Chelsea 1-0 (2-1 agg) Liverpool
Chelsea will face Manchester United in Moscow after a thrilling encounter which was settled in extra time.
Chelsea were in control for the best part of the first half, and had several opportunities at Liverpool’s goal.
But it took Chelsea until the 33rd minute to get what they had deserved. Kalou cut in from the left, his powerful shot was good and forced Renia to parry, Drogba picked up the loose ball and shot, his low strike at the near post was too good for Reina and Chelsea were ahead for the first time in the tie.
Soon after Chelsea may have doubled the lead when Ballack’s free kick went agonisingly wide for Chelsea.
Chelsea came out in the second looking to preserve their lead, a tactic Liverpool were happy with. With Chelsea sitting back, Liverpool were able to attack and attack they did.
It was on 64 minutes when they got the breakthrough they had been searching for. Benayoun was responsible for creating the opportunity. He dragged the ball in from the right, to just outside the penalty box a clever short ball played Torres in and he coolly slotted home to equal the scores.
Penalties looked ominous, so both sides looked to push in the final few minutes, but after 180 minutes of football the sides could not be separated and extra time was played.
Within 5 minutes of the first period, Chelsea had the ball in the net. Essien’s strike flew past Reina into the net, but the linesman flagged for offside. Flagged because there were four Chelsea players in an offside position that could have interfered with Reina’s view.
Almost before the Chelsea player’s had stopped arguing with the officials they had a penalty. Hyypia stuck out a clumsy foot in the box and caught Ballack. Lampard took the spot kick, calmly firing it into the bottom right hand corner. Astonishing bravery from Lampard who recently lost his Mother.
Surprisingly, with a response needed by Liverpool, Benitez withdrew Torres and replaced him with Babel.
Just before the extra time break, Anelka’s drive into the box ended with him picking out Drogba. Six yards out, Drogba finished again finished at Reina’s near post.
Liverpool should have had a penalty 3 minutes into the second period of extra time. Hyypia of all people dribbled in the Chelsea penalty area, when the rash challenge from Drogba came the referee thought about the penalty, whistle went to mouth, but he decided against it.
With 3 and a half minutes to go, Babel scored the goal of the game. From all of 20 yards, the Dutchman let fly. Cech got his hands to it, but the power was too much.
Liverpool threw everything at Chelsea in the last couple of minutes but Chelsea managed to hold on and will now face Manchester United in Moscow.