It was a game where Chelsea didn’t give their best yet got a result due to some good individual play by keeper Thibaut Courtois who finally got to showcase his talents on a pedestal.
Chelsea were good value for the defending though, as they forced Liverpool to shoot from half chances or from distance and there was only a couple of moments in the game where Liverpool had an outright scoring chance, when Raheem Sterling scored an excellent solo goal and when Gerrard struck the post from close range. An effort from Lallana was saved well by Courtois, but the Blues were successful in saving the game despite lacking the energy and the consistency at Anfield.
Here are the player ratings for average Chelsea:
Thibaut Courtois – 9/10 MOTM
He was by far the best player from Chelsea and also awarded the MOTM officially, meaning he actually stood out. He made some expected, yet very crucial saves to exhibit his talent and ability between the sticks and give the footballing world a timely reminder of his presence among the best goalkeepers in the world.
Branislav Ivanovic – 6/10
It was a non-spectacular display from the big Serb. He, along with almost Chelsea players were drilled to play for a draw and was defensively aware for most of the time but there were instances where he could have done better with his passing and touches as Liverpool pressed.
Gary Cahill – 6/10
Cahill did not have a bad day, neither did he enjoy himself out there on a chilled night at Anfield. The Englishman made some crucial stops which were expected of him, but was caught out by Raheem Sterling on some occasions, one leading to the goal.
John Terry – 6.5/10
He was there leading the defence and doing everything possible to hold forte in his defensive area. He was away from the action when Sterling approached from Cahill’s side to take the shot on goal. Terry has certainly seen better days but he didn’t do too bad in this game.
Filipe Luis – 7/10
Luis worked hard and was among the few players on the pitch who wanted to combine and move forward. His movement with Hazard was good and so was his quicker passing. There were very few attacks from his side as he was defensively sound and Hazard also helped him out.
Nemanja Matic – 6/10
While he was good in the first half restricting the play and holding the midfield together, he was average in the second half. Also, he wasn’t passing the ball as accurately as he did on previous occasions and also lacked conviction while passing forward. He was caught on his heels by Raheem Sterling in the second goal.
John Obi Mikel – 6/10
He was doing the job that he was told to do- breaking up play by hook or by crook and offering a block of rock between the midfield and the defence. But he was inconsistent in carrying out this rather unspectacular job and was turned flat along with Matic by a clever Raheem Sterling turn.
Willian – 7/10
He worked hard in defence and pressing. He was clearly breaking Liverpool attacks with his pace and defensive ability. He tried taking the attack to the opposition by using his close control but Chelsea’s gears were frozen for the night as almost all offensive moves lacked conviction.
Cesc Fabregas – 6/10
It was an average day for a playmaker like him. He enjoys playing in a system where he can dominate the possession and help the team create chances. But as Chelsea planned on playing a counter-attacking role, Fabregas rarely got the ball and yet managed to create the only chance which led to an Eden Hazard penalty goal.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
Scored a very crucial goal from the spot when Chelsea were looking sluggish on the day. He was then involved in whatever attacks Chelsea tried having but was not at his best as the team was not playing in an offensive manner. He was defensively aware as he helped Luis.
Diego Costa – 6/10
Well, Costa was isolated in the center forward area but it was hard to ignore him. He was only a few steps away from making the run in behind the defence as Liverpool defence got lucky a couple of times. Costa did his job of getting even with defenders.Chelsea lacked the conviction or the ambition to commit men forward and have shots at goal, which meant the attack was often easily stopped by the Reds who went all out to win this game.
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