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Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool
FA Cup Fifth Round, Stamford Bridge
March 3, 2020
Goals: Willian 13′, Barkley 64′
Despite making seven changes, Jurgen Klopp opted for a strong starting XI at Stamford Bridge, reuniting Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez at the heart of defence after the latter missed the defeat at Watford with a minor injury.
A similar approach was taken by Frank Lampard, with the FA Cup the last piece of silverware realistically within Chelsea’s reach after they were swept aside by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16.
And while the Reds showed early signs of gaining the ascendancy, it was the hosts who took the impetus and asked a series of questions of Liverpool’s defence.
Adrian was forced into a number of superb saves, but after coming under siege in quick succession, the Spaniard could only parry Willian’s effort into his own net after Fabinho lost possession on the edge of the area.
The best chance of the game for Klopp’s side came in a hurry, all from close range, but despite a flurry of shots, the Reds could only find Kepa.
The second 45 started in a similar fashion to the first, with Liverpool taking control of the ball but having little to show for it as Chelsea sat back and waited to pounce.
Ross Barkley was the benefactor of such an approach having been afforded the time and space to drive through the middle of the pitch and unleash a strike beyond Adrian.
The ‘keeper would go on to deny both Pedro and Olivier Giroud to keep the scoreline at 2-0, but there was little to suggest Klopp’s men would find their way back.
It would lead to a second successive game without a goal and the third defeat in the last four games, ensuring an emphatic response is needed against Bournemouth before the visit of Atletico Madrid.