Andre Villas-Boas is going to have some work to do in the locker room, both with his tactics and his team talk. Chelsea trail Liverpool 1-0 at halftime, and it would be hard to argue that the Reds were not the better side. Maxi Rodriguez scored the game's only goal in the 35th minute, capitalizing on an error by John Obi Mikel.
Chelsea had the first real chance of the game in the 22nd minute, and a large number of people thought they scored it. On a direct free kick from 30 yards out, Didier Drogba hit a great strike up over the ball that dropped down quickly, then hit the post that keeps the net in place, three feet wide of the goal. Announcer Martin Tyler and half the ground thought it was in, and a bit of confusion ensued until television showed a replay.
The goal came when Mikel stood on the ball too long in his own half and let himself get stripped by Craig Bellamy. He passed to Suarez, who returned the pass in the center of the box. Bellamy spotted Maxi arriving late on the left hand side of the area and played a pass to the Argentinian, who finished the chance. Petr Cech's positioning was questionable, but Mikel was really the only man to blame for the goal.
There haven't been a ton of clear-cut chances in the first half, while both managers will have some things they are happy about going into the locker room. Liverpool will be the happier of the two sides, though, and not just because they have a lead. Chelsea have failed to get the ball to Juan Mata on a consistent basis, Frank Lampard is invisible, and David Luiz looks like a disaster waiting to happen.