Chelsea and Liverpool played a 4-4 draw in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final yesterday. Chelsea had stunned the Shite with a 3-1 win on Merseyside. That meant that Liverpool needed to defeat Chelsea, away from home, by two goals and score three goals (away goals are the tie-breaker) just to send the contest into extra-time. Considering Chelsea’s record at home, it seemed like mission impossible.
Yet LIverpool scored twice in the first half. Another goal would put them ahead on aggregate. But Chelsea took over the match in the second half and Liverpool looked dead when, in the 76th minute, Frank Lampard scored to put Chelsea up 3-2 and 6-3 on aggregate. Yet Liverpool produced two goals in the final 10 minutes, and needed just one more to advance on the away goals rule. The game did produce another goal but, happily, it went to Chelsea’s Lampard in the 89th minute.
So Chelsea are through. Their reward is a semi-final matchup with Barcelona, probably the best team in Europe. The way Chelsea is defending right now (they conceded three to Bolton over the weekend), Barcelona could put in six per match. But if Chelsea regains its defensive form (and the return of John Terry will surely help), they will be no pushover.