Half-time: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o produced two rather different finishes as Chelsea responded to going a goal down early on with some free-flowing football in a thrilling first half.

Blues fell behind in the third minute as a Phillipe Coutinho free-kick aimed in at Luis Suarez bounced off Branislav Ivanovic’s arm and into the path of Martin Skrtel to turn home.

Chelsea were almost level immediately as Hazard’s shot was pushed on to Skrtel by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, but Glen Johnson cleared the danger.

Frank Lampard forced Mignolet into a tremendous save from distance and Hazard was denied a penalty as Jose Mourinho’s side began to dominate.

However they were deservedly level when Willian and Oscar combined before the latter released Hazard, who curled a composed finish into the top corner.

Cahill then produced an outstanding goal-saving challenge to keep the scores level as Joe Allen prepared to pull the trigger.

But with Chelsea playing some of their best football of the season, you sensed another goal was on the cards – and the predatory instincts of Eto’o put the Blues in front.

Oscar, twisting in the box, pulled the ball back for the Cameroon forward and his toepoked effort squirmed through Mignolet’s grasp.

Petr Cech was a bystander until Allen thumped a shot towards goal late in the first half, but the Chelsea ‘keeper was equal to it.

One downside for Mourinho was the early exit of Ivanovic, who limped off after half an hour, allowing Ashley Cole some action from the bench.

Blues captain John Terry, who has marshalled the defence well, is playing in his 600th Chelsea game – only Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and team-mate Frank Lampard have previously reached that landmark.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic (Cole 30), Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Luiz, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o.
Subs: Schwarzer, Essien, Mikel, Schurrle, Mata, Torres.

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