Frank Lampard's men booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a well deserved 2-0 win over Liverpool and Katie Grant went through five things she learnt from the evening.
Chelsea got the better of Liverpool last night in an exhilarating clash between the two sides that saw the Blues progress into the quarter-finals of the FA cup.
An error from Adrian saw the Liverpool goalkeeper spill a Willian shot into the corner of his net to hand Chelsea a 1-0 lead at half-time, while Ross Barkley's fizzing effort after the break sealed a deserved victory for Frank Lampard's side.
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The result meant that Liverpool suffered their 3rd defeat in 4 games and any hope of a treble-winning season is over.
Are the cracks beginning to show in this formidable Liverpool side or were the reds merely out-classed by Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on the night?
Here are the five main take-away’s from a clash to remember.
1. Jürgen Klopp refused panic stations
Coming into Tuesday night’s game, Liverpool had just suffered two defeats in two weeks: first to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League followed by a dressing down by Watford in the Premier League. Klopp however did not panic unnecessarily and resort to any drastic tactical switches, nor did he cast aside and undermine the youngsters who had enabled Liverpool to reach this stage.
Instead, the German selected a balanced team, finding places for Takumi Minamino, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams, recalling Joe Gomez upon his return from injury and relying on big-name players Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk.
2. Liverpool are missing Jordan Henderson
The Liverpool captain was injured during the Reds’ loss away at La Liga giants Atlético Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League knock-outs. How can anyone have watched their recent games and not feel like Henderson's absence has been a key factor?
The Reds' captain sets high standards on the field, eats up second balls, and is careful but incisive with his passing from central areas towards the three front three players- all things that have been lacking of late.
3. It’s not too late for Willian
Attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech's move from Ajax to Chelsea has been confirmed for this summer. However, this should not necessarily spell the end for Willian at Stamford Bridge. The Brazil international, whose future has been made no less clear by stalled contract negotiations in recent weeks, played like someone not yet prepared to say goodbye to Chelsea with a powerful strike from 30-yards which opened the scoring on Tuesday night.
4. Youngsters impress
In spite of seasoned players such as Henderson’s notable absence from the game, this should not take away from the hugely promising performances from the youngsters on field. 18-year-old Billy Gilmour stood out amongst plenty of previous World Cup and Champions League winning players. Positioned in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield he played with an impressive composure and refreshing energy- excelling in his passing, dribbling and tackling back, with a pass accuracy of 77.6%.
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Liverpool’s youngsters Minamino, Jones and Williams also put in promising performances. Williams appeared unfazed by the big occasion, tracking back well to deny Pedro a 3rd goal.
5. He’s a Kepa
Blues 'keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga returned to Chelsea’s starting line-up last night having been dropped for the last 5 games in favour of Willy Caballero. Despite a Chelsea win on the night, Kepa was called into action several times and handled a constantly threatening Liverpool attack convincingly.
In a brief spell in the first-half Kapa saved a succession of shots from Liverpool’s: Sadio Mane, Curtis Jones and Divock Origi and with two further saves proved his value within the blues starting lineup.
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