Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea Player Ratings: Keita impresses

Eden Hazard shows his brilliance – @SkyFootball

A wonderful solo winner from Eden Hazard at Anfield fired Chelsea through to the Fourth Round of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 win over Liverpool. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet – the Belgian has a challenge ahead of him to displace Alisson in the Premier League; in some ways therefore, he might have hoped to have been tested more often to keep his hands warm. Couldn’t quite hold onto Barkley’s header and that spill led to the leveller, although he couldn’t have done too much to stop Hazard’s winner. 5

Nathaniel Clyne – the right-back had started just two matches since the beginning of last season and understandably looked slightly rusty, especially under pressure from Willian. More aggressive after the break but still nowhere near the best right-back in the Premier League we saw two years ago. 5
Dejan Lovren – there were doubts about whether the Croat would be fit for this one and perhaps that showed early on, when he was caught out by Morata with balls in behind. Didn’t disgrace himself, yet Reds fans might be glad that they no longer depend on Lovren to perform at centre-back every week. 6
Joel Matip – Liverpool used to rely heavily on Matip being fit whereas now, the Cameroonian is little more than a useful squad player. When Morata dropped deep, Matip always looked to close down quickly, perhaps too quickly, picking up a yellow card; he was also beaten in the air by Barkley in the lead-up to the equalizer. 5
Alberto Moreno – the Spaniard received criticism for his lack of defensive awareness; looked a tad rash at times here and was easily shaken off by Hazard for the winner, without necessarily offering the width to compensate. Andrew Robertson is a shoe-in for Saturday’s meeting. 4

Fabinho – the Brazilian, starting his first game for Liverpool, might need to gain more match-sharpness before he lives up to his pre-season billing as an all-action ball-winner. One or two decent challenges, but it’s easy to see why Klopp has favoured other midfielders in Premier League games. 5
James Milner – now in the 16th season of his professional career, there surely needs to be an effort to keep Milner fit; he looked slightly jaded here and was taken off on the hour-mark. 4
Naby Keita – the dynamic midfielder has enjoyed a positive start to the season; he was Liverpool’s strongest midfielder in the challenge and he also showed the capacity to dribble forward and threaten goal, as we saw in the lead-up to Sturridge’s strike. Carried the midfield at times. 8

Xherdan Shaqiri – the Swiss had his moments, notably the pin-point delivery for Mane’s header, but the issue with him starting on the right of the front three is that he doesn’t offer the same pace of Salah. The former Stoke man could be better used in a slightly deeper role, enabling him to open things up if the front-three are marked out of the game. 6
Daniel Sturridge – although a good striker, Sturridge does not press with the ferocity of Firmino and, certainly in the early stages, that undermined the intensity of Liverpool’s display. Missed a wonderful chance in the first 30 seconds of the second period, but partially made up for that with an excellent scissor-kick which opened the scoring, then hitting the bar from range. Deserves credit for at least getting into goalscoring positions. 7
Sadio Mane – in the first half, the Senegalese speedster was the only player in that front three who posed a direct threat with his runs in behind. He was unlucky not to open the scoring with his first half header, but might feel he should have scored from close-range early in the second period. 7

Jordan Henderson (on 60) – not long ago, Henderson was a guaranteed starter for Liverpool but a combination of factors have seen him become a squad player; started ok but then perhaps struggled to keep up with the tempo of the game. 5
Roberto Firmino (on 71) – the Brazilian didn’t quite have the expected impact; he might be disappointed to have been beaten to a loose ball in the lead-up to the equalizer. 5
Mohamed Salah (on 87) – the Egyptian hasn’t quite matched incredibly ruthless standards he set last season, although he didn’t have enough time to influence proceedings here. 5

Chelsea

Willy Caballero – the veteran is unlikely to take Chelsea’s number one spot for regular Premier League matches, but he put in the best case he could have done here denying Mane and others; even Liverpool’s first goal came from a good save. 8

Cesar Azpilicueta – the Spaniard is rarely likely to offer much width in the attacking phases of play, but what will worry fans more is his lack of defensive awareness; one of the utility man’s stray passes ultimately led to Sturridge’s opener. 4
Andreas Christensen – the centre-back is highly-rated by many fans; however, this proved one of the more difficult afternoons for the ex-Monchengladbach man, who might consider himself fortunate not to have been punished for a lackadaisical back-pass that fed Sturridge. Might have been playing with a knock as he was replaced by Luiz in the second half. 4
Gary Cahill – the experienced centre-back has struggled for games under Sarri, but he put in a solid enough display here and looked the better of the two centre-backs, even if he was perhaps guilty of ball-watching for Liverpool’s goal.  6
Emerson – the left-back, who joined from Roma in the summer, always appeared to want to take the safe option whenever he got to the edge of the final third. Lacked desire defensively, being beaten to a scissor kick for the opener, but he was quicker to a loose ball than Firmino when he equalizer from close-range. Still, he will remain some way behind Alonso in the pecking order. 5

Cesc Fabregas – the deep-lying playmaker had something of a renaissance, dictating play in the middle of the park with a number of well-placed passes including one delightful ball that released Morata in the first half. Waned in influence at times but a roundly positive performance. 7
Mateo Kovacic – the exciting playmaker has looked bright so far this year and retained the ball effectively in good areas at Anfield. One challenge on Shaqiri was over-zealous, but at least highlighted his determination to do the dirty work. 7
Ross Barkley – the ex-Everton man has enjoyed a reasonable start to the season with his driving forward runs, of which he showed plenty early on, even if he faded in influence after the opening 30 minutes and made an ill-judged header backwards which led to Mane’s chance. 6

Victor Moses – when Moses was a wing-back, he was able to hold the width and take on the full-back one-on-one; as a wide forward though, he is asked to cut inside more and show a subtly to his game that hasn’t always been evident. Faded here after a lively start. 5
Alvaro Morata – the Spaniard started last season in wonderful form but appears to have lost much of his confidence and that was in evidence here; while he won individual battles with centre-backs in the first half hour, he lacked the ruthless to capitalize on presentable opportunities. 5
Willian – the Brazilian had been arguably one of the better players against West Ham on Sunday and he pressed well here in the first half, when he generally won his battles with Clyne. His performance dipped after the interval though and he was soon replaced by Hazard. 5

Eden Hazard (on 56) – the Belgian took time to get into the game, but once he did, he turned the game on it’s head; his pin-point free-kick led to the equalizer, before he shook off three Reds players on a wonderful solo run before powering home the winner. What a player! 9
N’Golo Kante (on 64) – the tenacious midfielder has been handed a more advanced role this season by Sarri and he was once again given licence to press high up here, which made a big difference to the pattern of play. 8
David Luiz (on 73) – the ball-playing Brazilian replaced Christensen and improved the quality of his side’s passing from deep. 8