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Sterling Keeps Liverpool In Capital One Cup Hunt

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Raheem Sterling’s stunning individual goal earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in a rip-roaring League Cup semifinal first leg at Anfield on Tuesday but the dominant Merseysiders could be left to rue a missed opportunity.
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Chelsea, having taken an 18th minute lead against the run of play through an Eden Hazard penalty, defended stoutly until Sterling, refreshed and reinvigorated from a mid-season break, levelled before the hour after bursting through the defence.
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Both sides had vociferous penalty appeals turned down and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois showed his worth with a series of superb saves to keep the tie level heading into next Tuesday’s return leg.
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For record eight-times League Cup winners Liverpool, however, it was a chance missed, having dominated the clash against a strangely subdued Chelsea side who will now have home advantage and be strong favourites to reach Wembley.
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The winners will face Tottenham Hotspur or third tier Sheffield United, who meet on Wednesday, in the final.
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“I’m delighted with the performance, disappointed with the result,” was Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of an evening of near-misses for the hosts.
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Minutes after home captain Steven Gerrard had seen a stunning 30-metre effort tipped over by Courtois, Liverpool were playing catch-up.
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Hazard calmly slotted home from the spot in the 18th minute after Liverpool’s makeshift defender Emre Can clumsily bundled into the Belgian in the area.

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