CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Chelsea beat Liverpool
London, April 26:
Chelsea’s scoreless streak against Liverpool in the Champions League is over. Joe Cole finally gave the Blues a goal to celebrate on Wednesday, knocking in a cross from Didier Drogba to give Chelsea a 1-0 win in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
Chelsea, which is trying to win four major trophies this season, now has the edge heading into Tuesday’s second leg at Anfield.
Liverpool have won five European Cup titles, the last in 2005 after beating Chelsea in the semi-finals. This season, Chelsea already has won the English League Cup and trails Man United by only three points in the Premier League, with a game against the leaders on May 9 still to come. Man United beat AC Milan 3-2 in Tuesday’s other Champions League semi-final.
Ricardo Carvalho started Chelsea’s scoring sequence in the 29th minute, collecting the ball in his own half and passing to Drogba on the right. The Ivory Coast striker raced forward and shook off Daniel Agger before rolling the ball across the area for Cole to poke in.
The goal was Chelsea’s first against Liverpool in the Champions League. Last year in the group stage, the teams played to a pair of 0-0 draws. The year before in the semi-finals, they played to another 0-0 draw in the first leg, and Liverpool then won 1-0 in the second. In January, Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield in the Premier League.
Cole’s goal was only his second for Chelsea this season. The attacking midfielder, who returned earlier this month after a four-week absence because of a broken foot, also scored in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Blackburn in the League Cup in October.
Frank Lampard had a chance to give Chelsea the lead in the eighth minute, but Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina made a good save. A minute later, Andriy Shevchenko curled a shot over the bar.