Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League are still alive as they picked up a priceless three points against finalists Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. In what can only be described as their biggest league game of the season, the Blues pulled a huge win out of the bag as they continue to surprise people late on in the campaign. The Reds, on the other hand, have some readjustments to make prior to Kiev at the end of the month.
Funnily enough, the visitors actually controlled the tempo throughout large portions of the first half – but they couldn’t make their pressure count. Olivier Giroud, who is finally starting to come into his own with Chelsea, nodded in Victor Moses’ cross in a move that epitomised why he’s such a valuable asset to have in the Premier League.
Chelsea then showed the kind of confidence that won them the championship just twelve months ago, with Alonso and Hazard both going close as the Reds seemed to gradually accept their fate. Alas, given that they’re only three points clear of Chelsea themselves now, Liverpool supporters may be looking at the table slightly more anxiously now given the unpredictability of the Premier League combined with the Blues’ momentum.
If we backtrack to the first half it was Sadio Mane, who was one of the major heroes in Rome, who had the chance to open Liverpool’s scoring account for the day. Some will put it down to the game being ‘one of those days’, but there also needs to be some consideration for the fact that the club are still coming to terms with qualifying for the Champions League final.
With that being said, if they go into that game with a serious lack of confidence, Real Madrid are going to use their experience to pick them apart at will.
Chelsea will now turn their attention to hosting Huddersfield on Wednesday night, whereas Liverpool will take on Brighton at Anfield next weekend.
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Azpilicueta (7), Cahill (6), Rudiger (8), Moses (7), Fabregas (7), Kante (7), Bakayoko (6), Alonso (6), Hazard (8), Giroud (7.5)
Subs: Willian (N/A), Zappacosta (N/A), Pedro (N/A)
Liverpool: Karius (7), Clyne (6), Lovren (6), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (6), Alexander-Arnold (6.5), Wijanaldum (6), Milner (6), Salah (5.5), Firmino (5.5), Mane (6.5)
Subs: Henderson (6), Solanke (6), Moreno (N/A)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Courtois, Moses, Alonso, Clyne, Salah
Red Cards: N/A
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