Football Features

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool player ratings: ‘Lampard beat Klopp at his own game’

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 21:51, 3 March 2020

In a breathless night of football, Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 in the FA Cup.

The result ends the Reds’ hope of winning a historic Treble as the Blues advance to the quarter-finals.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 8 – Played well all night, doing his job when required. But the highlight was a genuinely astonishing triple save in the first-half to keep Liverpool out.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 8 – A solid bulwark against Liverpool incursions down his flank and launched several impressive long balls behind the Liverpool defence.

Kurt Zouma – 7 – Rock solid at the back.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – Some shocking passes out from the back in the early going but in general defended well. Dominated in the air.

Marcos Alonso – 7 – Raided forward with aplomb but had issues tracking Williams.

Billy Gilmour – 9 – Phenomenally confident display from the youngster. He passed with authority, controlled space around him and wasn’t afraid to get stuck in defensively to fantastic effect. “In terms of personality, he’s huge” said Lampard after the game and the 18-year-old was genuinely the best player on the pitch and given the injury to Kovacic and the impending suspension for Jorginho, you can expect to see some more of the young Scot.

Mateo Kovacic – 6 – Played well, holding midfield and moving the ball forward. Had to leave the field due to injury.

Ross Barkley – 8 – Barkley is not a reliable player and can be as bad as he is good and today he was, well, as bad as he was good. His work-rate and effort was top-notch and his movement was supreme. But his use of the ball was terrible 99% of the time as he chose the wrong option or delayed too long.

The one time he got it right, however, he got it VERY right. Scored an absolutely storming goal where he ran from inside his own half to the edge of the Liverpool box, ignored the sensible pass to Pedro and instead thundered the ball into the back of the net from there to double Chelsea’s lead.

Willian – 7 – Rattled Chelsea into the lead, although had a big slice of luck with a goalkeeping error. Made several lively runs to penetrate Chelsea defences before having to leave the field through injury.

Pedro – 8 – Made several deadly runs behind the Chelsea defence, really looking sharp. Showed his age when a 40 yard sprint proved too much and he shot tamely at Adrian when he should have put Chelsea three-up.

Olivier Giroud – 8 – A sublime display of target-man football. Dominated in the air, occupied the attentions of the mighty Van Dijk, found his team-mates with passes and flicks. Even hit the bar late on after out-muscling Gomez.

Substitutes:

Mason Mount (for Kovacic 42′) – 8 – Made several key runs and movements. Looked dangerous every time he got the ball and thundered a free-kick off the bar too. Missed a great chance to kill the game late on when he failed to square for Giroud.

Jorginho (for Willian 51′) – 7 – Came on and helped out.

Reece James (for Giroud 90′) – n/a – Came on late.

Manager:

Frank Lampard – 9 – Lampard set his team out brilliantly. They were compact enough to absorb Liverpool’s attacks and then they made excellent use of Liverpool-esque long diagonal passes behind the defence to keep the Reds unsettled. In essence, Lampard beat Klopp at his own game. Moreover his risk in starting Billy Gilmour was rewarded with a fine display from the teenager. Didn’t put a foot wrong.

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Liverpool

Adrian – 5 – Made a handful of sensational stops to deny Chelsea, but dropped a colossal clanger when he misjudged Willian’s shot and handed Chelsea their opener. He really did play well but people will, rightly, only remember the mistake.

Neco Williams – 5 – A rapier in attack but constantly caught out defensively. Faded as the game wore on.

Joe Gomez – 5 – Struggled to deal with Chelsea’s long-balls and got outmuscled by Giroud a couple times.

Virgil van Dijk – 5 – Nowhere near the lofty standards he has set for himself. Spent the game battling, not dominating, Olivier Giroud. Also he inexplicably didn’t close out on Willian before the goal.

Andrew Robertson – 5 – A couple of delicious crosses but in general he wasn’t much use at either end.

Fabinho – 4 – Needlessly slipped and gave the ball away for Chelsea’s opener. Looked a mile away from his usually solid self and that error was utterly unprovoked and it completely shaped the game.

Adam Lallana – 5 – Moved well and picked out some neat passes but nothing penetrative.

Curtis Jones – 5 – Had a couple of good runs but nowhere near as lively as he has been in previous rounds.

Takumi Minamino – 6 – A couple of sensational passes in behind the Chelsea defence were missed by his team-mates. Still feeling his way into a Liverpool shirt but this was a bright display despite the team’s general performance.

Sadio Mané – 4 – Shockingly wasteful with the ball at his feet on more than one occasion. Seemed to hesitate rather than simply finish decisively as he so often has this season. Missed some golden chances to pull Liverpool back into the game.

Divock Origi – 5 – Did little.

Substitutes:

Roberto Firmino (for Origi 70′) – 5 – Offered very little in attack.

James Milner (for Milner 70′) – 5 – Getting booked was his most notable contribution to this game.

Mohamed Salah (for Lallana 80′) – 5 – Did absolutely nothing. A shockingly empty display from the Egyptian.

Manager:

Jurgen Klopp – 3 – Incredibly sent out a slightly understrength side despite Liverpool’s loss at the weekend, despite making this exact mistake in this competition a year ago after the loss to Man City. Back then a loss to Wolves derailed their phenomenal form and is ultimately responsible for them not winning the title. What will the effect of losing be this year? Chelsea thoroughly outplayed his side, and it’s now been three defeats in his last four games across all competitions and the dreams of a historic Treble are now ashes in his hands.

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