Football Features

Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea: Player ratings as Conor Bradley inspires rampant Reds

By CJ Smith

Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea: Player ratings as Conor Bradley inspires rampant Reds

Published: 22:29, 31 January 2024

Liverpool strengthened their grip on first place in the Premier League table with a commanding 4-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

The Reds were in complete control from the word go and, inspired by stand-in right-back Conor Bradley, found themselves 3-0 in front by the 65th minute — the Northern Irish talent provided assists for Diogo Jota and Dominik Szoboszlai, either side of opening his first Liverpool goal. There was even time for Darwin Nunez to miss a penalty in all that action, too.

Chelsea did pull a goal back in the 71st minute as Carney Chukwuemeka fed fellow substitute Christopher Nkunku, who spun and finished expertly inside the Liverpool box.

However, that was just a temporary respite for Chelsea, who showed yet more poor defending to allow Luis Diaz to fire home a powerful Nunez cross as the game raced toward the final 10 minutes.

The result leaves Liverpool five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with just one defeat from 22 games so far. Chelsea, meanwhile, see their mini three-game league winning streak ended abruptly and still languish down in 10th.

Here are the full player ratings from Wednesday night’s Anfield action:


Alisson – 6 – Alert whenever Liverpool needed him, which wasn’t very often. Can’t be blamed for the Nkunku goal.

Conor Bradley – 9 – Another wonderful performance from a player beginning to thrive in Liverpool red. Won the ball and then provided the assist for Jota’s opener before opening his Liverpool account in style shortly after. Put the cherry on top with a perfect cross onto Szoboszlai’s head just after the hour. Could Trent Alexander-Arnold possibly be worrying about his starting place?

Ibrahima Konate – 8 – Solid and used the ball well, providing several sweeping long passes.

Virgil van Dijk – 8 – Wasn’t overly worked defensively but got the job done as usual. Displayed his pin-point passing again during the build-up for the third goal.

Joe Gomez – 8 – Once again looked comfortable at left-back. Stopped pretty much everything Chelsea tried down that side.

Dominik Szoboszlai – 8 – A lively performance from a classy midfielder. Clean on the ball and created a number of openings both from open play at set-pieces. Rounded things off with a headed goal in the 65th minute.

Alexis Mac Allister – 8 – Looked very assured on the ball, keeping things ticking over in his deep-lying role. Made eight tackles and was a constant roadblock for any fledgeling Chelsea attacks.

Curtis Jones – 7 – Not quite his sharpest night, with Jones misplacing a few passes, but still looked busy and ready to fight for the cause.

Luis Diaz – 8 – Started quietly but grew into the game, testing the Chelsea backline with some speedy runs and powerful shots. Got a well-deserved goal late on.

Diogo Jota – 8 – Another game, another goal for Jota, who has filled the hole left by Mohamed Salah’s departure to the Africa Cup of Nations superbly.

Darwin Nunez – 6 – Never needs a second invitation to shoot but would sometimes benefit from a little more composure and speed of thought. Aim was off, including from the penalty spot, and he became the first-ever player to hit the woodwork four times in one Premier League match. At least managed an excellent assist for the fourth goal. Nunez is worth the price of admission in terms of complete unpredictability alone.


Trent Alexander-Arnold (for Bradley, 69′) – 7 – Went out and reminded the Anfield faithful that Bradley is still an understudy with a highlight reel-worthy selection of passes. Exudes class with every touch.

Andy Robertson (for Gomez, 69′) – 7 – Forward-thinking and energetic from the bench.

Cody Gakpo (for Jota, 69′) – 7 – Picked up where Jota left off, pulling the Chelsea defence out of shape with his movement and one-touch play.

Harvey Elliott (for Szoboszlai, 69′) – 7 – Another bright performance from the bench. Elliott is really coming of age this season.

Bobby Clark (for Jones, 82′) – N/A – Not enough time to adjust to the pace of the game.


Djordje Petrovic – 7 – It says a lot that Petrovic conceded three goals and yet was still easily the best of Chelsea’s starting players. It would have been much worse without his nine saves.

Axel Disasi – 5 – Looked uncomfortable up against Diaz throughout and would probably been punished more had it not been for Liverpool focusing so much of their attack down the other flank.

Thiago Silva – 4 – Didn’t cover himself in glory on Jota’s opener but and allowed Nunez to shrug him off in the build-up to the fourth goal.

Benoit Badiashile – 2 – Gave away a penalty after having already let Jota slip for his goal, then allowed Diaz to get across him for the fourth. Another poor performance from a player struggling for consistency.

Ben Chilwell – 2 – Lost possession for Liverpool’s opener and was booked for diving in the 35th minute. Hooked at half-time after an awful first half.

Moises Caicedo – 5 – Whether it was the jeers from the Liverpool crowd or the Anfield lights, Caicedo just didn’t get going. The Ecuadorian was neat and tidy enough, but far too cautious in possession.

Conor Gallagher – 5 – Had a penalty appeal turned down early on. Was one of Chelsea’s brighter sparks in the opening 45 and though that isn’t saying much, it was surprising to see him brought off at the break.

Enzo Fernandez – 4 – Far too wasteful in possession, which resulted in Liverpool being able to pile even more pressure on Chelsea with dangerous turnovers.

Noni Madueke – 4 – Lost possession 10 times during a first half in which he repeatedly ran into a Joe Gomez-shaped brick wall. Withdrawn at the break.

Cole Palmer – 6 – Showed a few flashes of skill and quality but was far too isolated.

Raheem Sterling – 4 – Successful with zero of his four attempted dribbles, continually running down blind allies. Not a happy return to Anfield.


Christopher Nkunku (for Gallagher, 46′) – 7 – Livened up the Chelsea attack and took his goal brilliantly.

Malo Gusto (for Chilwell, 46′) – 6 – Definitely improved Chelsea, helping them get forward more often with his driving runs.

Mykhaylo Mudryk (for Madueke, 46′) – 3 – Showed a total lack of composure with a chance inside the box when the score was still 2-0. Barely got involved otherwise.

Carney Chukwuemeka (for Caicedo, 66′) – 7 – Provided the assist for Nkunku’s goal with a smart pass after a strong forward run.

Cesare Casadei (for Palmer, 85′) – N/A – Brought on near the end but didn’t have time to get into the game.