Liverpool gained revenge for Saturday's FA Cup final defeat with an emphatic win over a lacklustre Chelsea to end the Blues' hopes of a top-four finish.

Chelsea were sloppy throughout and fell behind when Michael Essien deflected Luis Suarez's cross into his own net.

Goals from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger made it 3-0 and Stewart Downing missed a penalty before half-time.

Ramires pulled a goal back but Ross Turnbull's error allowed Jonjo Shelvey to fire in and crown a superb display.

The only possible blot on the home side's copy book was an unnecessary incident involving the otherwise excellent Suarez, who caught Branislav Ivanovic in the face with his arm. Suarez was not booked by referee Kevin Friend and could face retrospective action.

'Excellent' Liverpool pleases Dalglish

However, in a game with a number of unsavoury incidents, Chelsea's Michael Essien was shown a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Andy Carroll, so will not face further punishment.

The result made a mockery of Liverpool's woeful home form this season, which had seen them win only six games, while they equalled their lowest home goals tally of 24 courtesy of the four they scored here.

The game could not have been more different from the cagey and dour contest these two sides served up on Saturday.

At Wembley, Chelsea were compact and efficient but here they were shambolic, especially in the first half, while Liverpool were completely transformed from the stuttering, shot-shy side that so underwhelmed the national stadium for an hour.

Granted, it was a much-changed Blues team, with regulars Ashley Cole, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard on the bench and goalkeeper Petr Cech and Didier Drogba omitted, in a clear indication that manager Roberto di Matteo believed the more realistic route to Champions League football next season is as a by-product of glory against Bayern Munich in the final in Munich on 19 May. This is now their only means of qualifying.

Liverpool's penalty woes

Liverpool have missed five of their six penalties in the Premier League this season. They are the first team in Premier League history to miss five penalties in a season.

But this was no excuse for such sloppiness, particularly as the XI still contained eight internationals. Plus, arguably their worst performer was captain and defensive lynchpin John Terry, who was nutmegged three times in the first half and was partly responsible for the first two Liverpool goals.

Shortly after his defensive partner Branislav Ivanovic had struck the post with a header from a corner, the England international was easily beaten by Suarez as he jinked in down the right before his cut-back found the net via the sliding Essien.

Six minutes later, Terry's slip allowed Henderson to run through and side-foot a shot past Ross Turnbull.

Liverpool improved markedly on Saturday following the introduction of substitute Carroll, who scored their goal at Wembley and was inches away from an equaliser, and he played his part here from the start, no more so than in providing the return header from a corner which allowed Agger to nod in the third goal.

Di Matteo rues missed chances

It could have been a worse half for the Blues had Downing not twice hit the woodwork, with a dipping 20-yard shot that clipped the bar and, less forgivably, when he struck the post with a penalty after Ivanovic had blocked Carroll with an elbow in the box.

Chelsea's former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, who began the game, was subdued all night barring one moment when he cut around Agger with a superb touch and fired against the bar.

Di Matteo has done a superb job to salvage so much from the wreckage of predecessor Andre Villas-Boas's "project", but this was a lost cause, even when Ramires bundled in to reduce the arrears early in the second half.

If there were any Chelsea hopes of a fightback, they were ended on the hour when Turnbull's mis-hit clearance fell to Shelvey and he fired a 30-yard shot into the unguarded net.

A superb Pepe Reina save from substitute Romelu Lukaku's header denied Chelsea any further consolation, who will now switch their focus to the date with Bayern.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (3)

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 02 Johnson
  • 05 Agger Booked
  • 23 Carragher
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 11 Maxi (Kuyt - 83' )
  • 14 Henderson Booked
  • 19 Downing (Sterling - 83' )
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 07 Suarez
  • 09 Carroll

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 16 Coates
  • 34 Kelly
  • 20 Spearing
  • 31 Sterling
  • 18 Kuyt
  • 39 Bellamy

Chelsea

  • 22 Turnbull
  • 02 Ivanovic Booked
  • 19 Ferreira Booked
  • 26 Terry Booked
  • 34 Bertrand
  • 05 Essien Booked
  • 06 Romeu
  • 07 Ramires
  • 15 Malouda
  • 09 Torres
  • 23 Sturridge (Lukaku - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 40 Hilario
  • 03 Cole
  • 27 Hutchinson
  • 08 Lampard
  • 10 Mata
  • 18 Lukaku
  • 21 Kalou
Ref: Friend
Att: 40,721

Match Stats

Shots

23 9

On target

13 5

Corners

7 4

Fouls

15 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:17 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +1:32

The ball is sent over by Andy Carroll, Headed effort from inside the area by Daniel Agger misses to the left of the goal.

90:00 +1:05

Corner taken by Luis Suarez played to the near post.

89:55

Effort on goal by Luis Suarez from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

88:39

Corner taken right-footed by Luis Suarez, Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in.

88:26

Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Bertrand.

87:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic by Luis Suarez. Free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

85:28

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, John Terry takes a shot. Dirk Kuyt manages to make a clearance.

83:51

Effort from inside the area by Raheem Sterling misses to the left of the target.

82:32 Substitution

Substitution Raheem Sterling on for Stewart Downing.

82:32 Substitution

Substitution Dirk Kuyt comes on in place of Rodriguez Maxi.

81:25

Martin Skrtel challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Essien fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

79:33

Ramires gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Agger. Luis Suarez produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

75:20

Michael Essien fouled by Martin Skrtel, the ref awards a free kick. Florent Malouda has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.

74:38

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.

73:59

The ball is delivered by Andy Carroll.

73:18

Glen Johnson crosses the ball, Shot by Andy Carroll from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

72:18

Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.

70:35

Free kick crossed by Florent Malouda, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.

70:35 Booking

Booking The referee books Daniel Agger for unsporting behaviour.

70:05

Ramires fouled by Daniel Agger, the ref awards a free kick.

68:44

The ball is delivered by Paulo Ferreira, save by Jose Reina.

67:12 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Sturridge leaves the field to be replaced by Romelu Lukaku.

65:43

The referee gives a free kick against Ryan Bertrand for handball. Free kick taken by Glen Johnson.

64:25

Michael Essien takes the free kick.

64:25 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Jordan Henderson for unsporting behaviour.

64:04

Jordan Henderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Oriol Romeu.

63:24

Andy Carroll gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Oriol Romeu. Direct free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

63:14

Daniel Agger crosses the ball, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.

60:26 Goal scored

Goal! - Jonjo Shelvey - Liverpool 4 - 1 Chelsea Jonjo Shelvey fires in a goal from a long way out to the top left corner of the goal. Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea.

58:30

The ball is crossed by Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.

58:03

The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson, clearance by Michael Essien.

57:41

Foul by Ryan Bertrand on Glen Johnson, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Stewart Downing.

56:36

Paulo Ferreira fouled by Luis Suarez, the ref awards a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the direct free kick.

55:54

Michael Essien has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.

52:43

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing, save made by Ross Turnbull.

52:29

Martin Skrtel takes a shot. Save made by Ross Turnbull.

49:41

Assist by Florent Malouda.

49:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Ramires - Liverpool 3 - 1 Chelsea Ramires grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 3-1 Chelsea.

48:56

Jonjo Shelvey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ramires. Florent Malouda delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.

48:06

Foul by Florent Malouda on Stewart Downing, free kick awarded. Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.

47:51

The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, clearance made by John Terry.

45:39

Unfair challenge on Ryan Bertrand by Jonjo Shelvey results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Daniel Sturridge.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +3:34 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +3:02

Shot from deep inside the area by Andy Carroll goes over the bar.

45:00 +1:29 Penalty

Placed penalty missed by Stewart Downing.

45:00 +1:29

Branislav Ivanovic challenges Andy Carroll unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

45:00 +1:29 Booking

Booking Branislav Ivanovic booked for unsporting behaviour.

45:00 +1:06

Jordan Henderson produces a cross,

45:00 +0:55

The ball is sent over by Andy Carroll, Ryan Bertrand makes a clearance.

44:49

Florent Malouda takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Andy Carroll.

44:09

Paulo Ferreira fouled by Rodriguez Maxi, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

43:30

Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.

43:30 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Michael Essien for unsporting behaviour.

43:12

Unfair challenge on Andy Carroll by Michael Essien results in a free kick.

41:14

Stewart Downing takes a shot.

41:03

Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.

38:28

Shot by Andy Carroll went wide left of the goal.

37:25

Florent Malouda crosses the ball.

36:51

Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, clearance by Andy Carroll.

36:13

Short corner taken by Luis Suarez.

35:52

Stewart Downing takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Bertrand.

34:47

Unfair challenge on Jamie Carragher by Ramires results in a free kick. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.

34:11

Fernando Torres takes a shot.

34:06

The ball is crossed by Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.

33:33

Luis Suarez is caught offside. Free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

33:15

Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Ross Turnbull.

33:00

Centre by Daniel Sturridge, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.

32:20

Daniel Sturridge fouled by Jonjo Shelvey, the ref awards a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.

32:08

Stewart Downing delivers the ball, clearance made by Daniel Sturridge.

31:47

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Luis Suarez.

31:37

Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Save by Ross Turnbull.

31:11

Unfair challenge on Andy Carroll by Branislav Ivanovic results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rodriguez Maxi.

29:58

Centre by Paulo Ferreira, clearance by Daniel Agger.

27:59

The assist for the goal came from Andy Carroll.

27:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Daniel Agger - Liverpool 3 - 0 Chelsea Daniel Agger grabs a headed goal from close range. Liverpool 3-0 Chelsea.

27:44

Corner taken right-footed by Jonjo Shelvey.

27:14

Corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Luis Suarez takes a shot. Ross Turnbull makes a save.

26:19

Michael Essien gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Maxi. Jonjo Shelvey takes the direct free kick.

24:47

Assist by Rodriguez Maxi.

24:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Henderson - Liverpool 2 - 0 Chelsea Goal scored by Jordan Henderson from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea.

24:01

A cross is delivered by Rodriguez Maxi, clearance made by John Terry.

21:54

Andy Carroll fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Jordan Henderson crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Luis Suarez misses to the right of the goal.

21:04

Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.

21:04 Booking

Booking Caution for John Terry.

20:53

John Terry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Carroll.

20:45

The ball is delivered by Ramires, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.

18:42

Luis Suarez provided the assist for the goal.

18:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Essien - Liverpool 1 - 0 Chelsea An own goal is scored by Michael Essien. Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea.

17:20

Jonjo Shelvey delivers the ball, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.

16:44

Luis Suarez takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.

16:08

Florent Malouda takes the inswinging corner, Header from close in by Branislav Ivanovic hits the post.

15:54

Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.

15:12

Shot by Andy Carroll from outside the box goes over the target.

14:10

Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.

14:10 Booking

Booking Paulo Ferreira is given a yellow card.

14:06

Paulo Ferreira challenges Luis Suarez unfairly and gives away a free kick.

13:22

Handball by Jamie Carragher. Florent Malouda delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.

10:21

The official flags Rodriguez Maxi offside. Ross Turnbull takes the indirect free kick.

7:01

Luis Suarez has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

5:13

Foul by Paulo Ferreira on Andy Carroll, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jonjo Shelvey from left wing, Ryan Bertrand makes a clearance.

3:28

Jamie Carragher fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.

2:37

Stewart Downing crosses the ball, free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Carroll on Paulo Ferreira. Free kick taken by Ross Turnbull.

1:34

Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Essien. Paulo Ferreira takes the free kick.

0:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordan Henderson on Ryan Bertrand. Free kick taken by John Terry.

0:07

Daniel Agger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ramires. Direct free kick taken by Paulo Ferreira.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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