EPL Title Race – Chelsea Draw Against Hull, Liverpool Win

Article by Peri Witny

As Manchester United wait for Sunday evening for their match against West Ham UInited to start, Liverpool have a chance to reclaim the lead and be at the top of the English Premier League even if it is only for a night. Liverpool surrendered the first goal of the match when David Nugent scored at the 61st minute to draw first blood for Portsmouth. However, his side failed to check the Reds’ talismanic striker Fernando Torres as he scored the winning goal in Liverpool’s 3-2 win at Fratton Park.

Reds manager Rafael Benitez fielded in a radical side. With Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard out with a hamstring injury and Lucas Leiva suspended for one game, Benitez tweaked his side to cope with the challenge. He gave young Frenchman striker David Ngog his first full start, left his starters Albert Riera, Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso on the bench and employed three center backs in Jaime Carragher, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger. Fabio Aurelio and Alvaro Arbeloa were in midfield while Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun played behind Ngog. Torres started on the bench for Liverpool as his recent hamstring injuries has worried Benitez no end.

Aurelio scored the equalizer as he scored a wicked free kick that came about when James had to handle ex Liverpool striker Peter Crouch’s suicidal back pass with Kuyt lurking to intercept and score. Hermann Hreidarsson then restored Portsmouth lead with a header at the 77th minute. Benitez then replaced Ngog with Kuyt, Andreas Dossena with Alonso and Babel with Torres. The trio then pushed forward with Torres laying the ball for Kuyt to unleash a shot towards the top of the net at the 88th minute. Torres then produced a glancing header for the winning goal in stoppage time.

The win pushed Liverpool at the top of the standings but United still have two games in hand. They are to face the Hammers on Sunday evening. In the other key football game, Chelsea had to bounce back from its loss to Liverpool and revive its title aspirations by seeking a win against a determined Hull side. They did produce a lot of chances but failed to convert any of them as the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw by the Tigers.

The Blues were without goalkeeper Peter Cech who sustained a back injury during Chelsea’s match against the Reds. Defender Ricardo Carvalho did not start as he still has to shake off a hamstring strain. Michael Essien and Joe Cole are both with knee injuries and sidelined for the rest of the season while new loan signing from Inter, Ricardo Quaresma made his debut.

The draw together with Aston Villa’s 2-0 win over Blackburn relegated the Blues to fourth place with 49 points. Villa jumped to 51 points. Arsenal, whos game is also this Sunday night is on fifth place with 43 points but may close the gap on Chelsea if they win their match against Tottenham Hotspurs. So frustrated with their team’s sinking title hopes were the fans at Stamford Bridge that they booed their side after the game ended with some angry fans hurled abusive comments toward Chelsea manager Luis Felipe Scolari after recent scores.

About the Author

Peri Witny is an author of Sports articles.Livescore by ScoresPro.com