Line UpsRoberto Di Matteo used the 4-2-3-1 formation, as he has done throughout the season. John Terry returned to the centre of defence and Fernando Torres lined up against his former club Brendan Rodgers moved to a 3-5-2 formation, with Jamie Carragher coming into the team with Martin Skrtel missing out with illness. Glen Johnson also returned to the line-up after a spell on the sidelines with injury.
Formation BattleLiverpool’s 3-5-2 formation did two things to the character of the match. Firstly, the use of wing-backs (Johnson and Enrique) ensured Chelsea’s wide players were pinned back to help the fullbacks defend. It also ensured Liverpool maintained possession at the back, but this also hindered Liverpool’s attacking play as they had less numbers forward. As a result, Joe Allen was caught out on occasions when looking for a forward pass.
1st HalfMuch of the first half, and the match for that matter, was a cagey affair. Chelsea had a few chances which came after Liverpool turned over possession and they got the break through via a corner after 20 minutes. John Terry was able to get free from Daniel Agger much too easily and powered a header into the back of the net. The Chelsea wide players continually found themselves dropping deep to help out when defending against the wing-backs of Liverpool. In my previous analysis of Chelsea vs. Manchester City, alongside their performances against Wigan and Juventus, it was clear they had struggled with dealing with these players.
This option, to have Hazard and Mata track back, added to the relatively dull affair.A knee injury to John Terry late in the half was the only thing of note to end the half.