Two goals in as many minutes early in the second half condemned Chelsea to defeat against Liverpool. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 2-0 loss at Anfield.
Kepa Arrizbalaga: 7
Called into action with just five minutes gone, smothering a crisp shot by former Chelsea man Mohamed Salah, as Liverpool tried to set the initiative. Couldn’t be faulted for Liverpool’s goals, especially Salah’s fabulous, arrowed strike.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Used all his experience to organise the Chelsea defence during the expected early storm from the Reds. Booked for a foul on Sadio Mane at the end of the first half. Was caught slightly out of position and unaware of the Liverpool striker when he put the Reds ahead in the 50th minute.
Antonio Rudiger: 6
The German powerhouse was alert to Liverpool danger man Naby Keita on the left flank in the first half before being forced to hobble off in the 39th minute following a knee aggravation. Replaced by Andreas Christensen.
David Luiz: 6
Outstripped a couple of times early on by the marauding Salah and had his work cut out against Liverpool’s increasing attacking waves once they took the lead. Showed frustration at times.
Along with Luiz, the Brazilian was directly up against Salah. But he was caught for pace when the ex-Chelsea player cut inside and blasted home a superb second goal for the hosts.
Good distribution when not busy cutting Liverpool’s supply line through the middle. Found events increasingly difficult to influence as the game wore on and Liverpool had real momentum, denying Chelsea any opportunity to implement any rhythm of their own.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Did well on occasions to drive forward in possession to take some of the heat from Liverpool’s enthusiasm. Tenacious against Jordan Henderson.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6
Calm and generally accurate with his passing the midfielder worked hard to keep Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold from driving forward. Habitually made timely tackles, but didn’t get on the ball nearly enough to dictate. Replaced by Ross Barkley with 14 minutes left.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 5
Like Loftus-Cheek, this was an opportunity on a major stage for the prodigious 18 year old. Deployed on the right-hand side but didn’t see too much of the ball in the first half. Replaced by Gonzalo Higuain shortly after Salah netted Liverpool’s second. Disappointing.
In a deeper lying role, just behind Eden Hazard, in what was presumably an early containment policy by boss Maurizio Sarri. Fired wide from 18 yards in a 29th-minute breakaway. Also set up a chance for Eden Hazard.
Eden Hazard: 7
The Blues’ best player. Without a recognised striker in the starting XI, the Belgian star was tasked with exerting even more influence than usual. Came in for some rough treatment early on, when scythed down by Fabinho. Brought a good stop out of Liverpool keeper Alisson, before missing Chelsea’s best chance, sliding the ball against the post in the 58th minute whilst unmarked. Much more effective when he reverted to his natural role after Gonzalo Higuain came on up front.
Andreas Christensen: 6
The Dane came on for the injured Rudiger in the first half. Alert for the most part when Liverpool were looking to add a third goal.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6
Sarri sent on the Argentine once Liverpool took a grip on the game.