Thibaut Courtois – 6
Was a mere spectator to Jordan Henderson’s exquisite strike, could have done better placing himself when Dejan Lovren came calling. Competent display, but still hasn’t managed to fill in the Petr Cech shaped hole.
Bran Ivanovic – 3
Despicable display by the big brute, who purposefully stamped on Adam Lallana. Perhaps, it was fitting that he was run over by England international’s team-mates. Liverpool looked to funnel their attack through his side, and he had no answer, than to flail in with some ill-timed tackles. Lucky not to be sent off.
Gary Cahill – 5
Gary’s scuffed hoof was collected and duly dispatched by Henderson by air mail, into the top corner of Courtois’ net. Was perhaps Chelsea’s 2nd best defender, but that doesn’t quite say a lot. Needs a firm presence beside him to be able to play his game. Missed John Terry.
David Luiz – 6.5
If your standout defender is David Luiz, it means your defensive unit has had a bad day in office. Looked to be on the front foot as always, did well to get to a couple of through balls for some crucial interception. Got a botched nose for his troubles. Conte would need to harness all that energy and turn it into something more sustainable.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 4
Defensively sound, offensively AWOL. Not the sort of display you’d come to expect from the usually dependable Spaniard. Was at fault for a lapse of concentration for the first goal, allowing Lovren to sneak in like a ninja.
N’Golo Kante – 4
Not quite the new Makelele, not on this showing. Did his utmost to stem the tide of Liverpool’s great wave of Kanagawa, but was usually found capsized under the immense undertow of the movement around him. He needs a controller beside him, otherwise, he looks like all arms and flailing limbs. Took on unnecessary long punts on goal from a distance.
Nemanja Matic – 6
The rare spark of enterprise saw their former winger-turned-defensive midfielder roll back the years, and pull back the ball for Diego Costa to give Chelsea a second wind. He was run ragged, trying to hold his own by the combined endeavours of Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum.
Willian – 6.5
Spent most of his time backtracking and covering his full-backs, Willian, was perhaps the only reason why James Milner didn’t have as much joy on the wing, not being able to put in crosses at a ready frequency. Sturdy and economical in possession, but provided very few glimpses of forward running.
Oscar – 6
Another one of those players who were largely anonymous, he did his best to put himself about, but never managed to emboss his passing style on the game.
Eden Hazard – 6
Started to show signs of a Chelsea revival, picking up the ball and taking his man on on the left-wing, but the combined efforts of Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne undid his early promise. Didn’t have enough room to work himself out of a bind, neither was there any outlet, most of the time.
Diego Costa – 7
Dejan Lovren worked his way under the skin of Diego Costa off camera, and outside the peripheral vision of Martin Atkinson. Since then, the big, burly centre-forward didn’t look the same. He did, however, seem like he was eventually going to come into his own with the goal, but Liverpool’s growing monopoly of the ball, starved him of chances.
Pedro – N/A
Almost like he wasn’t even there on the pitch. Came on for Oscar, provided nothing in terms of forward momentum.
Victor Moses – 5.5
Held up the ball in wide right, admirably. Tried to lashing in a few crosses in, to his credit, a couple of them were even mildly threatening.
Fabregas – 5.5
Step up the tempo when he came on, but wasn’t allowed enough space by the low-block Liverpool banks of 4 to thread the ball through.