John Terry scored opener in Chelsea draw with Liverpool before being stretchered off
Last Updated: 11/11/12 8:16pm
John Terry set Chelsea on the way to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool before his return from a four-match domestic ban was cut short by a nasty injury at Stamford Bridge.
The defender headed the Blues into a 20th-minute lead from Juan Mata's corner but was stretchered off the field 15 minutes later with what appeared to be knee ligament damage after a collision with Luis Suarez.
And the Liverpool striker rubbed salt in the wounds when he nodded in an equaliser in the 73rd minute after Jamie Carragher flicked on a Suso corner.
The Reds had the lion's share of possession in the opening 45 minutes but it took until first-half stoppage time for them to muster a shot on goal, Steven Gerrard's low drive through a crowded penalty area easily held by Petr Cech.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Jose Enrique. He put in a gritty, exhausting shift that saw him involved in virtually every Liverpool attack, while never once found shirking his defensive responsibilities.
- Goal of the game: Terry's run was terrific for his goal, but it was dreadful marking by Agger, while Suarez was equally as unmarked for the equaliser.
- Save of the match: Jones expertly parried a Torres effort midway through the first half, clearing the ball out of danger in the process.
- Moment of the match: Terry's injury saw Chelsea lose their edge to an extent, and one can't imagine that Suarez would have been left unmarked for his goal if the Chelsea captain had remained on the pitch.
- Talking point: Liverpool pick up a very valuable point on the road but Chelsea's title bid continues to stall in recent weeks, are the Blues still the force they were a few weeks ago?
Chelsea missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the seventh minute when Joe Allen was caught in possession and Eden Hazard fed Oscar only for the Brazilian to spoon his shot over with only Brad Jones to beat.
But Terry made no mistake on 20 when he was left in acres of space to meet Mata's corner with a thumping header which gave Jones no chance.
The Blues could have been 2-0 up on 28 minutes had Jones not produced a stunning point blank save from Fernando Torres after fine work from Hazard.
The hosts had their tails up but a five minute delay as Terry was treated on the field took the sting out of the game and it remained scrappy until the interval.
Chelsea threatened to run away with the game after the restart as Mata fired a shot narrowly wide and Torres' glancing header from an Oscar free-kick forced Jones to save with his feet.
Daniel Agger planted a header straight at Cech in a rare chance for the Reds before the hosts went close again with Torres just failing to guide a low Ryan Bertrand cross in and Mata's free-kick going wide via touches from Jones and John Obi Mikel.
But Suarez would have the final say with a simple header from two yards and although Chelsea pressed for a winner the closest they came was when Branislav Ivanovic header over from a Mata corner.
And as the Blues left space at the back, Cech had to be alert to race off his line and clear ahead of Suarez as he chased down Jose Enrique's punt forward while Hazard drilled wide from 20 yards at the death.
And deep into stoppage time Enrique had a brilliant chance to snatch the spoils for Liverpool but Cech saved low to his right at full-stretch.
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|10||Shots off Target||5|
|35.8||1st Half Poss.||64.2|
|52.7||2nd Half Poss.||47.3|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||17||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||17||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||17||17|