Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea: Hazard’s League Cup magic ends Reds’ winning run

26 September 2018

Eden Hazard struck in style as Chelsea fought back from a one-goal deficit to end Liverpool’s winning run with a 2-1 loss in the League Cup third round.


Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea

League Cup Third Round, Anfield
September 26, 2018

Goals

Sturridge 59′ (assist – Keita)
Emerson 79′ (assist – Barkley)
Hazard 85′ (assist – Azpilicueta)


On the back of sealing their best-ever start to a season with Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Southampton, the Reds took on another big challenge in the League Cup.

After suffering defeat to Leicester City at the first time of asking last term, Jurgen Klopp was looking for a more productive domestic run from his side this time out.

Standing in Liverpool’s way, however, were Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, who arrived at Anfield for the first of two back-to-back games between the pair.

Though the priority remains the league and Europe, this presented a must-watch clash in the third round, and a barometer of the depth in both squads.

Klopp made eight changes from the weekend’s record-breaking win, and it showed despite a valiant effort—as Chelsea edged past them and into the fourth round.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Fabinho makes full debut as Klopp opts for eight changes
  • Keita and Mane go closest for Reds in goalless first half
  • Sturridge misses open goal after early gift from Christensen…
  • …then scores bicycle kick to break deadlock at Anfield
  • Emerson equaliser and magical Hazard strike steal win from Liverpool

Two of those brought in by Sarri and Klopp tested their opposing goalkeepers early on, as Andreas Christensen sent a header at Simon Mignolet, before Naby Keita fired a shot into the palms of Willy Caballero.

A Liverpool back five that had, bar Joel Matip, previously not played a minute of senior football this season, struggled to settle, and Alvaro Morata almost took advantage on 17 minutes.

Kevin Friend waved away a penalty shout on the half-hour, with Keita rightly adjudged to have dived in the area to squander a rare opening for the hosts.

Keita, who was the brightest of Liverpool’s forwards in the first half, drew a brilliant save from Caballero as he cut inside onto his right, as the game came closer to an opener.

Sadio Mane almost found the far corner with a header after great work from Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri, but the two sides went in at the break at 0-0.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the first goal during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were handed a gilt-edged opportunity on a platter just 30 seconds into the second half, as Christensen’s sloppy pass saw Sturridge through one-on-one.

Sturridge did the difficult part by turning Caballero, but the veteran striker then shanked wide with his weaker right foot with an open goal gaping.

Another mixup, caused by an awful header from Ross Barkley, gave Mane a similar opportunity, but the No. 10’s effort was blocked.

Sarri reacted by sending on his talisman, Hazard, but it was his former team-mate, Sturridge, who eventually broke the deadlock with an overhead kick after Keita’s shot was saved.

Chelsea struck back through left-back Emerson, who poked home the equaliser after Mignolet made a fine save to deny Barkley’s header—surviving a VAR review.

And a moment of pure inspiration from Hazard, slaloming through the Liverpool defence and powering the ball past Mignolet, sealed the win for the visitors, and the Reds’ first loss of 2018/19.


TIA Man of the Match: Xherdan Shaqiri

Referee: Kevin Friend

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Fabinho (Salah 86′), Milner (Henderson 59′), Keita; Shaqiri, Mane (Firmino 71′), Sturridge

Subs not used: Grabara, Gomez, Jones, Solanke

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Christensen (Luiz 73′), Emerson; Fabregas, Kovacic (Kante 64′), Barkley; Moses, Willian (Hazard 56′), Morata

Subs not used: Bulka, Zappacosta, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi

Next Match: Chelsea (A) – Premier League – September 29, 5.30pm

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