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Chelsea vs Liverpool

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EDEN HAZARD
Eden Hazard won the Player of the Year Award last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea looked overall considerably less like a side that had already won the league, despite being able to hold off the growing onslaught from the youthful Liverpool forwards.

Courtois: 7- Despite conceding, he was all round consistent and able to stop a number of subsequent plays and shots in the second half.

Ivanovic: 6.5 – He was present as always, however was challenged somewhat by Raheem Sterling.

Zouma: 6.5 – Put in good work while he was on the pitch.

Terry: 7.5 – He was consistent throughout and a leader of men who opened up the scoring, however unable to maintain discipline amongst the back four.

Luis: 7.5 – Showed flair and was eager to contribute to the attack with good passes, despite falling off towards the end.

Loftus-Cheek: 7 – He played it safe at the beginning of his début, however began to warm up towards the game before coming off, with 100% passes completed.

Mikel: 6 – Was solid in midfield, however the confusion between him and Cahill led to the equaliser being conceded.

Willian: 7.5 – Worked hard throughout, assisting the defensive and offensive effort.

Fabregas: 7 – Was a threat at times, going for goals and assists as always, including the goal.

Hazard: 6.5 – Looked somewhat average today, looked threatening every once on a while but got closed down.

Remy: 6.5 – Wasn’t able to do much, but showed a willingness to work with the team.

Substitutes:

Cahill: 6.5 – Involved in the mix up that led to conceding the goal, but was solid overall.

Matic: 6 – Brought on to protect the back four, however didn’t do much.

Cuadrado: 6 – Came on late and made an effort to be present.

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While Diego Costa connected with the fans, Liverpool played all out for a win, finally seeing some success after conceding an early goal.

Cesc Fabregas was given an early booking after a messy tackle on Raheem Sterling, starting Liverpool’s game off with a slightly injured player. Loftus-Cheek was soon to make one perhaps even riskier, however.

After the first attempt from Chelsea being cleared by Skrtel, John Terry was able to score from a corner just before the 5 minute mark to become the highest scoring defender in Premier League History. Coutinho attempted to quickly reply with an equaliser on the other end, all to no avail.

Both teams sought to penetrate into the opposing teams’ box, with nothing coming of it. The rest of the half looked much more balanced than the opening, once Liverpool were able to to get over the initial stun of the goal. Nevertheless, Chelsea seemed to enjoy the half, showing flair in the way they passed the ball around.

Frustration began to show as Lallana and Skrtel picked up yellow cards in their attempts to keep the Blues out of their box, while Lambert was also booked after coming into contact with Courtois, off what looked like a promising chance to equalise.

Kurt Zouma then limped off for Gary Cahill, who was unable to stop Gerrard from heading home a free kick conceded by Ivanovic, the 5th player to receive a booking.

Mourinho displayed disappointed face, as his normally stable, consistent team went in level at the break.

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With the league title won, Mourinho has opted to play Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a youth team regular who will make his senior debut.

Loftus-Cheek was one of the shining players in the youth squad’s successful FA Cup campaign – and will now be given a chance to show his skills in the Premier League.

He is one of the few players that the Blues manager has mentioned when referring to the future of the squad, along with other youth squad powerhouses such as Isaiah Brown.

Loftus-Cheek knows that his first team prominence next season can depend upon his performance today, so he will be certain to try to make an impact on a game against a Liverpool side that will come to Stamford Bridge for three points.

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