Football Features

Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Every player rated as Reds reclaim top spot

By Chris Smith

Published: 18:42, 14 April 2019

A two-goal salvo in the second half handed Liverpool a priceless 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

A header from Sadio Mane and an absolute thunderbolt from Mohamed Salah delivered all three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side, returning them to the top of the Premier League table and pushing aside what could be their toughest remaining game in the title race.

Here is how every player rated during another monumental Anfield affair.

Liverpool

Alisson – 8 – Made an all-important save in the second half to deny Eden Hazard right when Chelsea looked to be battling their way back into the game. That transfer fee looks more and more validated as the weeks go by.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 – Granted, Alexander-Arnold had the odd sloppy moment when under no pressure, but his constant marauding down the right was a real threat for Liverpool. Time after time, his brilliant delivery caused Chelsea problems.

Joel Matip – 7 – Pulled dangerously out of position by Hazard early on and could have been punished had Chelsea been more ruthless. However, improved thereafter and looked solid alongside Virgil van Dijk once again.

Virgil van Dijk – 8 – Another dominant performance in defence, coupled with an assist for Salah’s missile-esque second goal. The effect he and Alisson have had on Klopp’s side cannot be understated.

Andy Robertson – 6 – Quieter than usual, largely thanks to Liverpool targeting Emerson at left-back for Chelsea. Snuffed out the Blues’ attacking threat, though, and continued to show relentless energy. Almost haunted by the ghost of Steven Gerrard with his late slip, although Chelsea were more accommodating on this occasion.

Fabinho – 8Made a joint match-high four tackles and was once again the metronome in Liverpool’s midfield. That, along with his four tackles made sure the Reds always had a solid platform from which to mount their attacks.

Jordan Henderson- 8 – Another fine performance from Henderson, who is truly vindicating his request for Klopp to push him into a more advanced role. A great ball across the box to assist Mane’s opener and swept play from side to side with some raking passes.

Naby Keita – 6 – Put in an industrious performance without ever standing out. Slowly but surely, Keita is growing into the Liverpool shirt.

Mohamed Salah – 9 – Absolutely terrorized Emerson all afternoon, taking him inside, outside and upside-down. And what about that goal? Exocet missile. A hammer from the gods. Call it what you want, it was quite simply sensational.

Roberto Firmino – 7 – Firmino’s movement is an absolute nightmare for centre-backs, dragging them into areas they just don’t want to be in. While Firmino didn’t provide the same direct threat he often can, that movement and his constant pressing left Chelsea walking on glass throughout.

Sadio Mane – 8 – Gave the experienced Azpilicueta a torrid time down Liverpool’s left and was rewarded with the opening goal, sneaking in at the back post to head home Henderson’s clever ball. His improvement during the second half of the season took another step today.

Subs:

Georginio Wijnaldum (for Keita, 66 mins) – 6 – Neat and tidy when he came on, picking up where Keita left off.

James Milner (for Henderson, 77 mins) – 6 – Just as Wijnaldum did with Keita, carried on from where Henderson left off. Assured with the ball and tough without it.

Xherdan Shaqiri (for Salah, 89 mins) – N/A – Came on late to allow Salah a standing ovation.

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 7 – Made a number of saves to keep Chelsea in the game during the second half. It’s just as well he didn’t reach Salah’s shot as it may just have ruled him out for the season.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 5 – Had a very tough afternoon against the in-form Mane and failed to pick up the Senegal international at the back post for the opening goal.

Antonio Rudiger – 6 – Looked as solid as ever and generally coped well against some intense Liverpool pressing until his knee problem came back to haunt him once again, ending his afternoon after 40 minutes.

David Luiz – 8 – As Chelsea wilted in the Anfield fire pit, Luiz stood up and kept on battling. Made a number of important tackles and interventions.

Emerson – 3 – Emerson will be glad to see the back of Salah. He was absolutely torn to shreds by the Egyptian and had absolutely no idea whether he was going to left or right. It was Emerson’s lazy attempt at defending that allowed Salah onto his left foot for that goal.

Jorginho – 5 – Really sloppy from Jorginho on Sunday who, at times, seemed all at sea in the deep-lying role. Nobody was dispossessed more than Jorginho’s three occasions.

N’Golo Kante – 8 – Made a joint match-high four tackles and made a real fist of it in midfield for Chelsea, often on his own. When the Blues got onto the ball, he drove forward with real purpose. The Frenchman and Hazard were the only real shining lights for Sarri.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6 – Some neat and tidy touches as Chelsea threatened on the break in the first half and had an impressive 94% pass completion rate. Never did anything incisive enough before he was replaced by Ross Barkley in the second half.

Willian – 6 – Some good deliveries but far too quiet once again from Willian, who allowed Robertson a pretty easy afternoon.

Eden Hazard – 7 – Caused a few problems in the false nine role, then caused absolute havoc when he switched out to the left in the second half. Deserved a much higher rating but missed two absolutely golden chances to get Chelsea back into it during the second half, hitting the post with one and Alisson with the other.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 6 – Rewarded for his strong form with a third consecutive Premier League start but looked out of his depth in the Anfield cauldron. Replaced by Gonzalo Higuain just before the hour mark.

Subs:

Andreas Christensen (for Rudiger, 40 mins) – 5 – Replaced Rudiger just before half time and his lack of pace was exposed on a number of occasions. Quite possibly suffering from a lack of real match practice.

Gonzalo Higuain (for Hudson-Odoi, 56 mins) – 6 – Some neat link up when he came on and his mere presence allowed Hazard to switch to his preferred left-sided role, where he really began influencing the game.

Ross Barkley (for Loftus-Cheek, 75 mins) – 6 – Replaced Loftus-Cheek as Sarri desperately rolled his dice in the second half, but had little effect.

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