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Have Liverpool (and Mike Riley) ended Chelsea’s title dreams?

Two months ago, it seemed that there was no stopping the Blues, who were cruising along at the top of the Premier League. Sure enough, they had experienced a couple of blips at Stamford Bridge, but their excellent away form was very much making them the team to beat in the eyes of the bookmakers. Wind the clock forward to the present day and Chelsea might be struggling for a Champions League spot next season, let alone trying to land the title.

On Sunday, they were unfortunate to have their best player sent off early in the second half. Not just because Frank Lampard is their main man, but also because the red card was unjust in the extreme. The Daily Telegraph report that the FA are going to consider reversing the decision, although has the midfielder’s early bath and Fernando Torres’ two late goal effectively killed off Chelsea’s hopes of a third Premier League title?

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed after the game he planned to appeal a decision he felt turned the game in Liverpool’s favour and the FA’s regulatory committee will meet on Tuesday to make a ruling.

If the appeal fails, Lampard will miss Chelsea’s next three games, including Hull’s visit to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea’s tough trip to Villa Park in the Premier League as well as the FA Cup fifth round clash with Watford.

Lampard has previously succeeded in overturning a red card, managing to have his dismissal against West Ham in March 2008 withdrawn, while West Bromwich Albion’s Paul Robinson saw his incorrect punishment rescinded last week.

It’s almost certain that the FA will rescind this red card, although perhaps they might also dole out some retroactive punishment to Jose Bosingwa, who produced an appalling challenge on Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun late in the game. Do any Chelsea fans think that their team can still challenge for the title, although is there too much of a mountain to climb after defeats at Old Trafford and Anfield?

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