Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2: Glen Johnson grabs late winner
Glen Johnson scored a fantastic late winner as Liverpool left Stamford Bridge with all three points
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson netted a dramatic late winner for Liverpool as Kenny Dalglish’s men condemned the Blues to their second home defeat of the season.
The Reds had taken a first-half lead through Maxi RodrÃguez before substitute Daniel Sturridge hauled the home side level early in the second half.
But Johnson grabbed the vital goal with a superb solo effort in the 87th minute to move Liverpool back into sixth place, level on 22 points with Chelsea.
It was the Blues who carved out the first opening of the afternoon in the 10th minute. Florent Malouda picked out Juan Mata with a high cross from the left, but the Spaniard’s low effort across goal was poked clear by Daniel Agger.
John Obi Mikel then had Pepe Reina scrambling with a 35-yard strike that flew just over the bar.
However, the home side were failing to click into gear and the visitors had their first real sight on goal when Craig Bellamy scuttled down the right wing – but he couldn’t pick out Luis SuÃ¡rez with his low cross.
Much of the Stamford Bridge faithful were fooled into thinking The Blues had taken the lead in the 21st minute when Didier Drogba’s free-kick appeared to rustle the net – but it had flown just wide with Reina beaten.
Liverpool were enjoying assured spells of possession in west London and Dalglish’s visitors took the lead in the 34th minute.
Questions will be raised about Chelsea’s defending again but this was a fantastic opener. Mikel was sloppily caught in possession in his own half, Bellamy burst forwards and played a delightful one-two with SuÃ¡rez before picking out RodrÃguez, who fired past Petr Cech.
It was an entertaining first half and Liverpool were fully deserving of their lead when referee Lee Probert blew for the break.
Mikel’s costly error would be one of his last touches of the afternoon as Villas-Boas replaced the Nigerian with Sturridge at the break.
Chelsea started the second half the brighter and could have drawn level in the 49th minute – but Drogba couldn’t keep his close-range shot down.
However, the pressure paid off for the home side in the 55th minute when Malouda was allowed too much space to run at the Liverpool rearguard, and substitute Sturridge was on hand to bundle home the France international’s low cross.
Chelsea were now on the front foot and The Blues should have taken the lead moments later – but Reina produced a brilliant save low to his left to deny Ivanovic from a Drogba free-kick.
Liverpool had failed to create a real chances of note in the second half but threatened in the 82nd minute when Dirk Kuyt fired wide of the left post from Stewart Downing’s lay-off.
And moments later, ex-Chelsea defender Johnson netted a fantastic winner after dancing past Ashley Cole and stroking a superb left-footed effort into the bottom-left corner to give Liverpool their fourth away win of the season.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, John Terry, Florent Malouda, Ramires (Raul Meireles, 84), John Obi Mikel (Daniel Sturridge, 45), Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba (Fernando Torres, 84), Juan Mata.
Liverpool: JosÃ© Reina, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, JosÃ© Enrique, Charlie Adam, Dirk Kuyt, Maxi RodrÃguez (Stewart Downing, 78), Lucas Leiva, Luis SuÃ¡rez (Andy Carroll, 90), Craig Bellamy (Jordan Henderson, 67).