Half-time: Liverpool 0 Chelsea 1

Eden Hazard’s coolly struck penalty gave Chelsea the lead after an intriguing first 45 minutes in their Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg tie.

Hazard stroked home the 18th-minute spot-kick after he was fouled by Emre Can following some excellent approach play by Cesc Fabregas.

The Blues, with John Mikel Obi preferred to Oscar in a more defensively minded midfield, had to withstand strong Liverpool pressure throughout.

But Jose Mourinho’s men, winners at Anfield in their previous two meetings, were happy to surrender possession and grew in confidence, restricting the Reds to half-chances.

The hosts caused a couple of nervy moments but the only save the recalled Thibaut Courtois had to make was from a dipping Steven Gerrard strike.

Gary Cahill also had to make a fine clearance, but with the Reds looking increasingly threatening, Hazard netted from the spot.

Liverpool continued to have more of the ball, but Chelsea’s quality on the counter-attack could easily have led to a second away goal.

A three-on-one break should have produced a chance and Hazard and Fabregas were finding space.

The home side had a shout for a penalty of their own in injury time when they claimed handball against Diego Costa, but the ball appeared to hit his hand from close range.

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Matic, Mikel; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa.
Subs: Cech, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Oscar, Remy, Drogba.

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook