Jose Mourinho’s side avoided a second domestic cup exit in three days when Branislav Ivanovic extra time header secured Chelsea’s passage to Wembleyv for the final of the Capital One Cup.
Chelsea were on Saturday knocked out of the FA Cup by a certain Bradford City who from two goals down came back to hit the blues 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho’s side avoided a second domestic cup exit in three days when Branislav Ivanovic extra time header secured Chelsea’s passage to Wembley for the final of the Capital One Cup.
The Serbian brilliantly rose the tallest to book the blues in for the 1 March final and a date with either Tottenham after putting a head to Willian’s cross just three minutes into extra time in a thrilling Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool looked good for most parts of the first half but missed crucial chances to put their noses in front with opportunities for left back Alberto Moreno and Brazillian Philippe Coutinho, both thwarted by Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea had a major penalty overlooked when Diego Costa was brought down by Martin Skrtel with the Spain striker taking out his aggression with the stomp on Emre Can and another on Skrtel, will sit out of Chelsea’s three games if his appeal does not go through.
It was a fiery affair between bitter rivals on the pitch and the bench as they were some exchanges between the Portuguese manager and his former apprentice – Brendan Rodgers.
"There is no problem," said Rodgers "It's a competitive game between two top sides and the chimp comes out every now and then."
The Liverpool boss had been under pressure following a dismal season which the Reds also failed to qualify from the UEFA Champions League group stages. But they put did up a good show a week ago in the first leg at Anfield which finished 1-1 and looked more solid at the back in last night’s encounter with Rodgers seemingly solving his defensive frailties with Can, Skrtel and Sakho forming the back three.
Up front it all starts with the young Raheem Sterling but it’s the finish that leaves questions marks.
Mario Balotteli’s introduction in the 70th minute was purely pedestrian; replacing a very quiet Lazar Markovic and the Italian’s only contribution was aimed at the sky in extra time when Liverpool desperately needed a goal to take the tie to extra time.
A Rickie Lambert cameo did nothing to help the Liverpool cause either.
For a game which produced 9 yellow cards it was surprising to see 22 players on the pitch after a feisty 120 minutes of antagonism between both sides and there’s sure to be more of the blood feud when they square up again in the premiership but not too soon fortunately for the blues who have a date with Manchester City this weekend.
Jose Mourinho on Wednesday was fined £25,000 for his 'discrediting' comments on referee's ganging up against Chelsea.
Olisa Chukwumah is a Sports Broadcast Journalist on 96.9 CoolFM and 99.3 Nigeria Info FM