Liverpool's Raheem Sterling (3rd right) celebrates his goal against Chelsea with team mates during their Capital One Cup first leg semi-final match at AnfieldReuters

Liverpool and Chelsea failed to take a firm advantage in the first leg semifinal of the Capital One Cup as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Although a penalty form Eden Hazard gave the Blues an early lead, Raheem Sterling levelled the scores in the second half to keep Liverpool's hopes of reaching the final of the League Cup alive.

While Jose Mourinho made a couple of changes to his squad, with Thiabut Courtois replacing Petr Cech in goal and John Obi Mikel coming in place of Ocasr, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers made just a single alteration as Steven Gerrard came in place of Fabio Borini.

The game started with Liverpool on the attack as Gerrard forced a fine save from Courtois with a 30-yard drive in the 16th minute.

However, it was the Blues who took the lead after a couple of minutes through a penalty after Emre Can brought down Eden Hazard inside the box. The Belgian stepped up and eased the ball into the net as Simon Mignolet dived in the wrong direction.

Liverpool made strong appeals for a penalty just before the break as the ball struck Diego Costa's hand as he lay on the ground inside the box, but referee Martin Atkinson dismissed their pleas and waved for play to continue.

The Reds, who desperately starting looking for an equaliser, finally made a breakthrough through Sterling in the 58th minute.The winger, after picking the ball near the halfway line, managed to outfox Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill before firing a low effort past Courtois.

Boosted by the equaliser, Liverpool started bombarding Chelsea's defence with regular attacks as Gerrard hit the post in the 67th minute, before Courtois had to make a smart save to keep out Philippe Coutinho's effort a minute later.

The Reds, who were now completely dominant, got another chance to take the lead in the 73rd minute, but Martin Skrtel failed to make use of Jordan Henderson's excellent freekick as he headed the ball over the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later, Courtois was again brought to action as the Belgian made an excellent double save to deny Henderson and Sterling.

The former Genk goalkeeper made an even better save in the 79th minute as he put in a full length dive to keep out substitute Adam Lallana's effort.

Despite being under a lot of pressure in the closing stages of the game, Chelsea managed to hold on to the draw and the game ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

The second leg of the semifinal will be played at Stamford Bridge on 28 January.

Liverpool vs Chelsea 1-1 by myflexmood1