Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 in the 5th Round of the FA Cup as Willian scored in the 1st half and Barkley scored a brilliant goal in the 2nd. Liverpool were searching for a win to bounce back from their defeats at Atletico and Watford but Lampard and co had other plans in mind. Klopp selected a pretty strong lineup with Adrian in goal, and Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, and Williams as the defenders. Jones, Fabinho, and Lallana made up the midfield while Origi, Minamino, and Mane started up front. Lampard selected a strong lineup as well with Kepa returning to goal, along with Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, and Alonso as the defenders. Gilmour started in midfield along with Barkley and Kovacic while Pedro and Willian supported Giroud up front.
The first 5 minutes were shaky for Chelsea as we were firmly on the back foot and Liverpool created some great chances but Kepa made good saves. Chelsea began to grow into the game and the breakthrough came in the 13th minute as while trying to play out from the back Fabinho misplaced his pass and Willian latched on to shoot at goal and his shot hit Adrian and went into the net. A slightly fortuitous goal but one that put the home team in the lead. The first half was end to end as around 10 minutes later Kepa made a triple save to deny Liverpool from equalising. A slight bummer were the injuries to Kovacic, and Willian as Jorginho and Mount came on in the first half. Chelsea also missed some great chances but we defended well and went into half time with the lead.
The 2nd half started in similar fashion but Chelsea were better on the ball and faster in our passing. We allowed Liverpool possession of the ball but also closed down any 50-50’s and fought hard for the 2nd ball. The 2nd goal came in the 64th minute as Pedro picked up a loose ball and flicked it on to Giroud but Van Dijk headed it into Barkley’s path who drove forward from his own half to smash it past Adrian. A brilliant solo goal that the Everton fan will remember for sometime. Chelsea also managed to hit the post twice once via Mount and once via Giroud but we stayed strong defensively. Reece James came on for Giroud in the final moments as the Frenchman looked exhausted and Chelsea saw out the win.
Player wise Kepa was really good and calm in front of goal, the break away from the team seems to have reignited his fire and that triple save was the cherry on top of a brilliant display. Azpilicueta and Alonso worked well against Mane and Origi while also posing some threat going forward. Zouma and Rudiger both had shaky moments at the start of the game but both pulled off good performances but Zouma was slightly better. Barkley got a brilliant goal and improved in the 2nd half while Kovacic was great until his injury although it looks like he will be back sooner rather than later. The shining light of the midfield and the man of the match in fact was 18 year old Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour. It was like watching a mix of Xavi and Iniesta as he sat in the Jorginho position and shielded the defence picking up loose balls and making tackles but then driving forward to launch attacks as well. A brilliant moment came in the 2nd half as he nutmegged Fabinho with ease and the made a perfectly weighted pass to Giroud who’s shot hit the side netting. With Jorginho ruled out for the next three league games and Kovacic injured Gilmour will surely be starting more games in the coming weeks. Pedro was lively as ever and worked really hard throughout the game but his finishing was lacking and he missed a great chance to score when he was through on goal. Willian was decent while Giroud was great once again as he worked tirelessly and linked up play when he could. Jorginho, and Mount were good once they came on and Mount worked hard as he pressed Liverpool players. Reece James did not have much time to make any real impact.
Liverpool seem to be going through a bit of a rough patch or it seems like their luck has finally run out. The good thing for them is that they have already sealed the title but a treble is a distant memory and it won’t be a record breaking season by any means. Chelsea go on to the Quarter-Finals where we will play an away game at Leicester. Next up for Chelsea is a visit from Everton on Sunday in the Premier League as we push for our top four place. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!