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Sunday 11 November 2012

Suarez makes Chelsea rue missed chances

Liverpool striker's 70th-minute header slows Chelsea's pursuit of Manchester United

Chelsea captain John Terry scores (for more photos click here)

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo was left to rue his side's missed chances after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool have had a good recent record against the European champions and are unbeaten in their last four matches at Stamford Bridge. They maintained that run when Luis Suarez headed an equaliser 17 minutes from time to cancel out John Terry's 20th-minute opener. The result stretched Liverpool's unbeaten run in the league to six matches and left Chelsea without a win in three league ties.

"We knew that the second goal was crucial to the game," Di Matteo said. "We had opportunities, their goalkeeper made some great saves. We couldn't push on.

"We are in much better shape than previous years"
Roberto Di Matteo

"We are sill playing well and we are still creating chances, but we have to be clinical to take our chances and finish the game off."

Chelsea slipped to third in the Barclays Premier League and are four points behind leaders Manchester United who have 27 points from 11 games, followed by Manchester City have 25 and Chelsea 24. Neverthless, Di Matteo was keen to stress the positives.

"We are in much better shape than previous years," he said. "We are very close to our best as well. If we had won today it would have been great for us. But we are still in the mix."

Di Matteo expressed concern about Terry, who left the stadium in a brace and on crutches after damaging his knee, 19 minutes after scoring Chelsea's goal.

"We have to wait to tomorrow to understand the extent of the injury,” Di Matteo. “It was great to see him lead the team out there we just have to hope its not a serious injury we have to see him back soon.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, back at the club where he worked under Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari, hailed his team's “terrific” performance but reiterated his desire to strengthen his attack in the January transfer window.

"We were a wee bit tentative in the first half and we couldn't quite press it as we like to,” he said. “When we changed the formation we got more on to the front foot.

"If we can get one or two in January, we'll turn draws into wins"
Brendan Rodgers

"That was our sixth draw, and in a lot of those games we've come back from being behind. We've got great character and resilience and survival instincts in the group, and we're dominating games with the ball, but you need materials.

"If we can hopefully get one or two in January who can help us at the top end of the field we'll turn draws into wins. Luis just needs that support of instinctive goal-scorers."

A draw left Liverpool in 13th, 15 points behind United. "Listen, the reality is we're a long way off in the league [title]," Rodgers said. "You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see the squad ... These guys are giving me everything.

"We finished eighth last year. If we can improve on that, it'll be fantastic for us. That's the reality of where Liverpool are I'm afraid. But our young players will get better and better.”

For a full report and more details on the match, with live minute-by-minute updates, photos and statistics go to Matchday Live.

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool | #CHELIV | Matchday Live >>

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Key Points

  • Liverpool hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge
  • Luis Suarez's second-half header put Chelsea down to third place in the table
  • John Terry had given Chelsea the lead before being taken off injured