A well-timed header from Olivier Giroud sealed three points for Chelsea and therefore, kept their top four quest alive. The game ended 1-0, with the Frenchman converting from a teasing cross by Victor Moses.
The game started off slowly for the hosts, who took time to settle and organise the congested midfield. The Blues perforated into the game belatedly, as a couple of opportunities in the first half approached through Cesc Fabregas’ wide effort and a shot from Hazard. The second half was kept tight as far as either side were concerned, as neither of them were able to break their way through.
Although Conte’s troops looked brighter in the attacking sense, they must take rightful credit for the back line’s discipline, which held its positions, held a tight grip throughout and forced more precision from Liverpool. Another win now would take Chelsea level on points with the Reds, behind on goal difference albeit.
Here are the Chelsea FC players’ ratings –
Thibaut Courtois – 8.5/10
Was Chelsea’s best player in the first half. Made two sharp saves off Firmino’s volley and Mane’s curled strike. His decision making was spot on.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8/10
Yet again, Azpilicueta depicted how reliable and consistent he can be, applying himself totally and grasping Mane’s game well.
Gary Cahill – 9/10
The captain led by example. Got his foot around the ball many a times, looked confident, strong and organised a marvellous back five.
Antonio Rudiger – 9/10
Rudiger’s pace and physicality was Chelsea’s best weapon. He looked in total control with Mohamed Salah, closed him down and contributed with a good share of tackles and clearances. Also to add, he was the best player in the air.
Victor Moses – 9/10
Communicated with Fabregas excellently while defending as those two took charge of Mane and Robertson. He grabbed the attacking opportunities with both hands and supplied an exquisite cross for the goal.
Tiemoue Bakayoko – 8.5/10
Probably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt. Most importantly, he kept hold of the ball well, looked well organized and helped both defence and attack.
N’Golo Kante – 8.5/10
The sharpest player on the pitch in terms of alertness. Kante was almost everywhere, gasping last-ditch tackles, gaining possession and shielding his defence.
Cesc Fabregas – 7/10
Good with the set pieces and link up play with Hazard. His defensive contribution was vital.
Marcos Alonso – 7.5/10
Defended well, played it safe and utilized the space he got up front. Almost scored a beauty, but was just wide.
Eden Hazard – 9.5/10
Twisted and turned, Eden Hazard was the release man for Chelsea. He moved it forward, completed dribbles, eyed the goal and connected the play together. He was at his elusive best.
Olivier Giroud – 9/10
Untarnished hold up play and display of strength from the 31 year old. He attacked the ball well, won the aerial duels and claimed the most important moment of the match.
Davidé Zappacosta – NA
Not much involvement apart from a couple of clearances.
Willian – NA
Pressed hard and received the credit from fans.
Pedro – NA
Came on just to clock down the final seconds.