Honestly, I'd never thought that Liverpool could grab two wins in two tries against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Honestly, I thought I'd be way more excited about it, but I didn't know that a serious injury could have taken down Lucas. But more on that in a minute.
Liverpool couldn't go with the high pressing, harassing, in your face and we'll just make you fuck up methods that won the league encounter last week. The personnel wasn't really there, especially with a makeshift defense that needed some shielding and time to find cohesiveness. The plan was to work slowly, build with the ball, and eventually fire a cross into Andy Carroll. It pretty much worked in the first half, as Chelsea only had one period of sustained pressure aside from another pratfall from David Luiz. Should have resulted in a lead. Andy, if you're going to blast the penalty down the middle, you've got to get it near the roof of the net because the goalie's feet are still going to be on the ground, most likely. Oh well.
In the second half, Liverpool upped the speed, waited for the counter and they got their two goals from it. From there, Chelsea barely threatened, and it's on to the semifinals.
-But it might not be worth it if Lucas is going to miss significant time. While his injury is probably not due to being overworked in three days -- it was a clashing of knees -- it still could be damaging beyond comprehension right now. It's hard to believe I have to write this, but Lucas is every bit as important as Agger and Suarez. Worse yet, while those two have at least able deputies, there's no one in the team who can do even close to what Lucas does. Adam doesn't have the movement of positional awareness. Spearing doesn't have the intelligence. Gerrard doesn't have the discipline. Henderson is an attacker. Right now, Liverpool's midfield is a minefield with barbed wire and drones overhead to snuff out anything that gets through that. And it's all down to #21. Let us hope it is not nearly as bad as it looked.
-On to good stuff. Sebastien Coates was a rock. A rock with a big middle finger pointed at Chelsea. He repelled everything that came at him, and looked confident doing it. Also was assured with the ball. Very promising stuff.
-Henderson's through ball to Bellamy to set up the winner was exactly why a lot of us want to see him in the middle in a 4-3-3 more often.
-Carroll at least didn't hide after missing his penalty, working hard and holding the ball well. He didn't get another chance to bury, but he was at least noticeable. Can you say the same of the other #9?
-He's been a Liverpool player for a season and barely a quarter, and those were split, but is it wrong that on my incoming, new Liverpool shirt I want to put a #39 on it?
-Martin Kelly deserved his goal, keeping Florent Malouda pretty much in his pocket. Nice to know there's such an able deputy for Johnson, and awfully nice of Chelsea to let both our right backs score there.
-I'm sorry, I still can't get over whatever this is meandering around as Fernando Torres these days.
-Have Chelsea thought about getting McEachran a sandwich and into the weight room at any point?
So that three game stretch we looked on from behind clasped hands is in the books with four points and a trip to the League Cup semis. Not bad at all. Will really mean something if they ace December in the league.