REPORT | Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool: FA Cup run ends in defeat at Stamford Bridge

Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley heaped more misery on the Reds as Chelsea knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup by inflicting their second defeat in four days.

Jürgen Klopp made seven changes from the side that fell at Vicarage Road at the weekend. Adrián, Neco Williams, Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana, Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi all started for the Reds, replacing Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The Reds started the stronger of the two sides with the Chelsea backline making a multitude of mistakes in quick succession in the opening three minutes culminating in Sadio Mané registering the first shot on target of the game.

As the minutes ticked on Chelsea grew further into the game and ended up taking the lead through Willian in the 13th minute.

The usually reliable Fabinho gave the ball away straight to his compatriot on the edge of the Liverpool box which resulted in Willian getting a strike on goal. Having just made a world-class save to deny the Brazilian seconds earlier, Adrián fumbled the effort that went straight at him to allow the home side to take the lead.

Chelsea only seemed to grow in confidence following the opener, with Marcos Alonso almost doubling the home lead, with his free-kick effort rustling the top of the net.

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Liverpool had a golden opportunity to equalise, however, three point-blank saves from Kepa Arrizabalaga denied Mané, Origi and Jones in a matter of seconds to keep Chelsea in the lead.

The Reds again came close through Mané as the Senegalese winger held off all-comers, bursting into the box and stinging Kepa’s gloves once again as Liverpool edged ever closer to an equaliser.

Both sides continued to attack with real intent for the remainder of the half. However, Mané’s effort would prove to be the final shot on target of the opening 45 minutes, with both attacks seemingly cancelling each other out until half-time.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half was all Liverpool as Klopp’s men came out from the break hunting an equaliser with a reinvigorated look about them.

With this being said it was Chelsea who came closest to notching the first goal of the half with Mason Mount thundering a shot against Adrian’s crossbar following a free-kick attempt from the edge of the area.


Minutes later, the Blues went one better with Ross Barkley smashing the ball past Adrian in the 64th minute.

The former Everton man picked up the ball in his own half and proceeded to drive at a depleted Liverpool backline with Pedro in support. The England international ignored his support before unleashing a venomous shot with his right boot past Adrián and into the back of the net.

It almost went from bad to worse for Klopp immediately as a mistake at the back saw Pedro set through on goal. The Spaniard, who had the half to himself, seemed to run out of steam as he approached the penalty area, with his tame effort being easily stopped by Adrián. Vital save by the Liverpool stopper.

Adrián was called into action yet again minutes later, pulling off another astounding save to deny a top corner-bound Olivier Giroud effort after the Frenchman held off Gomez inside the Liverpool penalty area.

As the game ticked on Klopp turned to his bench and to both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, however, it would prove to be too little too late as Chelsea clung on to qualify for the next round of the FA Cup.

The Reds are next in action on March 7, when they will look to end their two-game losing streak at home to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Matthew Ramirez

Podcast regular and match reporter. Gibraltarian of many opinions and defender of Jordan Henderson.

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