Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool
FA Cup Fifth Round, Stamford Bridge
March 3, 2020
Goals: Willian 13′, Barkley 64′
Adrian (out of 10) – 5
An unconvincing early save was followed up by superb stop to deny Willian, before disaster struck, as the Brazilian’s shot squirmed through his grasp.
He made an amazing save to deny Olivier Giroud in the second half, but the damage had been done by then.
In hindsight, should Alisson have started?
Neco Williams – 6
The young Welshman was targeted by Chelsea as Pedro isolated him, but he dealt with it admirably, also offering quality going forward.
His crossing let him down at times, but considering the team he was up against this was a solid outing.
Joe Gomez – 5
Gomez was restored to the side, with his presence so sorely missed away to Watford on Saturday.
The 22-year-old didn’t look quite as secure as he has at other times this season—was he fully fit?—but he dealt with much of what came his way.
Having said that, he was very poor for a Giroud chance late on, with Adrian bailing him out.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Van Dijk was a surprise inclusion at the heart of the defence, having experienced a rare off-day at Vicarage Road.
Liverpool’s towering captain-on-the-night wasn’t at his most peerless again, occasionally being ruffled by Giroud.
Just not quite firing on all cylinders, despite still playing better than most centre-backs.
Andy Robertson – 5
Robertson was another inclusion that summed up Jurgen Klopp‘s intent, but this was a quiet evening at the office for him.
Willian got the better of him a few times, and barring a couple of trademark cross played into dangerous areas he didn’t offer much going forward.
One sloppy late pass when under pressure epitomised his night.
Fabinho – 4
Fabinho has been well short of his best since returning from injury and unfortunately that continued at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian made a dreadful error for Willian’s opener, losing the ball cheaply, and he was leggy and lacking influence throughout, running in treacle when Ross Barkley made it 2-0.
This is an absolute shadow of the player who dominated midfield battles before his injury.
Adam Lallana – 5
This was a night that highlighted the 31-year-old’s shortcomings, though, as he allowed Chelsea‘s midfield to boss proceedings.
Lacking legs and physicality, Lallana didn’t stamp his authority on the game, apart from the odd sporadic burst forward.
Curtis Jones – 6
Jones has been Liverpool’s star performer in the FA Cup and this was a wonderful opportunity for him to catch the eye.
The teenager may feel sightly disappointed with his efforts, however, doing little wrong but not showcasing his unique talent.
There were flashes of class, most notably some quick feet, but this was a forgettable performance.
Sadio Mane – 6
Mane was the only one of Liverpool’s usual front three who started at Stamford Bridge.
Playing on the right wing for once, he was predictably the Reds’ most dangerous player, testing Kepa Arrizabalaga several times in the first half.
For a player of his world-class standards he will be disappointed with his finishing, and his influence faded as the minutes ticked by.
Divock Origi – 5
Liverpool’s cult hero started on the left-hand side, but this was typical Origi, combining the odd piece of good work with too many clumsy moments.
The Belgian sent one lovely cross in for Mane before half-time, but also had a tendency to run down blind alleys too often.
For all the massive goals, which we will forever appreciate, is he actually good enough for a team this great?
Takumi Minamino – 6
Minamino made just his third start for Liverpool, leading the line in a false nine role.
One great pass to Mane was his standout moment and he looked like a player who is slowly finding his feet in a Reds shirt.
Like so many, however, he grew increasingly quiet and offered little after the interval.
Roberto Firmino (on for Origi, 70′) – 6
Little changed when Firmino came on, even though he tried to make a difference.
James Milner (on for Jones, 70′) – 6
Booked for a cynical challenge, didn’t do much else.
Mohamed Salah (on for Lallana, 80′) – 6
Brought on far too late, had no time to make an impact.
Subs not used: Lonergan, Matip, Chirivella, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Jurgen Klopp – 5
After the disappointment of Saturday night, Klopp looked for a response from his players, picking a fairly strong starting lineup.
This was another desperately below-par display, though, and there are now real concerns that the rhythm has completely gone from this team.
Klopp’s substitutions were made too late, and with a treble on the line it could be argued that he should have picked a full-strength team.
Not a good few days for the boss.