded incident with Reading and Stephen Hunt, Cech is not longer and outstanding Goalkkepper. He is just a very good one now. Worse, his reliability and efficacy is going down quickly now. Maybe it is the lack of a proper understudy which can challenge for the position, maybe is something else, I do not know but long are the times in which defenders would clearly feel safe wit him there.
    I do not blame Ivanovic for any of the incidents. It was just crystal clear that he was not relying too much on Cech and the Liverpool goal showed why. Cech was nowhere and was clearly responsible for us to go down despite Meirelles being oustanding.
    For Liverpool, I guess the right decisions are being made: Keep Dalglish until end of the decision and then decide (I believe that Liverpool will benefit more than anything on this setup even more if Dalglish takes over next year).
    For Chelsea: we need to sort Ancelotti in regards of being more involved and showing more passion as well as quick thinking. The team play slowly because it is reflecting the manager's style. While we were going great it was fine. It is not right now so he has to re-invent himself.

  • Comment number 28.

    This reminds me of at the beginning of the 80s when City were in the mire after Big Mal had spent a king's ransom on players like Steve McKenzie, Steve Daley, etc. Malcolm got the sack and John Bond took City on a lightening vault up the table the year Villa became Champions. Coupled with a Cup run to a famous final and replay against Spurs, the shackles were off and City were rampant in more than one 4 and 6 nils. Next season though, it was back to normal.

    Not to say this is what's going to happen to Liverpool. It's better for Kenny to have started off like this than to have gone the same way as RH. Without being exceptional, Liverpool looked the more likely team, the team with more belief. What struck me was, how poor Chelsea were. I don't remember Pepe Reina being seriously threatened. Suddenly Lampard looks like the Lampard who plays for England. As a City fan I feel renewed optimism, but with an air of caution, not looking over my shoulder at Chelsea and Spurs, but at Liverpool. 12 games to go and an 11 point cushion, and, dare I say, a victory at Old Trafford on Saturday, still in with a sniff of the title?!

    Not wishing him too much luck, but well done to Kenny and what looks like the return of the Boot Room. Some people say this is an average season. I would say it's one of the most exciting I can remember.

  • Comment number 29.

    You might want to edit the article a bit there Phil, don't know who Hodgdson is, and further down, Steve Clarke morphs into Scot!

    A great win for us, if I was a Chelsea fan, I'd be concerned about Torres as a signing. His record indicates that he'll be a raging success, but I think either Drogba or Anelka will suffer as a result, perhaps taking on the role of providers more than out and out goalscorers.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think Torres will score goals for Chelsea, but as any Liverpool fan will testify he is a spoilt brat and when things are not going his way he losses interest and does not apply himself for the team, Liverpool are really better off without him. Chelsea also have the problem of a sulking drogba, he was the main man now he will play second fiddle to torres.
    Liverpool can now concentrate on the Wigan game and possible start for Suarez who can become a legend for the reds. Liverpool will continue to get results, Chelsea will continue to falter and tottenham will struggle in premiership whilst playing in first champions league knockout stage, Liverpool for 4th place, Chelsea and Torres in the Europa league next year!!!! YNWA

  • Comment number 31.

    A great result for Liverpool. I think what is really important for them is teh 4 clean sheets in a row they have kept as a good defence is always the key to build on things.

    United were abysmal against Wolves and if we keep that up we will get caught. SAF need to sjust pick a first choice 11 and stick with it unless there are injuries. Jonny Evans was poor yet again and the marking for Wolves' first goal was shocking. We had a genuine chance to stay unbeaten and blew it through poor concentration and a good performance from Wolves who seem to only play well when the top 6 come to visit.

    #23 is right win those 5 games and we will be on our way to title number 19. Lose them and we will not win the league.

    As for Chelsea a front 3 pf Anelka, Drogba and Torres will not work and Ancelotti needs to decide who will partner Anelka in attack as Drogba and Torres are too similar. This reminds me of when Newcastle signed Asprilla and upset how they played and was a big afctor in them failing to win the title that season. While it may seem a bit optimistic on current form Spurs or Liverpool rather than Chelsea may be in 4th come the end of the season.

    One last point - I wonder how the fans who filed out of St James' Park at 4-0 down felt that evening. Talk about a game of 2 halves - Arsenal were sublime in the 1st half and self destructed in the 2nd. Linesman got the 2nd penalty wrong but it evened out as he had disallowed Bests goal for offsice wrongly anyway. Nice to see that Wenger still doesn't see it when his players get sent off.

  • Comment number 32.

    Why does anyone give a damn about the premier league?

    Dozens of foreign

  • Comment number 33.

    Slightly ironic that the 'Liverpool revival' is all about romance and inspiration versus Chelsea's 'cold logic', when the reds have just extracted a young Geordie striker from his position at his boyhood club wearing the most famous shirt he could dream of pulling on.

    I suppose Liverpool believe in history, culture and playing from the heart, except when it comes to their signings.

  • Comment number 34.

    After what on the face of it was a stunning weekend in football, and one filled with poetic justice, I am not wondering if we are not all barking up the wrong tree and a little too quickly. The Liverpool team yesterday was the Hodgson team, with the inclusion of Carragher, does this mean that for his abscence Roy might still be in a job.
    With United beaten, Arsenal giving away a four goal lead, Chelsea beaten, I am beginning to wonder if the champions league is not beyond a liverpool team, who by their own standards, are medicore, and yet find themselves in 7th place in the league. This season is not over by a long shot, and there are many more surprises to come. However we must take note, sometimes a lot of rubbish can make the mediocre look good.

  • Comment number 35.

    Chelsea had neither the width, pace or imagination to break down a very defensive Liverpool team.Service to the strikers was poor, with barely a cross for them to attack all match.
    Dalglish and Clarke(still a loss at Stamford Bridge) set Liverpool up expertly for a point or a winner on the counter attack.Professional, if not entertaining.
    Chelsea's priority for the summer should be a creative right midfielder. Torres time will come, although not necessarily in harness with Drogba and Anelka, while Luiz's confident cameo performance was encouraging.

  • Comment number 36.

    29. At 09:08am on 07 Feb 2011, mccollio09 wrote:
    You might want to edit the article a bit there Phil, don't know who Hodgdson is, and further down, Steve Clarke morphs into Scot!




    No, he's saying Steve Clarke is his 'fellow Scot'.

  • Comment number 37.

    Phil McNulty | 22:01 UK time
    Fernando Torres declared football's age of romance was dead as he explained the cold logic behind his move £50m move from Chelsea to Liverpool.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    First rule of journalism. Always check your facts.
    I think you'll find Torres went from Liverpool to Chelsea and not the other way round.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's only one game. I think talk about Torres not fitting into any formation is stupid. We played badly as a whole, simple as that.

    #33 Ian Waugh said:
    "I suppose Liverpool believe in history, culture and playing from the heart, except when it comes to their signings. "

    Great point, this didn't even occur to me. Mind you they didn't play any of their new signings, although it is poignant nonetheless.

  • Comment number 39.

    #25 - thought you were still in teh Europa League or am I incorrect?

  • Comment number 40.

    Liverpool were to good for chelsea tactically.Chelsea should have started with Torres on the bench , this match was about Chelsea not Torres, look at Kenny he left Suarez on the bench and has it happenned he was not required.Torres is a world class player and time is needed for him to settle in with the Chelsea style of play.However I am afraid Chelsea are a work in progress too but people cant see the wood for the trees.I fear Chelsea like Liverpool will end up trophyless this season but at least we under Kenny 'appeared' to have turned the corner.Whereas the same cannot be said about Chelsea if I was Carlo i would fear for my job.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thanks for all the early comments. Think it is important first of all to stress what an excellent performance it was from Liverpool. Not a great game but the organisation and resilience shown was such a contrast to those under Roy Hodgson at places such as Newcastle and, finally, at Blackburn.

    History will judge Hodgson's reign harshly at Liverpool but at least he left Raul Meireles for their fans to remember him by.

    I've tried to outline what I feel Dalglish has brought but I also want to hear from Liverpool fans as well. What has Dalglish done? Can he continue it and where can Liverpool now finish?

    Dalglish was asked about the Champions League yesterday.Still an outside bet for me but do you think Liverpool can make it?

    As for Chelsea, we should sound a note of caution about too much negativity re. Torres' debut. It was always going to be a day of contrasting emotions and I suspect he is inwardly glad it's over.

    My big conundrum is where Ancelotti will play Torres, Drogba and Anelka. Chelsea fans, do you think he can play them all together? It did not work yesterday but he countered the point by praising Liverpool's defence.

    And do you think that was a missed opportunity that will eventually end Chelsea's title chances?

    Keep all the observations coming. Interesting as ever.



  • Comment number 42.

    33. At 09:17am on 07 Feb 2011, Ian Waugh wrote:
    Slightly ironic that the 'Liverpool revival' is all about romance and inspiration versus Chelsea's 'cold logic', when the reds have just extracted a young Geordie striker from his position at his boyhood club wearing the most famous shirt he could dream of pulling on.

    I suppose Liverpool believe in history, culture and playing from the heart, except when it comes to their signings.
    -----------------------

    Bit of hyperbole there or are you sayimng that Andy Carrol isn't good enough for Man Utd, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or the Milan clubs.

    If so then you are probably right that Liverpool is the limit of his ambition

  • Comment number 43.

    "But I want to know what pool fans think, sure you're happy with the win but what about the quality of play and player in this squad?"

    I imagine they are concentrating on winning promotion from the Wessex Premier League - chances look pretty good.

    As for LIVERpool fans, a win away to the champions is always a good result, and you'll rarely win a game like that the pretty way. Clearly we're still a few players away from a title challenge, but the squad was always stronger than Hodgson's tactics made it look. I've never had a problem with Lucas, works hard and rarely misses a pass, but it's good that he's finally made his contribution a bit more telling.

    Still need a left back and a bit of class on the wing, maybe a bit more bite in the middle, but the core of the side is good.

  • Comment number 44.

    @26 I'm pretty sure most would agree it was the biggest and most hyped game of the weekend so why would he not right a blog about it? Or would it have made more sense to cover the Birmingham v West Ham match??

  • Comment number 45.

    Simply, Carlo Ancelotti has to go to the standard 4-4-2 to get the best out of all of his strikers. Essien would have to play wide right, and in the past he has filled in there and at right back, he has the ability anyway to play anywhere on the pitch. For me yesterday, we had a real problem breaking Liverpool down as almost all of our attacks came down the centre of the pitch because we only had Bosingwa and Cole playing out wide, making it easy for Martin Kelly and Glen Johnson to pin them back and also for the Liverpool midfielders and the three centre backs to deal with the threat down the middle. If there were two players out there, we could have over ran them and stopped their threat at the other end of the pitch. We seem to have been playing like the old days with Scolari, where we had no width, unfortunately for Carlo, the pitch at Stamford Bridge isn't big enough to make the diamond effective enough.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think Ancelotti was daft playing Torres against us.

    Firstly, they know how he plays, (the team had been training with him only a week or so ago), apart from Rodriguez's early fopar, the team kept Torres contained, (probably why he was substituted).

    Secondly not only we as Liverpool supporters are pissed at Torres' leaving,and his comments, but the players must be to, so it was obvious they were going to work hard for a win, to put Chelsea, and particularly Torres in his place.

  • Comment number 47.

    To BillyWhizz100...I actually do not believe for a second that Dalglish is playing mind games by insisting no player is bigger than the club. He is 100% committed to that approach.

    It served Liverpool well during his playing days and he believes it will serve him well now. It is not a dig at Sir Alex Ferguson but is relevant in the week Torres was sold to Chelsea. Dalglish knows the club will go on, as it did when Graeme Souness and Ian Rush departed in his previous days as player and manager at Anfiels.

  • Comment number 48.

    Is Torres really worth the money spent on him ? take a look at this article.

    http://expertscolumn.com/content/how-footballer-worth-money

  • Comment number 49.

    I think Carlo was a bit naive tactically yesterday.

    He went for the diamond to accomadate Torres but since that didnt work out, He reverted to type with the 4-3-3. Anelka showed again why his Sunderland masterclass was only a once in a blue moon performance to secure his place for yesterdays match. Didnt do much yesterday. Nor did Drogba, Lampard & Essien. Malouda should have played right from the start! Torres will come good. I dont think his game relies on pace. It relies more on his predatory instinct for goal in the box. Give him the ball in the box and he'll more often than not finish it.

    Our defence.. I been saying this for a while, Ivanovic is very clumsy at CB and he has made a lot of mistakes. I think people overlook this because of how good he has been at RB for us but yesterday, Him & Cech were like Laurel & Hardy. The sooner Alex comes back the better.

    Big conundrum for Ancelotti now. He maybe one good man manager but he's not in the same class as Mourinho tactically.

    I think we can kiss goodbye to the title. That was our chance yesterday and we blew it. Kinda could see it coming. We buy Liverpool's best player and they stil beat us.

  • Comment number 50.

    Excellent article and some good posts on here today, a combination of realism and excitement which I feel is spot on.

    Absolutely delighted with the result as, I have to say, I feared the worst, a Torres double or the like.

    This is not a return to the top by any stretch. We are still 5 places away from that and we are still not as good as United. I do feel, however, that next season and with a couple of further acquisitions, we will be back into that position where we were capable of beating any team in the World, on our day. In terms of challenging for the top next season, consistency is the key.

    In terms of this season, we're now fighting for a top 5 place and we absolutely must get that 5th place at least. We can do that if we stop dropping points to mediocre teams and by taking 80% of the points left available to us.

    We've got the prospect of two new strikers, a Legend at the the helm and a Legend as his General, on the field. Things are looking up and we must continue in this direction.

    One final thing and to quote the recently much maligned Andy Gray:

    Raul "We're All Starting to Love You" Meireles: "TAKE A BOW SON, TAKE A BOW!"

  • Comment number 51.

    Re 37

    Thank for pointing my mistake out, Clay.
    I've corrected my comment.
    ____________________________________________

    That's OK, Phil. Glad to help out.

  • Comment number 52.

    #46 please explain what a 'fopar' is?

  • Comment number 53.

    What a media farce - let's all focus on Torres and not the actual game. First I'll start by giving the dues - Liverpool were more organized, together and a cohesive unit. They soaked up the attacks well and broke effectively when given the chance - it could have been worse for us.

    So why did we lose? Quite simply, Ancelotti was found wanting in the tactical department. I don't even know what that formation was meant to be - it appeared only the back line were where they should be. Anelka has never played AM in his life yet Carlo decides in what was arguably one of our most important games of the season to experiment.

    If Malouda had played (with Anelka on the right - by his own admission, his best position) we might have stood a chance. If that wasn't bad enough, he completely demoralizes the team by hauling off our £50M signing against his old club and brings on? Kalou - for christsake. The man who claims he's a striker yet misses more chances than Andy Cole.

    One good point - David Luiz looked very good indeed, though the merits of bringing on a central defender when chasing the game are lost on me. McNulty you're looking for the big headlines by highlighting Torres, when really the spotlight should have fell on the man who really messed up - Ancelotti.

    On a separate note - fantastic tackle by Joey Barton I thought...

  • Comment number 54.

    #25 - thought you were still in teh Europa League or am I incorrect?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes we are but in I'm not sure how many 1st team players will play in that. One of the good things Woy actually did playing fringe players or players back from injury. Think Kenny might do the same really. Give the likes of Shelvey, Spearing, Wilson etc good game time. Joe Cole might even play!

  • Comment number 55.

    I knew that the moment Dalglish was announced as manager the club would turn around from the outset.
    Why?
    Because I remember the well the 70's, 80's and 90's at Liverpool. It was never about one player, it was never about one manager, Liverpool dominated over decades because of the philosophy began by Shankley, continued by Paisley, Fagin and Dalglish himself. Great players played in those teams, some came and some of the best went ( Keegan, Rush, Owen ) others got too old, (Fowler, Aldridge, Lawrenson, Hansen ) but the club continued to to succeed.
    Those who think Dalglish has brought a "presence" or some mystical change at the club are on cloud cookoo land!
    Many forget, and I think Torres is guilty of this but the penny may have dropped yesterday, that Dalglish has more football experience and success than most in the game, gleaned over more than 30 years, as player under the best managers, as a manager himself which brought many trophies, and as a spectator and ambassador for football. He knows what works and what does not. Many pundits thought the 3-5-2 would never work against Chealsea, but they were speculating, whereas Dalglish doesnt speculate, he just applies what he knows works because he understands the game inside out. Yet he wont brag about it. "I am here to help the club" is all he will say. I suspect this is what he learnt having managed before, keeping a right perspective of himself, while sharing his ability and experience with his team.
    As well as Torres may do in the coming seasons, I doubt he will ever experience what he could have under Dalglish, Torres did not think he had the time to wait, but why did he think it would take so long? Dalglish knows it is not about the ability of the player that alone makes them great, he felt no need to hang on to Torres, just dissapointment because he had potential to be great at Liverpool, but there are other players who have the potential, and Dalglish knows how to get it out in a team, the last 6 matches have shown that using the same players they have had all season.
    Too many teams, depend on buying the best and hoping they do well, that is not Liverpool philosophy, yes spend money on a good player, but because they have potential and can prosper, not because you are buying the finished article.
    Liverpool are capable of winning the majority of the next 13 games, and as Dalglish said himself, taking one game at a time, "we will just see how many points we have at the end of the season"

  • Comment number 56.

    Football has become pathetic and so predictable that I now liken it to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Fans boo the supposed villain and then cheer the good guy when he wears the right coloured leotard. Phil you are as fickle as Vince McMan and join the mob during every ebb and flow. Bored.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Phil,

    Kenny does it again. This time he was spot on with the tactics and outsmarted one of the best coaches around. This "oh Dalglish has been out of competitive football for ages" and "football has moved on" is pure garbage. The man realised that Chelsea were going to play 4-3-3 to accommodate Torres, so he responds with 3 centre backs, then floods the midfield with 5 players therefore drowning Chelseas 3, and then counted on the hard working Kuyt and Meireles to keep the ball in Chelseas half to relieve pressure. SIMPLES.
    I think the first good thing that Kenny is doing is making sure that we DO NOT CONCEDE. Now that the defence is getting its confidence back, the rest of the team is following. Also, the emergence of Martin Kelly has been sensational. I dont think that another full-back has given Ashley Cole more trouble than young Kelly.
    Dalglish didnt use Suarez either, not because he didnt want to, but because simply he didnt need to. Let him have a few more training sessions, get used to the lads, and then Kenny will unleash our new weapon.
    As for Chelsea, I honestly cannot see how this team will work. There are too many egoes in that dressing room and it'll be interesting to see how Ancelloti manages them all. Also considering the ages of some of the players, I believe that Abramovich will have to put his hand in his pocket again in the summer, if he wants to challenge next year.

  • Comment number 58.

    Very poor management by Ancelotti, he should have rested Torres for that one. He needs a few games under his belt to build up his confidence, to play him against Liverpool after all that went on was plain daft,It just goes to show How much Ray Wilkins is missed.

  • Comment number 59.

    There's no honour in coming with a formation with no strikers hoping for a 0-0, or perhaps getting a breakaway or lucky goal to win, which is what happened.

    It's Liverpool/Daglish's anti-football that is devoid of romanticism.

    Yet our blinkered press congratulate him on yet another clean sheet, "LIverpol deserved to win, they were much the better team" etc. OK, I suppose so if you enjoy negative, defensive football based on the fear of losing.

    Give me Alex Ferguson or Arsen Wenger any time, at least they have the balls to come and try to win games with bright attacking and entertaining football.

  • Comment number 60.

    @59, if you're a Chelsea fan, you're letting us down. Even before yesterday's tactical education, Liverpool for my money have been the best form team in the last 4/5 games. It was not a good time to play them and as for King Kenny being anti-football, the idea of the game is to utilize what you have and he taught Carlo a lesson.

  • Comment number 61.

    Chelsea's formation looked disjointed to me. Hasn't Malouda been one of Chelsea's star performers this season? He offers the width and pace down the flanks which opens the game up, yet he's the one who gets the hook to accommodate Torres. Chelsea's forward line looked like square pegs in round holes to me.

    As for Liverpool, fantastic team performance but what must Hodgson be thinking? Dalglish hasn't altered things drastically when it comes to tactics or personnel but all of a sudden it seems that the players are willing to put some effort in now a club legend is in charge. Poor, poor attitude.

  • Comment number 62.

    Nice to see Liverpool playing with confidence again. Although they still lack the quality to challenge for the champions league positions it is still a step in the right direction. Yes they paid over the odds for Carroll but there is no doubt that he will strengthen the squad as will Suarez. They have missed a player who is a consistent threat in the air and Suarez does seem to have similar attributes to Torres although I have only seen him play a few matches for Uruguay at the WC.

    With regards to Kenny Dalglish getting the job on a permanent basis; it would be foolish of the owners to announce this at present. Better to wait until the end of the season and then negotiate. It's not as though Kenny is going anywhere :) Also, it might be a good idea to employ him on an annual review basis a la Pep Guardiola and Barcelona. I like this system as it avoids the scenario of a manager becoming complacent. Guardiola comes across as a very hard working and analytical manager who get's his players to play with a lot of energy (implying that he works hard with the players to motivate them). Of course this system won't work if one wants to employ say Mourinho who will demand a 5 year contract, but it should work with Kenny as we know he wants to be at Liverpool anyway.

  • Comment number 63.

    Chelsea had the look of a side trying to shoe-horn in a player because he cost £50m, which ruined their effective system they used to beat a solid Sunderland side away a few days before. Anelka, Drogba and Torres started, too many cooks...

    As for Liverpool, they look much better, if a little uninspiring still. 4th place is probably a bit out of reach but they'll definitely finish 5th or 6th.

  • Comment number 64.

    P.S. I am sure Clarke has had a positive effect at Liverpool as coach, but dont take away the credit due to Dalglish, as if Clarke knows more about coaching than him? I dont think so! Yes it will be a team effort, as always, but dont try to look for the answer betond Dalglish, as if he has just started in football managment!

  • Comment number 65.

    I see Mr Benitez has been trying to keep his profile visible recently - presumably because he thinks there's something in it for him at LFC. Forget honeymoons and other talk - 100% of the fans are behing Kenny.
    (I wouldn't even wish Mr. B on Everton, as, despite being a red, I wouldn't like seeing them relegated. Without any money Mr.B couldn't hope to get near Mr. Moyes avchievements. Also don't fancy Mr Gob on You Ryecard for the future either.) More then happy with the KING staying forever thank you !

  • Comment number 66.

    Great win for us yesterday and at the end of the day Kenny got the his tactics spot on whereas Ancelotti was found wanting by playing an unfamiliar tactic so he could shoehorn Torres into the side, in which they looked awkward and uninspiring. We did our job and what we needed to do to for away with the points.

    Disappointing, yet totally predictable, people rubbishing Kennys and Clarkes influence over the team and the change around in fortunes, so nice to see the ball trying to be played along the deck and not in the skies ala Hodgson. Even Carra, who was immense yesterday, is trying to keep the hoofing down to a minimum. Meireles looks a different player and big mention for Martin Kelly who is growing in stature every game and looks like he's going to become a hell of a player.

    Onwards and upwards, let's see if we can catch Chelsea or Spurs now, unlikely but exciting never the less.

  • Comment number 67.

    Honestly, I have doubted Ancelotti since the first day he came to Chelsea. I am yet to be convinced that he is the long-term coach for Chelsea. He seems to be more of a cup competition type of coach. Since RW left Chelsea, Ancelotti has been struggling to move the club forward. Sigh.

  • Comment number 68.

    it doesnt mean liverpool are back, at the end of the day it was just two teams that have been struggling for the past 2-3 months and one beat the other, its not as if chelsea have been a solid rock and unbeaten for 80+ games at stamford bridge ike the other year
    It was obvious liverpool would win just becuase everyone thought that chelsea would hammer liverpool just because they signed torres(hes been terrible for the past 18 months).

    It was only a big game because torres went to chelsea and everyone wanted to see how both teams would play with and against torres

  • Comment number 69.

    Carlo Ancelotti, the issue is not whether Torres would improve but whether you, Carlo Ancelotti would improve with Chelsea because currently, Chelsea are only a half-decent side under your management, Mr. Ancelotti.

  • Comment number 70.

    54. At 09:59am on 07 Feb 2011, Carroll With a Perm is a Big Kegan wrote:
    #25 - thought you were still in teh Europa League or am I incorrect?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes we are but in I'm not sure how many 1st team players will play in that. One of the good things Woy actually did playing fringe players or players back from injury. Think Kenny might do the same really. Give the likes of Shelvey, Spearing, Wilson etc good game time. Joe Cole might even play!
    --------------------------------

    Surely now that you are in the knockout stages he will play first team players. I mean what is the point of qualifying for Europe if you aren't going to try and win it. After all any trophy is a good trophy

  • Comment number 71.

    "Dalglish hasn't altered things drastically when it comes to tactics or personnel but all of a sudden it seems that the players are willing to put some effort in now a club legend is in charge."

    The tactics are massively different, who have you been watching? Hodgson believed in the long-ball (utterly alienating the likes of Agger) while Dalglish is in the Liverpool pass-and-move tradition.

    The biggest difference though, is that under Hodgson, the players were constantly hearing how they shouldn't expect to get results, how drawing with clubs at the foot of the table was a good result and how the fans' expectations were unrealistic. (I've never yet met a football supporter whose expectations were realistic, but that's not the point.)

    Dalglish has instilled belief. It's simple but powerful stuff. And it is something that has been the hallmark of every successful team.

    In their different ways, Ferguson, Wenger and Mourinho all instill it in their teams. Look what it did for Newcastle at the weekend.

    It is something Hodgson sadly never brought to the club. I don't want to overly criticise RH, he did his best, but he never looked comfortable in the role. Maybe the players should have done more under his reign, but inspiring them is a big part of the job in the first place.

    Dalglish exudes confidence, and it's infectious.

  • Comment number 72.

    Ancellotti's team selection was amateurish in the extreme. By playing Torres he had to drop one of either Drogba or Anelka and play Malouda simply to give some width to the attack - Malouda - Torres - Drogba which I think would have been very fluent and troubled Liverpool. But it was back to this same old and same failed selection of 3 main strikers competing against each other. He had attacking midfielders in Essien and Lampard so Anelka was not required - he needed width. Drogba had the poorest game I can ever remember. Simply can't see this present combination working and an experienced coach like Ancellotti should know better.

  • Comment number 73.

    @67 Spot on in every respect. AC Milan were on the way down when he left and the Champions League triumph was more of a smokescreen - taking advantage of a bad stuation.

    As for Butch - he was the man who helped us get over Jose and replacing him with a Nigerian scout and Paul Clement is just ridiculous. Every time they show the Chelsea bench you see Clement whispering sweet nothings to Carlo with Emenalo sitting there with the hump - what a farce.

  • Comment number 74.

    #25 - thought you were still in teh Europa League or am I incorrect?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes we are but in I'm not sure how many 1st team players will play in that. One of the good things Woy actually did playing fringe players or players back from injury. Think Kenny might do the same really. Give the likes of Shelvey, Spearing, Wilson etc good game time. Joe Cole might even play!
    --------------------------------

    Surely now that you are in the knockout stages he will play first team players. I mean what is the point of qualifying for Europe if you aren't going to try and win it. After all any trophy is a good trophy
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Not saying we are not going to try and win but its a two legged affair and the quality of the opposition is not quite Champions League. Until we get big teams some of the second should be enough to win it these games.

  • Comment number 75.

    Liverpool 'parked the bus' and scored a lucky goal against a team trying to gel new players into the team and who should have had a penalty at the end of the game when Glen Johnson committed GBH on Ivanovic in the box, not to take anything away from their win....

  • Comment number 76.

    I don't think Sparta Prague will be pushovers and there are teh champions league teams in the draw now so I think it would be a good idea to treat it seriously as it is your only chance of silverware

  • Comment number 77.

    @44.

    just bored of talking about liverpool, chelsea, torres.

    back to talking about tottenham next i suppose.

  • Comment number 78.

    No lets talk about Southend who have somehow gone from 4th from bottom to 3 points from the play-offs in little more than a month - Brilliant progress being made there recently

  • Comment number 79.

    Defences were on top. Neither Anelka or Drogba had clear cut opportunities and Carragher showed that he is still has class left in him. Agger's hit on Torres was funny, I think that showed him what Liverpool thought and he took it to heart. All that has been said of Torres I still think he thinks highly of Liverpool, and with the match coming so soon after the move I don't think his heart was in it. Give him a couple of weeks to settle and we may see the old Torres back, which will be bad news for Arsenal, Man City and Man Utd.

    Liverpool on the other hand have completely turned it around and a top five or even top four finish is now a distinct possibility. Considering they were three points above the relegation zone when Dagleish took over shows that the owners were right to replace Hodgson.

  • Comment number 80.

    71. Nessy

    While I totally agree with what you say about confidence and self-belief, to say Hodgson played long-ball is very unfair. He picked the same set of players and tried to get them passing the ball on the deck, just like his Fulham team.

    It seemed to me that the players were too scared to play because of all of the negativity in the stands ("You'll Never Walk Alone" never sounded more ironic). Dalglish comes in and instantly there is a feelgood factor and the players are transformed. They were great yesterday but where were the players willing to take the game by the scruff of the neck under Hogdson?

  • Comment number 81.

    Chelsea are poor with or without Torres at the moment. Even Messi wouldn't have helped yesterday; especially as I beleive they'd lost before kick off. It was just the same as the fixture last season against Man City where the whole Terry v Bridge thing overshadowed the football.

    Somehow Chelsea still seem to be the footballing equivilant of the Evil Empire from Star Wars and no matter who was bought and sold last week it would be Chelsea who had been evil in taking a favourite son from a good honest traditional and historical club. While poor honest Liverpool were doing a kind hearted thing in taking players from Ajax and Newcastle.

  • Comment number 82.

    #63
    "As for Liverpool, they look much better, if a little uninspiring still. 4th place is probably a bit out of reach but they'll definitely finish 5th or 6th."

    ----------------
    Err, we are currently 6th and both Chelsea and Spurs above us are on the same points so how does this comment even make sense? If 5th is achievable then surely so is 4th?

  • Comment number 83.

    Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham. Round and round and round. The most exciting premier league weekend on record and nothing of Newcastle? Everton? No, Phil talks about the most boring game of the weekend.

    Im an Arsenal fan and would have enjoyed a piece on saturdays disaster far more than this

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    Discuss Liverpool and Chelsea/ Torres again?

    Snore of a match to watch. The Old Firm game was more entertaining than this tosh

  • Comment number 86.

    Dalglish is doing a wonderful job. The idea he was out of the game too long was a weird idea, and any negative effects would have been minimised by the appointment of Steve Clarke, as I suggested in this article:

    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/liverpool-fc-time-for-heroes/

  • Comment number 87.

    Who needs 50 million torres....35 mill carroll when you have 7 million Hernandez for man utd!! ;)

  • Comment number 88.

    83. At 10:48am on 07 Feb 2011, Ben Hutton wrote:
    Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham. Round and round and round. The most exciting premier league weekend on record and nothing of Newcastle? Everton? No, Phil talks about the most boring game of the weekend.

    Im an Arsenal fan and would have enjoyed a piece on saturdays disaster far more than this

    ------------------------

    An analysis of the 2nd half and linesman's performance would be very interesting as I have never seen a team implode like that since Spurs went 3-0 up against Utd when Veron played for us and we came back to win 5-3

  • Comment number 89.

    I already tried to start a discussion about this by commending Barton's fantastic tackle!

  • Comment number 90.

    It was pretty good to be honest and wasn't even a fould as he got all of teh ball well before he made any contact with Diaby who then went barmy pushing 2 players and getting a red. Nolan got booked for pushing the Arsenal keeper as well.

  • Comment number 91.

    The point some people seem to be missing is that Liverpool offered the players from Newcastle and Ajax the honour to play for one of footballs European Giants.

    What Torres took was a massive pay rise and a huge step downwards in prestige and therefore unrepairable damage to his own reputation.

  • Comment number 92.

    Simply amazing. Liverpool complete an excellent win at Chelsea and suddenly United will walk it, Chelsea were the only realistic challengers and are "now out of the picture" accodring to Ray Wilkins, it's only a blip says Wenger and Harry says Spurs can still do it but everyone has written off Man City's chances.

    Hmm a win at United on Saturday, with their up and coming fixtures and City are very much in the hunt for the title. Tevez has a big point to prove at Old Trafford and United without Ferdinand are far from convincing. Our cat is a better defender than Evans so I hope he's playing on Saturday lunchtime.

  • Comment number 93.

    Dont know why you lot bother moaning.

    Whenever Phil does write a blog about a lesser team, it gets a grand total of about 40 comments. A blog about the top 4/5 gets about 200/300.

  • Comment number 94.

    #93 will be struggling today I thing. Last weeks about Gary Neville had about 3 pages by now

  • Comment number 95.

    Complete over-reaction. I don't like Joey Barton much, but his reputation seems to precede him. He apologized to Diaby, who not only shoved him over but also pushed Kevin Nolan, hence the red card. So all those silly Gooners that were moaning about his headlock on the unpronouncable keeper should calm down.

  • Comment number 96.

    #95 - he is likely to be always referred to as the Arsenal keeper as no-one can spell his name

  • Comment number 97.

    Let me sum up all the points to why liverpool won the match.

    1. Solid defence of the 3 center backs(and pepe reina)

    2. Chelsea lack of width resulted in a one dimensional play

    3. Chelsea's lack of linkup play, as the front three of torres drogba and anelka stayed up throughout the game, and no central forward came deep to get the ball, a role that rooney excels in.

    4. Bust up between ivanovic and cech resulted into miscommunication for the goal, of which the ball evaded all of them and fell to meireles.

    5. Torres did not understand chelsea's play well, and found it difficult to gel in.

    This may sound one-sided, as I am only focusing on the possible reasons of liverpool's victory. Of course, liverpool has many loopholes too, but on this occasion, chelsea's loopholes were more apparent.

  • Comment number 98.

    Thanks for the response Phil

    47. At 09:34am on 07 Feb 2011, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To BillyWhizz100...I actually do not believe for a second that Dalglish is playing mind games by insisting no player is bigger than the club. He is 100% committed to that approach.


    I don't doubt that Dalglish is 100% committed to that approach. However, I always thought that was Ferguson's approach, too (or at least, no player was bigger than him - read Staam). So why was he so desperate to keep hold of Rooney?

    I just can't help feeling that Kenny is playing the psychological game very well here. And perhaps I'm being a little too blinkered myself here, as it's not just Ferguson he's talking to. He's saying to everyone else in the league "By the way, we'll get rid of top, top players who don't want to be here and still beat the current champions."

    He's not as in your face as Shankly, but he's referred to the great man already in his brief return, and I'd posit there's definitely an element of psychology in all this. No?

  • Comment number 99.

    83. Ben Hutton wrote:
    Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham. Round and round and round. The most exciting premier league weekend on record and nothing of Newcastle? Everton? No, Phil talks about the most boring game of the weekend.

    Im an Arsenal fan and would have enjoyed a piece on saturdays disaster far more than this

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    He writes about the game he was at, which is usually the biggest game of the weekend.

  • Comment number 100.

    All credit for the victory should go to Kenny Daglish for master minding 4-6-0 formation against Chelsea's 4-3-3. Superb win. Looks like Chelsea's race is over yet they might deliver a telling blow to Un**ed's title hopes as they have to play against each other twice. The weekend results have setup the PL very nicely at the top of the table.

 

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