Hazard stars as Chelsea keep Liverpool at bay

Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o both scored in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge to keep the London side in third place in the Premier League heading into the New Year.

It was Liverpool who got on the score sheet first after a free kick was flicked down off the head of Luis Suarez to Martin Skrtel who smashed the ball in from two yards out.

Chelsea almost struck back straight away but Glen Johnson managed to clear the ball off the line after a miscued clearance by Skrtel. Frank Lampard nearly put the home side level with a thunderbolt strike, but Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet managed to palm it away for a corner.

It was only a few minutes until Eden Hazard struck a delightful curling effort into the top right corner of the Liverpool net after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area, making it 1-1.

The away side’s counter attacking ability came into play soon after the Chelsea goal as some nice inter play between Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson resulted in a goal saving challenge by Gary Cahill to prevent the final shot from Joe Allen.

The under-fire Eto’o, who was given a start ahead of Fernando Torres by Jose Mourinho, rewarded his manager by tucking away a cross on the six yard box to put Chelsea 2-1 up.

In the second half it was Sakho who nearly got Liverpool back into it after he headed a Jordan Henderson cross into the bar, beating Cech with ease. Chelsea reacted immediately when Eto’o went through on goal but failed to score after he slammed the ball into Mignolet.

Brendan Rodgers’ side kept on attacking and Suarez came close after volleying a Henderson cross into Cech from the edge of the area – similar to his strike against Cardiff earlier in the month.

The major talking point in the second half though was when Suarez was taken down in the Chelsea area by Eto’o, who made contact right in front of Howard Webb. Webb was not convinced, although replays showed it was a clear foul, a potential game changer for the away side.