[Player Ratings] Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool: Eto’o Nets Winner But Hazard The Inspiration
Chelsea came from a goal down to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Here Blues fan Joe Carroll gives us his player ratings from the game
Chelsea came from a goal down to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Here, Blues fan Joe Carroll gives us his player ratings from the game.
Chelsea came from behind to beat title pretenders Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard levelled for Chelsea with a curling effort after Martin Skrtel put Liverpool ahead in the third minute.
Samuel Eto’o was the talking point of the match though, scoring what would be the winning goal in the first half and avoiding punishment for what appeared to be a foul on Luis Suarez late in the second.
Jose Mourinho made four changes to the side that saw off Swansea on Boxing Day, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Frank Lampard coming in for Ashley Cole and John Obi Mikel, while Juan Mata and Ramires made way for Willian and Gary Cahill.
Chelsea were slow out of the blocks as the visitors took the lead, just as they did four days ago at Manchester City. Saurez got something on Phillipe Coutinho ‘s free kick and Skrtel made sure the Uruguayan’s goal bound effort went in from three yards.
The Blues were quick to respond however, putting Simon Mignolet’s goal under pressure in search of the equaliser which came on 17 minutes. Eden Hazard started the move and finished it off with a rasping effort from outside the box which gave Mignolet no chance.
Chelsea’s bombardment of the Liverpool goal continued and they were unlucky not to take the lead sooner than they did. When it came, it was owed partly to Oscar’s perseverance and some suspect goal-keeping. The Brazilian’s chance seemed to have gone as he was forced wide but he managed to squeeze the ball across goal. Eto’o got in front of his man to poke the ball goal-ward while Mignolet’s attempt to turn the shot behind was futile.
Mamadou Sakho hit the bar for Liverpool in the second half while Eto’o also went close to grabbing his second. But the Cameroonian was perhaps lucky to escape without as much as a yellow card after appearing to trip Suarez in the penalty area. Referee Howard Webb saw no infringement despite the Uruguayan’s protests.
Ex-Liverpool player Fernando Torres was introduced late on and came close to adding a third, cutting in from the right but shooting tamely at Mignolet. Here are my Chelsea player ratings:
Cech- 6- didn’t have too much to do, despite the pulsating encounter that was played out before him. Was his usual competent self.
Azpilicueta- 7- involved in Eto’o’s goal, playing in Oscar after good work on the flank. Moved from left back to right after Ivanovic was replaced through injury.
Cahill- 7- dealt with the threat of Suarez, Coutinho and Sterling without allowing the trio too much space.
Terry- 7- solid performance and kept the likes of Suarez at bay, although he could have conceded a penalty after appearing to grab Suarez in the area.
Ivanovic- 6- decent showing until he was forced off through injury. Might have done better in stopping Suarez getting across him for the opening goal.
Lampard- 6- not particularly influential and was forced off at half-time. Would have scored a fine goal but for Mignolet’s intervention.
Luiz- 7- a very good showing from the Brazilian. Playing in a central- defensive midfield position, he looked far more comfortable, distributing the ball with ease.
Hazard- 8- continued a fantastic run of form with a brilliant performance. Scored the equalising goal with a stunning strike and always looked dangerous. Man of the Match
Oscar- 7- a fine performance from the playmaker, providing Eto’o for the winning goal.
Willian- 6- played on the right side of the attacking three and didn’t look out of place. Showed glimpses of his talent but might have done better in keeping the ball when Chelsea needed an outlet.
Eto’o- 7- at the half-way point of the season, Eto’o has certainly improved. Showed good anticipation to get the goal and his all-round game was better.
Cole- 7- came on for the injured Ivanovic and slotted into the side perfectly. Dealt with Sterling superbly.
Mikel- 6- the Nigerian’s work is always unspectacular but he did the simple things well enough.
Torres- 6- came on for Eto’o in the closing minutes and nearly scored, cutting in from the right before shooting tamely at Mignolet.
What did you think of Chelsea’s win at the Bridge?…How vital was winning against a fellow title rival?…Do you think Samuel Eto’o is the man to fire the Blues to title success?…What about Eden Hazard? How good is he at the moment?…please leave your comments below…
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