Lean spell worse for Chelsea, says Carragher

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The Independent Football

Anfield was an angst-ridden place as Liverpool took top spot in the Premier League on Monday night but Jamie Carragher, whose perspective on things is broader than most, served a reminder yesterday that Liverpool's "rough spell", as he describes it, has not cost them as dearly as Chelsea's.

Rafael Benitez's side have managed a solitary goal in three games, Steven Gerrard's strike against Marseilles sandwiched in between the goalless draws against Fulham and, on Monday, West Ham. But Chelsea have lost to Arsenal and Bordeaux in the same period and, as Carragher pointed out, life has a far less rosy hue for Luiz Felipe Scolari than Benitez.

"When you play at home and you draw it's two points lost," Carragher said. "But Chelsea are probably going through a little bit of a rough patch themselves and that's something that's happening to us as well. While Chelsea got beat in the Champions League [by Roma] and have still to qualify and went down a place in the league after losing to Arsenal, the good thing is that we've not been playing well but have qualified [from our Champions League group] and have just gone top of the league."

Playing indifferently and still going top is a sign of a side with title intent, in a league which – based on the first four months of the season – nobody seems to want to win. "I'm sure our fans will realise as well as anyone that we're not playing well at the moment," Carragher said.

Carragher was peremptory about those who suggest that Liverpool, with Hull and Blackburn Rovers up next, have a run of games in which to build on their one-point lead. "It's nonsense, people saying that you've got a run of four or five games that you should win," he said. "It's stupid even talking like that, you never know what's round the corner. You might get a load of injuries in two or three games' time."


Number of points Liverpool have dropped at Anfield this season - 0-0's against Stoke, Fulham and West Ham.