Chelsea suffered a huge blow in their fight for Champions League qualification next season after slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool this evening.
The Blues once again lacked solidity and cohesion as a defensive unit as goals from Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool secure all three points at Anfield.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (7/10): Looked nervy at the start but actually did quite well to deny both Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. However, he could have done nothing to stop Mohamed Salah’s thunderbolt while he also can’t be blamed for failing to stop Mane’s close-range header for the opener.
Cesar Azpilicueta (5.5/10): Had a hard time dealing with Mane on the far side, especially in the first phase of the game, where the Senegalese international always got the better of the experienced defender. A disappointing performance from the Spaniard, especially his team needed him the most.
Antonio Rudiger (7/10): Looked committed as ever, playing a key role in Chelsea’s rigid deep-block defensive system. But, he was unfortunate to have picked up an injury in the first half, which forced him to make way for Andreas Christensen in the 40th minute.
David Luiz (6.5/10): Made a few absolutely world-class passes to free attackers in the final third. But, he was clumsy and looked out of pace while defending Liverpool’s revered attacking trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino.
Emerson (4/10): Perhaps the worst Chelsea performer this evening, Emerson failed to vindicate his selection over Marcos Alonso as the Brazilian struggled against the enigmatic Salah on the right flank. And his inability to keep track of the Egyptian cost Chelsea dearly indeed.
N’Golo Kante (7/10): Was aggressive in closing down opponents in midfield while also making a host of driving runs in the final third. Relentless as always. But, the Frenchman also found a couple of useful passes while on the counter – chances which should have been used more efficiently by the Chelsea attackers.
Jorginho (5/10): Anonymous for the large parts of the game as he notably struggled to cope with Liverpool’s leeway-oriented pressing, which restricted him to distribute possession all around the pitch.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (6.5/10): Went forward on a couple of occasions but always lacked the end product. However, his fighting spirit and robust approach against Liverpool players were inspiring.
Willian (7.5/10): Made some excellent runs in behind the Liverpool defence, notably finding himself on the end of Luiz’s incredible long ball. But, he scuffed his shot wide while he was also unfortunate when Eden Hazard shot straight at the keeper after he had initially set up the Belgian.
Eden Hazard (7/10): Didn’t look as sharp as one would have hoped as the Belgian, as mentioned earlier, shot straight at Alisson, in what arguably Chelsea’s biggest chance of the game. He did make a key impact when he reverted to his customary left-wing slot in the second half.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (5/10): Failed to make any notable impact on the proceedings as Liverpool were quick to close down the English wunderkind. He rightfully made way for Higuain in the second half.
Andreas Christensen (7/10): Replaced Rudiger just five minutes before the end of half time. And the Dane did rather well in coping with the pressure exerted by the dynamic Liverpool attackers.
Gonzalo Higuain (5/10): Came on for Hudson-Odoi in the 56th minute but failed to get to grips with the pace of the game, making him more or less an ineffective figure in the Chelsea attack.
Ross Barkley (NA): Replaced Loftus-Cheek during the final phase of the game as Maurizio Sarri opted for more creativity in midfield.