LIVERPOOL — Following Chelsea’s 2-1 win away at Liverpool on Saturday, the Blues remain top of the Premier League and unbeaten in 11 to start the season.
[RELATED: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea]
We learned plenty of things at Anfield, as the home fans are starting to lose their patience with Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho’s men are looking imperious.
Here are three that stood out.
Hazard, Oscar must be more ruthless
Time and time again Chelsea’s two tricksters weaved away from their markers but passed the ball sideways or backwards. It must have been infuriating for Jose Mourinho to watch his side win the ball back time and time again, but fail to capitalized on touches in and around the box. Three times before half time Hazard was played the ball at the back post when others were in better positions. The tiny Belgian wonder saw two efforts blocked by Glen Johnson, and another saved by Mignolet. For all their possession in the second half, they failed to get in behind Liverpool. Hazard looked dangerous whenever he got it, but seemed to be lacking in confidence after his midweek penalty miss at Maribor. Chelsea had enough quality to overcome this, but moving forward Oscar, Hazard and others must be more ruthless.
Costa looks rested, refreshed and ready to roll once again
After a spell on the sidelines following his lingering hamstring and sickness issues, Diego Costa is back to his best. The Spanish international bullied Liverpool’s two center backs Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren (he loves to mix it up) all game and popped up when it mattered most to score his 10th PL goal of the season. That was Costa’s first goal for Chelsea since he scored against Arsenal on Oct. 5. Now he’s back firing on all cylinders and has been given the international break off by Spain. He now has two weeks off to rest and recover. That’s bad news for the rest of the Premier League, as Costa’s record stands at 10 goals in nine PL matches. He’s not just a poacher either. He can hold the ball up, bring others into play and has all the nous needed to win up defenders and get the best of them when the referee isn’t looking.
Liverpool’s shaky defense continues to creak
Speaking of Liverpool’s defenders, every time a Chelsea set piece was swung into the area there was a sharp intake of breath from the home fans at Anfield. Chelsea’s opener came from a set piece as John Terry’s header was bundled in by Gary Cahil and the game-winner from Costa was poor defensively. Coutinho was skinned for pace by Cesar Azpilicueta and Mignolet pushed his cross straight out into the crowded box as the ball brushed off Moreno and Costa was unmarked to drill home.
Liverpool’s leaky defense looked shaky throughout the match, with Lovren and Skrtel giving the ball away far too cheaply and Mignolet was a bag of nerves. All in all, another shocking defensive display from the Reds.