Last nights Liverpool versus Chelsea UEFA Champions League Semi-Final was not the most exciting game of the season, but it does open up some interesting questions for the weekend and the next weeks match at Stamford Bridge.
For Liverpool, John Arne Riise has certainly put them on the back foot of this tie. Al Chelsea needs is a draw to advance. But I always expected that Liverpool would need to score at Stamford Bridge anyway, so the own goal does not change a lot of things here. The big winner in the Liverpool vs. Chelsea war is Birmingham. Liverpool plays Birmingham on Saturday and is sure to rest most of its players ahead of the second leg next Wednesday. Birmingham is in a fight for its life at the bottom of the table and suddenly Saturday’s game gives them a chance to pick up some much needed points.
Chelsea on the other hand must be ecstatic with getting a tie at Anfield, especially with that precious away goal in injury time. It will be interesting to see what approach Avram Grant takes to this game. Will he set-up a defensive game plan and go for the 0-0 draw, or will he go for the win?
Unlike Liverpool, Chelsea cannot rest their players ahead of this game as they play Manchester United on Saturday in which is a Premiership title decider. Will Grant risk playing a full-team against United or will he rest a couple of his stars (Lampard, Drogba) ahead of the Liverpool game.
It promises to be an exciting week at the Bridge with two games that will settle so many unanswered questions about Chelsea.