Brendan Rodgers praises Chelsea's performance, but says Reds don't fear them

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Brendan Rodgers said Liverpool hope to exploit more space during the second leg of their League Cup semi-final.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said the performance served up by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side at Anfield was a good away display in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

The game finished 1-1 with Raheem Sterling cancelling out Eden Hazard's first half penalty, and Rodgers believes the Reds confidence on the road in recent weeks could be key in getting the result they want in order to reach Wembley on March 1.

He told the club's website: "It was a good away performance by them; they stayed compact, stayed behind the ball and looked to play on the counter-attack.

"We looked to dominate the game and create chances - that's all you ask the team to do - then without the ball be really aggressive and defend. We did that very well against a top side."

Liverpool certainly impressed on Tuesday night and showed signs that their recent run wasn't because of facing poor opposition, but that their performance level is a lot better than earlier on in the season when they were struggling to beat sides, with a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace a particularly humbling one.

Rodgers is taking confidence from Liverpool's recent away outings. They may not have played the most impressive opposition but the Reds have not conceded in a goal in each of their last three league games on the road, which is pleasing form going into their sternest away test of the season so far.

He added: "If you look at our last three [league] games away from home, we haven't conceded a goal and won the games. So we go into the match with big confidence.

"Of course it will be a difficult game, but it's a semi-final, second leg and it's all to play for. You saw in the game the confidence in possession and positioning, young players with no fear.

"If we could have just managed to finish one or two of the opportunities, the scoreline would have been different. We'll have no fear - we'll look forward to it.

"It means the second leg is very wide open and I think there will be more spaces for us to go and create and hopefully score more goals."

With the tie finely poised, Rodgers seems confident that Liverpool can create more opportunities for themselves at Stamord Bridge, but will want them to take more than just the one they did at Anfield. They were thwarted by a some terrific goalkeeping from Thibaut Courtois and it is hard to think the Belgian won't be in similar form on Tuesday night. 

Though some may scoff at the League Cup in terms of its importance, both Rodgers and Mourinho are desperate to get that first trophy in the cabinet this season.

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