Chelsea have beaten Liverpool 2-1 this Sunday at Stamford Bridge thanks to goals by Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o. Jose Mourinho‘s men respond perfectly to Manchester City and Arsenal‘s victories and finished 2013 in third position, just point one behind City and two behind Arsenal.
Mourinho was without Ramires in central midfield and chose the Brazilian’s fellow countryman David Luiz to start over John Obi Mikel. Eto’o was also picked over Fernando Torres to start up front. Except those two changes, Mourinho fielded the expected starting XI in his usual 4-2-3-1 formation.
Just like on Thursday, Liverpool opened the score by Martin Skrtel at the third minute. Not destabilized by that early goal, Chelsea took control of the game and equalized by a Hazard score at the 16th minute. The Belgian perfectly curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal to beat his fellow country man Simon Mignolet.
20 minutes later, Eto’o was at the end of a cross from Oscar to put the Blues in front. The former Barcelona player was helped by a blunder by Mignolet, whose hand wasn’t strong enough to keep the ball out. After his mistake against City on Thursday, the Belgian keeper has allowed in a costly goal for the second time in three days.
Despite a good second half, Liverpool was unable to create enough chances to get a goal. Rodgers, still without Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard, had no striker on the bench and couldn’t really make any change to impact the game when his team needed a goal. In comparison, Mourinho had Ashley Cole, Mikel, Juan Mata, Andre Schurrle and Torres on his bench.
On top of the table at Christmas, Liverpool has slipped to fifth place in the table. The reds have seen their city rivals Everton go in front of them and are now only two points ahead of defending champions Manchester United.
Malamine Sane is a soccer writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/Malamino