Chelsea beats Liverpool 2-1 in Premier League
Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o scored first-half goals as Chelsea
came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over title rival Liverpool in
the Premier League on Sunday.
After Martin Skrtel put the Reds in front from close range at
Stamford Bridge after only four minutes, Hazard hit back in the
17th with a superb strike. Eto’o gave Jose Mourinho’s team a
decisive lead from Oscar’s back pass in the 34th.
Third-place Chelsea trails leader Arsenal by two points and
Manchester City by one point. Liverpool is six points adrift after
slipping to a second consecutive loss.
Hazard was splendid throughout in his playmaker role, while
Chelsea’s defenders did a good job of containing Luis Suarez, who
was reunited with Branislav Ivanovic for the first time since he
bit the Serbian defender on the arm last season and was banned for
”The kid is giving everything,” Mourinho said about Hazard.
”He was a very talented player, but he was a kid enjoying football
in a funny way. Now he understands his responsibilities. I’m so
happy with the kid.”
Mourinho also accused Suarez of showing his ”wild nature” and
simulating after the striker protested he should have been given a
penalty when Eto’o obstructed him in the box in the second
”Suarez lost a duel with (Cesar) Azpilicueta, Azpilicueta has
the ball and is leaving the box with the ball and now he’s doing an
acrobatic swimming pool jump to try to get the penalty,” Mourinho
said. ”When the situation is like this and you are losing comes
the nature of the player, the wild nature of the player or the
cultural nature of the player.”
With captain John Terry becoming the fourth Chelsea player to
make 600 appearances for the club, the game started at a high
tempo, with both sides involved in a gritty contest for
After Eto’o was lucky to escape a booking for his challenge on
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool made the most of the subsequent free
kick, with Skrtel scoring a poacher’s goal from close range.
Chelsea failed to clear Philippe Coutinho’s free kick, Suarez
headed the ball beyond Ivanovic and Skrtel tapped it home.
Chelsea reacted immediately, only for Hazard to see his effort
saved before Gary Cahill headed wide from Frank Lampard’s free kick
in the eighth minute.
Chelsea’s penalty appeals were waved away by referee Howard Webb
after Hazard appeared to be clipped by Lucas in the box, and
Lampard forced keeper Simon Mignolet to tip the ball over with a
trademark powerful shot from outside the box.
The home side was rewarded for its pressure soon afterward when
Hazard gave Mignolet no chance with a superb curling shot for his
eighth league goal of the season.
Mourinho was forced to make an early defensive change as the
injured Ivanovic was replaced by Ashley Cole after 30 minutes. But
Liverpool struggled to contain the Blues’ relentless attacks and
Eto’o converted his team’s dominance into a goal when he scored
from close range from Oscar’s pass, despite Mignolet getting a hand
to the ball.
The Reds continued to threaten on the break and had a chance to
level before the interval, with Joe Allen’s shot from the right
side of the box drawing a good diving save from Petr Cech.
There were further scoring chances in the second half, with
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho unlucky to see his looping header
hit the crossbar from a free kick as Cech looked well beaten. At
the other end, Eto’o missed a clear-cut chance when he fired
straight at Mignolet from a good position in the 54th.
Suarez’s volley four minutes later was easily stopped by Cech as
Liverpool created more space in the hosts’ half.
But Chelsea weathered Liverpool’s attacks and could even have
won by a bigger margin. Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres
eased past Mamadou Sakho and Skrtel but failed to beat Mignolet
with his shot in the closing stages.
”Christmas Day eating our turkey we were top of the league. A
few days and games later we’re fifth. I think that’s the way it
will go between now and the end of the season,” Liverpool manager
Brendan Rodgers said. ”I think it’s brilliant and it makes it