Eden Hazard produced a moment of magic for Chelsea, as he came off the bench to score the winner against Liverpool in a 2-1 victory in the League Cup at Anfield on Wednesday.
An open first half saw both teams spurn chances in the third-round tie, as Alvaro Morata failed to give Chelsea the lead.
Sadio Mane’s header almost broke the deadlock for the Reds, but the score remained goalless at the interval.
Both teams continued to attack in the second half, but it was the hosts celebrating shortly before the hour mark.
Daniel Sturridge was the goalscorer with an acrobatic kick, as he followed up Naby Keita’s drive.
Chelsea had periods of domination as they hunted an equaliser, and they were rewarded for their endeavours with a goal by Emerson with 12 minutes remaining.
However, the best was yet to come with only five minutes on the clock. Hazard dribbled through the Liverpool defence to produce one of the goals of the season, stunning the Kop as Chelsea took away the victory.
Liverpool Squad Not Deep Enough to Win Trophies
Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp congratulates the Cheslea players following the English League Cup third round football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 26, 2018.
It was a hugely disappointing night for Liverpool, with Chelsea producing a wonderful comeback late in the day.
Both teams rotated their squads in the third round, but the Blues’ revised lineup was more ruthless than the Reds’.
Sturridge continued to prove he is coming back into form after a nightmare spell with injuries, but Liverpool’s defence was lacking at the vital moments. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fielded a reserve back four and was punished for his excessive rotation against a strong opponent.
The home defence ran out of gas in the closing stages, as Hazard and his team-mates turned the screw at the right moment.
From this performance, if the Reds were to sustain injuries to their starting XI, the players behind them in the pecking order will not be able to sustain Klopp’s challenge. The calibre of defender at Anfield has improved over the past 12 months, but it’s important Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk stay available.
If they drop out of the first team for a sustained period, Liverpool will not win any silverware this season.
Hazard Is The Best Player In England
Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri showed his intentions by taking Hazard on the trip to Merseyside, and it was the Belgium superstar who rose from the bench to prove his value to his team.
Hazard took time to acclimatise to the match in the second half, but he was the difference as both teams faced the prospect of a penalty shootout.
The attacking midfielder is displaying world-class form in the opening weeks of the campaign, and as Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah struggles to move through the gears, Hazard is flying.
Both have a right to call themselves the best player in English football, but Salah is currently less influential than the Blues attacker.
Hazard’s goal was one of the best of his career, slaloming in and out of challenges as he entered the penalty area from the right wing.