Sigh - Mike Hewitt
Alright, I guess I have to write a match report after that nonsense. Obviously, I don't really want to. Dropping points make me cranky and that draw felt worse than the 3-2 home loss to Manchester United a fortnight ago. At least Sir Alex Ferguson's brigade are good at football. Oh, and nobody picked up a bad injury in that one.
As far as the story of the season goes, it'll be that last point that makes the biggest impact. John Terry, on his return from the four match ban he received for the racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand, made it through less than a half of football after being wiped out by Luis Suarez in the 35th minute.
It was an accident, but it was still ugly. Terry had given the ball away and as he got himself into position to make a recovering tackle on Suarez, Mikel clipped the Uruguayan from behind. Off balance, Suarez couldn't stop himself from running straight into Terry, crashing through his planted knee. It looked ugly live and was worse on replay.
The physio was immediately summoned and it was obvious that the injury was serious. Stamford Bridge, which had just fifteen minutes prior celebrated when the captain crashed home Juan Mata's corner for the opener, was left silent as Terry was stretchered off past the benches and down the tunnel.
We're not going to know how much time Terry will miss until the centre back undergoes scans on Monday, but without trying to be a fearmonger there's a very real possibility that we're looking at months, rather than weeks. It was the sort of collision and reaction which brings to mind the spectre of knee ligament damage, and even for a player as tough as Terry that takes some recovering from.
Other than that, not much to write home about. Terry's goal was very similar to Victor Moses' against Shakhtar. Left unmarked, the captain was able to run onto an inswinging corner and power a header into the top corner. There wasn't much Brad Jones could have done about that one. Otherwise, the Liverpool goalkeeper was barely tested.
Chelsea had plenty of opportunities but mostly spurned them. Mata blazed over for no reason when one-on-one with Jones (and with Eden Hazard in close support). Oscar did the same much earlier. Branislav Ivanovic headed over from a corner. Hazard shot wide while looking for a wonder-goal. Even John Obi Mikel nearly scored a couple of times.
But even despite a large volume of chances, it's difficult to claim that we couldn't have done better. Simply put, Chelsea lacked any sort of fluidity in the final third. Oscar was off. Hazard was downright poor. Mata, coming off a player of the month award, was also ineffective. When Fernando Torres is the most on-form member of the attacking line, you know that there's a problem.
It shouldn't have mattered. Liverpool, playing in an odd 3-5-2, had possession but essentially zero penetration. Petr Cech's goal was under no threat for the opening 73 minutes. But sometimes goals appear out of not much at all, and from a corner Jamie Carragher was able to flick on to Luis Suarez, who nodded into the roof of the net for the equaliser.
There was some suggestion that Suarez had fouled Ramires in the buildup, pushing the midfielder and preventing him from either challenging for the flick or springing the offside trap. There was also an uncalled penalty when Steven Gerrard did some sort of bizarre flying tackle on Torres and hurt himself in the process. But refereeing excuses wear thin when the team doesn't do anything to demonstrate that they would have been deserved winners.
Chelsea didn't play well enough for three points. That's basically the whole story. Next up are West Bromwich Albion away -- and if a performance like this happens again, we're in pretty big trouble.