Carroll breaks through the blandness but it’s too little too late.

FA Cup Final

Liverpool 1

Carroll (64)

 Chelsea 2

Ramires (11), Drogba (52)

All too often FA Cup Finals don’t live up to the hype. Sides are often very cautious, afraid to lose rather than confident about going for the win. They become cagey affairs almost to point that attention starts to wonder and then something will happen to snap everyone back into the way of things.

 This final started in such a way and unfortunately it took us some time to get into the swing of things. Sadly by the time we were rocking we were two goals down. We finished the stronger side as Chelsea creaked and cracked under our pressure however, they held the line (literally in the case of Andy Carroll’s header) and we ran out of time.

 Kenny, with no injury worries, had plenty of options open to him. There was clearly no room for sentiment as Andy Carroll, the scorer of the winner in the semi final, was benched in favour of Bellamy. Ironically Fernando Torres whose transfer is inextricably linked with Carroll’s, was also left out. The midfield consisted of Gerrard, Downing and Spearing and, perhaps surprisingly, Jordan Henderson.  

 If you had asked me just after the match about the timing the Chelsea’s first goal I would have said it was about half an hour into the game it was a surprise that it only took Ramires eleven minutes to edge them in front. Spearing failed to bring the ball under control allowing Mata to feed the midfielder. More mistakes were to follow as Enrique, rather than shepherding the player wide, or jockeying him, opted to dive in and was consequently skinned leaving Reina to bale us out. He gambled and started to go to his right even before the shot had been taken Ramires must have spotted this, why else did he put it to his left?

 Despite mustering a response via Bellamy’s effort from Johnson’s cross and having plenty of possessionChelsealooked fairly comfortable as our midfield failed to spark. Downing, Henderson and Spearing laboured terribly meaning that Gerrard could not get forward to support the increasingly isolated Suarez. Perhaps Kenny would think about sorting this at half time however, like many managers, it looked as if he decided to give it a bit longer. Sadly Chelsea ensured that any substitute would have his work cut out. This time Spearing failed to dispossess Lampard who feed Drogba on the edge of our area who fired a low cross shot past Reina left when perhaps all the red shirts around him though he wasn’t going to be so direct?

 Kenny wasted no time in bringing on Carroll and within ten minutes he put us back in it after a nifty soft shoe shuffle in front of Terry before crashing the ball into the roof of the net. Carroll lead the recovery giving the Chelsea back four a rude wake up call from what had been a relatively sedate early evening. This seemed to inspire Suarez who forced a good save from Cech diving low at his right hand post.

 Carroll’s header, from Bellamy’s cross which Cech turned onto the crossbar was not fully over the line. Although the referee got it right the usual arguments over goal line gizmos will resurface again and the powers that be will ignore them, again! Perhaps there was certain ironic justice for Chelsea fans still smarting over Luis Garcia “ghost goal” all those years ago?  However, the key issue forLiverpoolwas their poor start. Said Kenny in a post match interview

 “You can’t give a team likeChelseatwo goals start. But this same group of players will move on and get better next season and whether other players come in to join them wasn’t going to be dictated by today. Today’s group of players will be better for the experience they have had, even though it has not been a good one”

 Argh and of course their’s Liverpool’s season. Whatever happened on Saturday the conclusion is surely the same, more work to be done “work in progress”. Had we won this would have been approached with as less critical view however, the doom merchants should remember how far we come over the last eighteen months and this final, along with the Carling Cup, serves as useful reminders of that?

 Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Bosingwa, Terry, Ramires (Meireles – 76′ ), Lampard, Mikel, Mata (Malouda – 90′ ), Drogba, Kalou Substitutes: Turnbull. Ferreira, Essien, Malouda, Meireles, Torres, Sturridge

 Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Spearing (Carroll – 55′ ), Suarez, Bellamy (Kuyt – 78′ ) Substitutes:  Doni,  Carragher,  Kelly,  Maxi,  Shelvey, Carroll, Kuyt

 Att: 89,102

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4 Responses to Carroll breaks through the blandness but it’s too little too late.

  1. Red Datuk says:

    So, at last Carroll has started to come good. A little too late for the season but we hope his form will carry on for next season.

  2. redbird says:

    A loss but what to do..we paid for playing badly initially..

    carrol? EXCELLENT!..i think he is a big-game player..scores important goals….the dribble for the first goal was pretty nifty ..and the ‘second’ goal..the technique for the header couldnt be better..but he showed lack of maturity in his game when instead of smashing the ball again into the net after he rebounded he reeled away to celebrate..how i wish he had chased down the ball and smashed it in..sigh

    at least one cup this year..better than nothing…now for summer signings and working on the suarez and carrol partnership..i must say the future looks bright?..YNWA

  3. redbird says:

    the 4-1 thrashing of chelsea midweek is a good confidence builder for next season…i think we’re seeing the idea of kennys persistence to pair suarez and carrol…they seem to becoming quite the terror…carrol big,strong and hardworking….suarez skillfull,fast and cheeky….in the center of the park the future looks bright shelvey and henderson seem to have a good understanding…and with leiva coming back from injury it will be quite a strong axis to build on…and with spearing,gerard and adams in the mix looks like we are not short of people in center of the park…the flanks are where we are weakest..i think with maxi and kuyt leaving hopefully we will have some quality wingers from the academy promoted to the first team…downing is not bad but we need much better…we might have to buy some quality wingers for both the flanks in the summer for the time being…center of defence looks awesome…theres coates,skertel and agger….plus carra just in case…at the fullback poisition flano / johnson and jack robinson/enrique…we need a better spare keeper than doni too..reina looks sometimes suspect this season..

    so we need players on the wings and a spare keeper..a backup striker ? hopefully someone from the academy…i know the americans have placed a huge emphasis on youth…dempsey to me is a marketing ploy…

    in kenny we trust..sometimes its difficult to see the reasons behingd his decisions…but the vast improvement in carrol after his persistence to play him game in and game out plus the emrgence of shelvey and henderson shows the wisdom of his decisions…YNWA.

  4. redbird says:

    p.s.

    goal number 1-excellent by suarez almost magical
    goal number 2 -henderson..why didnt he do this earlier?amazing stuff…
    goal number 3-agger ..easy peasy
    goal number 4-shelvey is pure class…deserves more goals than this ..im becoming a fan

    chelseas goal-reina not as sharp this season..i think he will be back stronger next season..probably tired after a long season

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