Joe Cole scored in the 29th minute to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over
Liverpool on Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League
Cole knocked in a cross from Didier Drogba. Ricardo Carvalho
gathered the ball in his own half and passed to Drogba on the
right. The Ivory Coast striker raced ahead and shook off Daniel
Agger before rolling the ball across the penalty area for Cole. The
second leg will be Tuesday at Anfield.
Chelsea is trying to win four major trophies this season. The
two-time defending Premier League champions already have won the
League Cup and trail Manchester United by three points in the
English league, with a game at Stamford Bridge on May 9 to
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 ties. The year before in the semifinals, they played to another
0-0 tie in the first leg. Liverpool then won 1-0 in the second leg
at Anfield to reach the final, where the five-time champions beat
AC Milan on penalties.
Cole's goal was only his second for Chelsea this season. The
attacking midfielder, who returned this month after a four-week
absence with 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 at Stamford Bridge, but Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe
Reina made a good save. A minute later, Andriy Shevchenko curled a
shot over the bar.
Dirk Kuyt had Liverpool's best chance in the first half with a
22nd-minute header that was saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Kuyt had another header in the 50th.
Steven Gerrard then sent a hard shot on Chelsea's goal in the
53rd. John Arne Riise's long throw-in into the area from the left
was headed away by John Obi Mikel, but Gerrard got the ball and
Cech made the save.
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch entered as a substitute a minute
earlier, and his presence immediately invigorated the Liverpool
Lampard had another chance in the 81st, but his hard shot from
the left was saved by Reina
Both teams had one last good chance in injury time. Agger first
sent a long, hard shot that Cech saved, and Drogba headed wide a
minute later off Lampard's cross.
Man United, which beat AC Milan 3-2 in Tuesday's other Champions
League semifinal, will face Chelsea in the English FA Cup final May
19. They could then meet again in the Champions League final on May
23 in Athens, Greece.
Man United got two goals from Wayne Rooney and another from
Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. Kaka scored both goals for
Milan, a six-time European Cup champion. The second leg is next
Wednesday at Milan.
(China Daily via AP April 26, 2007)