Here we go again, it is going to be a long couple of months until this dies down, but let's focus on the match itself.
This game started off with a very mundane first half. Chelsea took the early lead against the run of play (how many times have we heard that this year) and really slowed the pace of the game after the goal to take control of the first half. The poor marking on set pieces should be self-correcting, but it is embarrassing when someone as diminutive and famished looking as Oscar scores a header.
However, the second had a lot of bite and was a filled with controversy. Lost in all of that controversy was some fantastic link up play to which showed that Liverpool's attack has more teeth with Suarez and Sturridge in it. The deft touch from Downing and superb find from Suarez were one of the top five moves this season for a goal. Liverpool let off the gas until near the end, when Sturridge returned the favor with a excellent ball that Suarez, of all people, flicked it in near post as the last touch of the match. Yeah, it felt a little dirty.
Suarez's conduct and Sturridge's play certainly will give Rodgers something to chew on for Liverpool's next match. However, this match was typical in that Liverpool made plenty of chances to take the full three points. It does set up a mouthwatering run for the final Champion's League spots though.
Some talking points to gnaw on:
-Sturridge's introduction was immense. He came on chomping at the bit and showed he should have started. We might be having a different conversation had he not been just an incisor's width away with a beautifully curled effort early in the second. He was about the only Liverpool player I was drooling over.
-Torres was all bark and no bite almost all game. It did seem that much of this was his own doing, he was playing very wide at times when I would expect him to be more narrow. At least he didn't score which should leave his mouth dry.
-Lucas again overcommitted entirely too often in midfield. I would rather see him holding up play and allowing the other players to get back and defend than win won out of ten balls back in the midfield. The counter has been Liverpool's Achilles all year and this is partly why. A holding midfielder needs to...you know...hold.
-Henderson had an absolute howler. His movement in the first part of the first half was superb and I really though he was going to sink his teeth into this game. However, his first touch was often incredibly poor and resulted in a number of missed opportunities. I'm not quite sure why he stayed and Coutinho was subbed.
-This might be Jonjo Shelvey's last appearance. He is constantly biting off more than he can chew, which forces him into bad tackles; hence his token yellow two minutes after he came on. For someone who hasn't played in ages, he should have been gnawing at the bone to get in a prove himself.
-Suarez never quit and showed he has an insatiable appetite for goals this year. He was hungry until the end and never quit, scoring in the last play of the match.
-Agger lost Oscar for the first. Poor communication. Carra and him really needed to get on the same page there.
-Oh, and Suarez bit Ivanovich. At least we no long have to worry about his accumulation of yellows or PFA Player of the Year.