A brilliant individual goal from Ross Barkley helped Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup as the Reds suffered their third defeat in four games in all competitions.
Both teams began the game in lively fashion with 18-year-old Billy Gilmour looking particularly impressive in the middle of the park for Chelsea, in what was an end to end opening 10 minutes.
Liverpool didn’t appear to be showing too many early signs of a hangover from their first Premier League defeat of the season over the weekend however they fell behind in the 13th minute when Fabinho was robbed of possession just outside the area and Willian’s strike proved too hot to handle for Adrian as it flew off his hands and into the net.
Frank Lampard opted to restore Kepa Arrizabalaga back into the Chelsea starting XI and he had the Spaniard to thank for keeping them in the lead in the 20th minute when he made an incredible triple save to deny Mane, Origi and Curtis Jones from close range.
Jurgen Klopp’s side continued knocking on the door in the opening half, the likes of Mane and Minamino attempting to grab an equaliser but they went into the break a goal down.
The second half was equally as entertaining as the first at Stamford Bridge, Olivier Giroud causing problems throughout for Liverpool’s defence while Mason Mount’s introduction for the injured Willian added to Chelsea’s counter attacking threat.
With Liverpool searching for the equaliser it was the home side who struck their second in the 64th minute as Barkley picked the ball up at the halfway line, drove at the Reds’ defence and unleashed a brilliant drive past the outstretched arm of Adrian.
Chelsea had their tails up for the next ten minutes and should’ve had a third, first it was Pedro who latched onto a short pass and raced in on goal only to see Adrian keep him out before Giroud was denied from inside the area by the Spaniard who brilliantly managed to touch the ball onto the bar.
The away side pushed in the last twenty minutes but in truth it was manageable for Chelsea who book their place in the quarter-finals.
For Liverpool it’s an FA Cup exit at the last 16 stage and their third defeat in four games in all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his side can bounce back when they face Bournemouth on Saturday before their Champions League second leg clash with Atletico Madrid.
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