Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: 5 Hits and Flops
- Liverpool returned top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday, but which players struggled while others excelled?
#4 Hit: Cesar Azpilicueta
Azpilicueta, as he usually does, set the tone for how Chelsea wanted to defend. Forcing their hosts back and increasingly into mistakes in possession, he was constantly applying pressure that not a lot of their opponents have been doing in recent months. With that being said, his overzealous nature cost him a needless booking just before half-time after a cynical slip on Mane.
All in all, it was an accomplished display by the defender - who frequently made important tackles and defensive interventions when called upon. It's easy to forget that he's more suited to a right-sided centre-back position than the current right-back role he always starts in, though Sarri's insistence on starting David Luiz means he's being shifted out to the flank.
With a game-high seven tackles and clearances completed, the stats speak for themselves really. He won a few important headers when Liverpool looked to cross into the box although understandably got frustrated given the manner in which they had conceded both goals, which he could do nothing about.
The first one was Mane's header, where he was unable to get across quickly enough to clear off the line after intricate play created the chance at the far post. As for the second, blame has to go on Emerson and one other player for their roles in the build-up.
It was a good display from the club captain and in games like these where Chelsea lose, players not named Hazard are often overlooked when they do perform well. Me not including him in this list would be a disservice to his performance though, as he impressed and his tenacious work didn't deserve to be rewarded with a loss at Anfield.