Resilient Liverpool Brush Aside Chelsea and Dedicate Performance to Luca Jones

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In a tale of two halves at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool edged a somewhat ironic encounter and dented Chelsea’s fading title ambitions. With the pre-match talk focused on the chances of Fernando Torres or Raul Meireiles spoiling Liverpool’s afternoon, it was ex-Chelsea defender Glen Johnson who emerged victorious following a barnstorming run. A splendid solo effort that saw Johnson skin the likes of Ashley Cole and place the ball perfectly in the back of the Chelsea net.

Charlie Adam later dedicated the performance and result to Liverpool stopper Brad Jones, who tragically lost his son to Leukaemia this weekend – the thoughts of everyone here at Young Academic HQ are also with Brad and his family. Australian and English football associations have also rallied behind the ‘Socceroos’ goalkeeper.

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Luca Jones died over the weekend and a minute’s silence was also held before the Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory game in Australia yesterday – teams in the Premier League and down under wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

Liverpool FC issued a statement earlier saying they were “deeply saddened by Luca’s passing”. Brad Jones had sacrificed his World Cup last summer to be by his son’s side when he was in French hospital.

Luca had a bone marrow stem cell transplant just months later, leaving the family optimistic of his survival. Tragically was re-admitted to hospital in February after tests confirmed that his leukaemia had reappeared.

Liverpool dominated the first half of today’s encounter and when Petr Cech’s short goal kick found John Obi Mikel, the Nigerian midfielder failed to maintain possession and some silky play between Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy set Maxi Rodriguez up to score in his first start of the season.

The second half was undeniably Chelsea’s in terms of possession and when second half substitute Daniel Sturridge scored from close range in the 55th minute, it looked like Chelsea would make their home advantage counts. Juan Mata and Florent Malouda teased Liverpool’s defence but sturdy work from Jose Enrique and the rest of the Liverpool back four showed great resilience.

A superb cross field pass by Charlie Adam found Glen Johnson in the 87th minute and the Liverpool full back marauded into the Chelsea box and finished perfectly with his weaker left foot to settle the encounter.

Chelsea will be rueing missed chances and some typically great work between the Liverpool posts by Pepe Reina. The game could turn out to be rather significant come the end of the season as Chelsea’s fourth defeat of the season sees them lose touch with the clubs from Manchester. Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League football next season remain alive with four teams now on 22 points vying for that final berth.

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