Liverpool Live Blog: Craig Bellamy Inspires Reds to 2-0 Win Over Chelsea, LFC Through to Carling Cup Semi-Finals


Liverpool Live Blog: Craig Bellamy Inspires Reds to 2-0 Win Over Chelsea,  LFC Through to Carling Cup Semi-Finals

Final: Liverpool is through to the final thanks to the goals Craig Bellamy provided Maxi and Martin Kelly. 

Bellamy gave a moving tribute to his deceased friend and mentor Gary Speed with a man-of-the-match performance. He set up both goals and tormented the Chelsea fullbacks for nearly 80 minutes. 

The game was a typical combative clash between two English rivals as tackles were flying throughout. 

The Reds conquered Chelsea's Stamford Bridge for the second time in 10 days, but had to pay a hefty price for this victory. 

Lucas was stretchered off the field and it looks like a knee injury will sideline the influential holding midfielder. 

Bellamy's work spared Andy Carroll, as the misfiring striker missed a first-half penalty.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed his job was safe after Liverpool won here a week ago Sunday. One has to wonder if the Dutch tactician Guus Hiddink was on hand for this one.

That's all for now. Let's discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way.

88th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: All 11 men in red are packed into the Liverpool third of the field. Carroll gave away a couple needles free-kicks in the past few minutes, but nothing came of them. 

79th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Kuyt comes on for Bellamy after the Welshman delivers a man-of-the-match performance. He embraces Dalglish as the Reds fans chant "There's only one Gary Speed."

71st minute, 2-0 Liverpool: It doesn't look good for Lucas. It might have been a knee injury that put him out of the game. Adam comes on for the Reds' (capital T) talisman. 

66th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Lucas went down after a seemingly harmless tackle on Mata and needed treatment on the sidelines. He's back on his feet and returns to play, but just giving the universal signal to the Reds' bench that he needs to be substituted. 

It's a blow to the Reds. Lucas has been their most consistent player this season. The sight of him being stretchered off the field is putting a damper on the travelling supporters' celebrations.

64th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: It's Kelly who scores off a corner kick to give the Reds a 2-0 lead at the Bridge. It was a perfect delivery from — you guessed it — Bellamy to find the young, unmarked fullback. Turnbull had no chance on the header that was low and heading for the corner.

Villas-Boas looks to overturn the deficit by introducing Mata and Anelka to the game. It could be Anelka's last appearance in the competition. It's certainly his last in Chelsea colors unless something changes here.

58th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Maxi scores at Stamford Bridge for the second time in 10 days. Henderson played it wide right to Bellamy, who got behind Bosingwa. The grieving Welsh wizard played a perfect cross along the ground for the wide-open Maxi to tap home from close range.

It was a textbook counterattack to give the Reds the lead. Henderson shows his worth in the middle of the field by playing a perfect through-ball to the streaking Bellamy.

54th minute, 0-0: Coates is booked for clashing into Torres. It sets up a free-kick in a dangerous spot.

Lampard swings it in to Lukaku who gets a touch on it at the far post. It comes off the bar, then off Coates at the far post and it goes out for a corner. Luiz tried to head it in, but somehow Liverpool escapes unscathed. 

52nd minute, 0-0: End to end stuff on display in the second stanza, but both teams lack sharpness in the final third.

46th minute, 0-0: We're under way here in the second half. 

Halftime, 0-0: It's a case of the young eating the young out there. Spearing chopped McEachran out of the game. Lukaku and Bertrand nearly ended Henderson's season toward the end of the half. 

Carroll will draw further scrutiny for his poorly-struck penalty and all-around ineffectiveness in the Liverpool attack.

45th minute, 0-0: Lukaku rises above Coates to head a Bosingwa cross just wide. It was the Blues' best chance of the half. 

44th minute, 0-0: The fro-hawked Bertrand and burly Lukaku combine to chop down Henderson near the touchline. The 21-year-old is down in pain and Dowd books Bertrand, even though Lukaku's challenge was later, more malicious and caught more of the Liverpool midfielder. 

42nd minute, 0-0: It's Bellamy that has assumed responsibility for driving Liverpool forward. He is quick and decisive in transition.  

Let's not go so far as to call his performance "inspired", but he's becoming increasingly effective at unbalancing the Chelsea defense. 

41st minute, 0-0: McEachran cannot continue and is replaced by Ramires. 

36th minute, 0-0: Of all the young players on display, Bertrand has been the most impressive. He's showing great range on the left and an ability to attack and defend with ease. 

33rd minute, 0-0: Lampard is dictating the play in the midfield — as Malouda is cautioned. Is it becuase he's still on top or is it the mix of starters and subs he's on the field with?

30th minute, 0-0: Somebody dispatch the search party for Fernando Torres. He has been absent in this game and was was last seen looking for a Spanish-speaking friend in West London. 

29th minute, 0-0: Henderson makes a tackle on Malouda in the area. It was clean and the ball goes out for a corner. Both teams are living dangerously in the danger zone. 

22nd minute, 0-0: Turnbull saves Carroll's penalty. He hit it hard, but straight down the middle at the burly goalkeeper. It was a poorly-taken effort by the struggling striker. 

20th minute, 0-0: it's a penalty for Liverpool. Enrique aims a cross at Carroll and Alex is called for a handball in the duel. 

Dowd initially missed it, but Carroll was adamant that the (other) Brazilian defender stuck his arm in the air. The referee consulted his assistant and got the call right. 

19th minute, 0-0: McEachran limps around the field after a clash with spearing. 

15th minute, 0-0: Chelsea has just a slight advantage in play in these first 15 minutes. Lukaku and Torres have yet to link with the midfielders, but the Malouda-Lampard partnership has been effective in controlling the tempo.

10th minute, 0-0: So far Liverpool's attack consists of wide players sending high crosses into the Chelsea box for Carroll. They aren't accurate enough to be effective. 

Seventh minute, 0-0: Enrique swings a cross into the area for Carroll, but the big forward is pushed by Luiz. Maybe he made it too easy, but it's the second penalty appeal in the opening minutes. 

Third minute, 0-0: After some good early play, David Luiz makes a Lucio-esque run into the Liverpool and Coates brings him down in the area. Referee Phil Dowd denies the penalty appeal. In fact, Luiz earns a yellow card for a dive. He initiated contact with Coates' outstretched leg. The Uruguayan missed the ball on the tackle, however. 

It was far too easy for the Brazilian defender to ease through the Reds' midfield. 

 First minute, 0-0: We had a moving view of Craig Bellamy wiping away tears after the applause tribute to Gary Speed. And the game is under way. 

Pregame: Dalgish makes five changes to the team that tied Manchester City on Sunday. 

Carragher makes his first start since recovering from a calf injury. Coates will be his partner in central defense. 

Spearing replaces Charlie Adam in the midfield. It looks like it could be a three-man midfield with Lucas and Henderson joining him. 

That leaves Maxi and Bellamy to run the wide channels with Carroll manning the center of the attack. 

Under-fire Andre Villas-Boas made a string of changes as well. We'll get a rare look at youngsters McEachran and Lukaku as well as reserve defender Ryan Bertrand. Ex-Barca youngster Romeu has made the bench in recent weeks. Let's see what all the fuss around this kid is about. 

Oh yes, Fernando Torres will start. Travelling Liverpool supporters will jeer. 

It's clear from looking at the bench that both managers are looking to win this game. Dalglish can summon Suarez, Adam, Downing and Kuyt if the result is in doubt. Villas-Boas can call on Ramires and Mata to add a little cutting-edge to the attack. 

2:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:


Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Martin Kelly (34), right back
Jamie Carragher (23), center back
Sebastian Coates (16), center back 
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Lucas (21), midfielder
Jay Spearing (20), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Maxi (11), midfielder
Craig Bellamy (39), forward
Andy Carroll (9), forward


Doni (32), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), defender
Jon Flanagan (38), defender
Charlie Adam (26), midfielder
Stuart Downing (19), midfielder
Dirk Kuyt (18), forward
Luis Suarez (7), forward


 Ross Turnbull (22), goalkeeper
Jose Bosingwa (17), right back
David Luiz (4), center back
Alex (33), defender
Ryan Bertrand (34), left back 
Oriol Romeu (6), midfielder 
Frank Lampard, (8), midfielder
Josh McEachran (21), midfielder
Florent Malouda (15), forward
Romelu Lukaku (18), forward
Fernando Torres (9), forward 


Henrique Hilario (40), goalkeeper
Branislav Ivanovic (2), defender
Paulo Ferreira (19), defender
Ramires (7), midfielder
Salomon Kalou (21), midfielder
Juan Mata (10), midfielder
Nicolas Anelka (39), forward

12:00 a.m. ET: It was only two days ago that Liverpool pushed Manchester City to the brink of its first league defeat of the season. Now the Reds face their second trip to Stamford Bridge in 10 days.

The Carling Cup quarterfinal between Liverpool and Chelsea test the depth of both squads. Kenny Dalglish criticized the FA for scheduling the game so soon after Sunday's game, but the governing body refused to move it. Chelsea has the benefit of an extra day's rest, but those are the breaks sometimes.

The Reds have been Carling Cup road warriors recently. Tuesday's will be their fourth this season and seventh in the last eight through the years.

Out-of-sorts Blues striker Fernando Torres is in line to return to the starting lineup. He made but a cameo when the two teams last met. Captain John Terry will miss the game due to suspension. 

Jamie Carragher and Craig Bellamy could return to the first 11 for Liverpool. Look for Maxi to get a chance to repeat his Nov. 20 heroics.

Join us at 2:45 p.m. for our Liverpool Live Blog. We'll have all the action as it happens.

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