Liverpool dedicate win to mourning Jones
Liverpool have dedicated their 2-1 victory over Chelsea to Brad Jones as English soccer continues to rally around the Australian goalkeeper following the death of his son.
Luca Jones, 5, lost an 18-month battle with leukaemia on Friday, more than a year after Jones quit the Socceroos camp on the eve of the World Cup in South Africa to be by his side after learning the seriousness of the illness.
The Reds snatched a crucial victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam, who set up the winning goal, dedicated the performance to Jones.
"I'd like to dedicate the win to Brad Jones who had a difficult week losing his son," Adam said of the club's back-up goalkeeper Jones, who recently returned from a loan spell with Derby.
"That one was for you big man and we are all thinking about you."
As Socceroos stars including Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill, Liverpool players and former Middlesbrough teammates voiced their sympathies via Twitter, so too did rivals from around the Premier League.
Frenchman Louis Saha, striker at fierce rivals Everton, tweeted: "All my prayers go to you and your family in this really hard time. Can't find anything harder than that."
QPR captain Joey Barton added: "Very sad news. Puts everything into perspective."
Liverpool players wore black armbands as Glen Johnson's brilliant 87th minute goal secured a victory which increased the pressure on Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Defeat was Chelsea's second successive home loss and came after it looked as if they had secured a point when Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Maxi Rodriguez's first half opener with an equaliser ten minutes after the restart.
But Johnson's late strike ensured his former club suffered a third defeat in four Premier League games and moved Liverpool up to sixth, level on points with the Blues.
Chelsea are now 12 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was delighted by his side's character, with the side now unbeaten in nine games.
"We wanted to win the game and Glen Johnson's gone up into their box after 87 minutes. A right fullback. That shows the commitment. We're happy with how we played and delighted with the three points," he said.
Dalglish said Luca Jones' death had rocked the squad but it was not a motivating factor in the win.
"That's when football becomes irrelevant really when a five-year-old kid dies," Dalglish said.
"We'd never use Brad's misfortune (as motivation).
"We all dread to think what the boy's gone through. He knows everyone at the club is thinking of him and are sympathetic with him."