Liverpool, England – Liverpool denied Chelsea the chance to claim fourth place in the English Premier League on Tuesday as the Reds cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory at Anfield behind an emphatic first-half performance.
The win sees Liverpool reverse the result it suffered at the weekend when Chelsea edged the Reds 2-1 in the FA Cup final.
Liverpool went in front on Tuesday thanks to an own goal from Michael Essien while Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger extended the lead before halftime.
Ramires pulled one back for the visitors five minutes into the second half, but Jonjo Shelvey restored Liverpool's three-goal advantage 11 minutes later to seal the victory.
Liverpool, entering the final matchday in eighth place on 52 points, is looking to finish above Merseyside rivals and seventh-place holders Everton, while Chelsea is assured of finishing in sixth place. The Blues can only clinch a spot in next season's Champions League by defeating Bayern Munich in this year's final, slated for May 19 at the Allianz Arena.
Tuesday's affair started off with a bang as Chelsea was left to rue Branislav Ivanovic's header off the post. The Blues surrendered three goals in the span of nine minutes shortly after.
Luiz Suarez broke free on the right flank in the 19th minute and pulled the ball back only to be turned in by Essien.
Another Chelsea gaffe extended the lead as John Terry's slip in the 25th minute allowed Henderson through on goal for his second of the season.
Agger capped the eventful spell three minutes later, losing his mark in the box to head past Ross Turnbull from close range.
Fernando Torres came close to pulling back for Chelsea as the Spaniard cut into the box but ripped a shot off the crossbar from a tough angle.
Liverpool had a golden chance to make it four before the break when Andy Carroll earned a penalty kick, but Stewart Downing's attempt from the spot struck the base of the post.
Chelsea emerged from halftime with a new lease on life as Ramires pulled a goal back on a set-piece delivery from Florent Malouda, but Shelvey was able to grab another for Liverpool, slamming a shot from distance into an empty net following Turnbull's poor clearance.