Liverpool FC dropped down to fifth in the table as Chelsea FC grab a crucial win in an entertaining fixture.
Liverpool have now lost two matches in a row by the same score line, first against Manchester City and now against the Blues, as they made through a tough Christmas period. Such has been the competitiveness of the league that the Merseyside club, who were leading the table on the eve of Christmas, have now dropped down to fifth after two game-weeks.
The away side started this match brightly as Martin Skrtel provided them an early lead. The defender scored from close range following a free-kick and an attempted header by Suarez. Chelsea responded well to that goal and Eden Hazard equalized for them with a wonderful finish. It was the Belgium international’s eight goal of this Premier League campaign as he leads Chelsea’s title charge. The home side completed the turnaround in the first half as Samuel Eto’o scored past Mignolet after being set by Oscar in the box. It was a typical poacher’s goal, something which Chelsea have lacked this season.
Liverpool failed to grab an equalizer in the second half as Mamadou Sakho hit the post with a header and Luis Suarez was denied a penalty after Samuel Eto’o blatantly brought down the Uruguayan international inside the box. It was the most controversial moment in the game and one that left the Liverpool fans fuming at the end of the game.
Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his side’s effort despite facing a lot of fitness concerns and having to deal with two big matches back to back.
“I thought it was a great effort by my players. We’ve had two really tough fixtures against two of the strongest squads in the Premier League.
“To get them back-to-back at this time of year was always a big ask and with so many injuries as well. To keep the game in the balance to the very end, you have to give credit to the players.
“Of course we’re disappointed but right now I’m more worried about the group, we’re nursing injuries and we’ll see where we are tomorrow.” – The Liverpool manager said.
Rodgers also felt that Samuel Eto’o was lucky to be on the pitch after a rash challenge on Henderson in the first half.
“He was very fortunate even though it’s so early in the game. Howard was excellent today but that was a poor challenge. I know we scored from it but he’s raked his studs down the leg and shin and I’m surprised he didn’t get a card.
“He (Eto’o) should’ve been sent off. I know we scored from it, but that was a wild challenge, where he’s raked down his knee and down his shin and didn’t even get a yellow card.” – Rodgers added.
Rodgers is also concerned about the lack of depth in the Liverpool squad and has indicated that the Reds can have a busy transfer window in January.
“I think that’s always been the case. The squad is very shallow.
“It shows the size of the challenge that you can lose two games and go from top to fifth but I’m confident if we can get some players back and maybe add one or two more we can be well set.
“We’ve already shown we can be a team that is exciting to watch with confidence and creativity, and we’ve still got improvements to make.” – He explained.