Chelsea played hosts to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge looking to bag the three points which will help them close the gap in the race for the Top 4 positions in the Premier League. The Blues boss Antonio Conte opted for a 3-5-2 formation and his team got off to a slow start with the visitors dominating possession. However, Conte’s men got a stroke of luck in the 32nd minute when Victor Moses’ deflected cross fell for Olivier Giroud who headed home the opening and the only goal of the game. The home side managed to hold on to their lead and went into half-time 1-0 up.
The Blues decided to drop off and defend in numbers all throughout the second half. They managed to limit Liverpool’s opportunities and grind out a 1-0 victory to keep their top 4 hopes alive.
Let’s shed some light on how each Chelsea player performed during the game.
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 7/10
The Belgian made some good saves in the first-half but was largely untested during the second-half.
CB: César Azpilicueta – 7/10
Another strong shift by the Spaniard at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Azpilicueta managed to defend well and earn a clean sheet for his efforts.
CB: Gary Cahill – 7/10
The English international organised his backline well and managed to keep the dangerous Mohamed Salah quiet during the contest.
CB: Antonio Rüdiger – 8/10
The German defender was not afraid to put his body on the line and made some crucial interceptions in the second half to deny Liverpool any sniff at goal.
RM: Victor Moses – 8.5/10
The former Liverpool speedster put in a hardworking shift down the right flank and caused Andrew Robertson all sorts of problems in the Reds’ half.
CM: Cesc Fàbregas – 7/10
The Spaniard was composed on the ball and did the little things right during the match.
CM: N’Golo Kanté – 9/10
The Frenchman was, by far, Chelsea’s best player on the pitch. He made a number of great tackles during the game and protected his backline well to earn a clean sheet.
CM: Tiemoué Bakayoko – 6/10
The French midfielder tried his best but failed to make an impact in the game.
LM: Marcos Alonso – 6.5/10
The Spanish full-back could have scored a ‘worldie’ when he attempted a ferocious volley which narrowly missed its target. He put in a decent shift down the left flank.
ST: Eden Hazard – 8.5/10
The Belgian worked hard for his team and was a wonderful outlet for the Blues on the counter. He caused a lot of problems for the Liverpool defence and was unlucky not to score on the day.
ST: Olivier Giroud – 8/10
The French forward scored with a wonderfully directed header which could turn out to be a priceless goal in his team’s quest to finish in the top 4 at the end of next weekend.
CAM: Willian – N/A
The Brazilian playmaker hardly had any time to make an impact.
RM: Davide Zappacosta – N/A
The Italian came off the bench to see out a Chelsea victory in injury-time.
ST: Pedro – N/A
The Spaniard came on to ‘run the clock’ in injury-time.