Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0; Storm into FA Cup quarter-finals
Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 on Tuesday night to continue Red's recent trio of losses. Blues now find themselves into FA Cup quarter-finals.
Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley and some superlative goalkeeping by Kepa Arrizabalaga knocked-out Liverpool in the 5th round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. Even though Jurgen Klopp's side did not include the two key upfront men, Mohammad Salah and Robertoo Firmino, Chelsea had to overcome the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertsonand Sadio Mane tp progress into the quarter-finals of the Cup.
Willian capitalized on an error from Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian when a low hard strike from the dimunitive Brazilian squirmed off the custodian's knees and into the corner of the net. It was 1-0 to the hosts in the 13th minute.
On the other hand, Kepa did a brilliant job between the posts, keeping the Liverpool attackers at bay. There was sensational sequence in the second half when he blocked shots from Mane, Curtis Jones and Divock Origi in quick succession.
The match was effctively settled in the 64th minute when former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley surged from inside his own half on a solo run before beating Adrian all ends up with with a thundering right-footer to complete an astonishhing goal.
The Blues had victory on their minds and could have had more with Mason Mount rattling the crossbar with a 25-yard free-kick and striker Olivier Giroud seeing an effort brilliantly tipped on to the woodwork by Adrian.
Klopp tried reversing the tide by bringing in Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah in the final stages but to no avail as the two star forwards made no impact.
But the man who made a significant impression was 18-year old Billy Gilmour. The young Scotsman who has made just three starts till date and had only 280 minutes of playing time behind him, showed no signs of his inexperience.
Gilmour wasn't shy to take the ball into deep positions and also move forward to make an impact in the face of opposition of the likes of Van Djik, Fabinho and Gomez. No wonder the lad's influential display deservedly won him the man-of-the-match award.
Liverpool made seven changes to the side that suffered a shock 0-3 defeat at Watford on Saturday – the first reverse of their Premier League campaign after 18 successive wins.
The FA Cup loss at Stamfoord Bridge meant Liverpool suffered their third successive defeat of an otherwise stellar season. For Frank Lampard Tuesday night's win meant a lot especially when the FA Cup now remains his side's only hope of silverware for the 2019-20 season. Chelsea are currently a general 5/1 to win the FA Cup outright at UK bookmakers.
Chelsea starting XI: Kepa (goal), Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso, Gilmour, Kovacic, Barkley, Willian, Giroud, Pedro.
Subs: Caballero (goal), Tomori, James, Jorginho, Mount, Anjorin, Batshuayi.
Liverpool starting XI: Adrian (goal), Williams, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Lallana, Jones, Minamino, Mane, Origi.
Subs: Lonergan, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matip, Chirivella
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