Match Summary by This Is Anfield’s Max Munton
The second half introduction of Andy Carroll sparked Kenny Dalglish’s men into life, but they already found themselves 2-0 down.
Sloppy defending firstly from Jay Spearing giving the ball away in the Chelsea half, allowing a swift counter-attack from Roberto Di Matteo’s men, followed by a poor challenge from Jose Enrique resulted in Ramires firing past Pepe Reina at his near post- a shot the Reds keeper should have done better with.
Liverpool looked lacklustre and sluggish as they struggled to make any opportunities.
But when Carroll came on 55th minute for Jay Spearing, Liverpool’s response ignited.
The big number nine scored a superb goal on 64 minutes to pull one back for the Reds. Twisting and turining with some fancy footwork in the box, Carroll finished with a flourish to start a late push for an equaliser for Liverpool.
But when Carroll’s header from a Luis Suarez cross was saved by Petr Cech late on, with television cameras seemingly showing the ball may have crossed over the line, it looked like – as with a lot of times this season – this wouldn’t be Liverpool’s lucky day.
Chelsea held on til the final whistle and held off the challenge of Suarez and Gerrard well. But Liverpool must take something away from their last half hour performance. Unfortunately it was the slow first hour of play that cost the Reds the Cup at the end of the day.
It will be an interesting few months for the club, who leave this season with the Carling Cup, but will finish around mid-table in the league. Simply not good enough.
Team Line-ups & Substitutions
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Bosingwa, Terry, Ramires (Meireles 76′ ), Lampard, Mikel, Mata (Malouda 90′), Drogba, Kalou
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Malouda, Meireles, Torres, Sturridge.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Spearing (Carroll 55′), Suarez, Bellamy (Kuyt 78′).
Subs: Doni, Carragher, Kelly, Maxi, Shelvey, Carroll, Kuyt.
Ref: Phil Dowd