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Premier League: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1

29 December 2013 18:56

Chelsea came from behind to earn a vital three points in the Premier League title race with a 2-1 triumph over rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

Martin Skrtel had put Brendan Rodgers' men ahead at Stamford Bridge inside five minutes, but strikes from Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o secured a fourth consecutive home success for Chelsea to give their championship hopes a boost.

Liverpool - who had only lost once in their previous six outings at Stamford Bridge - stormed out of the blocks and took the lead via Skrtel's close-range finish.

But Chelsea were ahead before half-time, with a wonderful curling effort from Hazard and Eto'o's side-footed strike from six yards turning things around.

Both sides had opportunities in a lively second period, with Liverpool having legitimate claims for a penalty turned away when Eto'o appeared to haul down Luis Suarez in the area.

However, it was Chelsea who emerged victorious with Jose Mourinho's men - who now sit third in the table - closing the gap on leaders Arsenal to two points, while Liverpool lie fifth after back-to-back top-flight defeats.

Frank Lampard replaced the suspended Ramires in one of four changes for Chelsea, while Liverpool named Daniel Agger in place of Aly Cissokho.

Liverpool were awarded an early free-kick when Eto'o upended Jordan Henderson, with replays suggesting the Cameroonian was perhaps lucky to escape punishment.

And from the resulting set-piece, Liverpool went ahead after four minutes. Suarez's header was only partially blocked by Branislav Ivanovic and Skrtel reacted quickest to tap home a close-range rebound.

Chelsea almost had an immediate response when Simon Mignolet saved Hazard's initial effort but the ball deflected goalwards and required Glen Johnson to clear.

The hosts continued to attack and the pressure finally paid dividends after 17 minutes - Oscar driving at the defence and his intercepted pass falling kindly for Hazard, who curled expertly into the top corner.

Liverpool were struggling for fluency, and the home fans were celebrating again on 34 minutes as Eto'o completed the turnaround.

Oscar was the architect again, crossing low this time into the six-yard box where Eto'o squeezed the ball beyond Mignolet.

Searching for a swift response after the break, Liverpool almost levelled when Mamadou Sakho's looping header rebounded off the crossbar.

After surviving that scare, Chelsea almost extended their lead after 54 minutes as Eto'o collected Hazard's throughball and forced Mignolet into a near-post save.

Oscar then flashed an effort wide of the far post, while at the other end Petr Cech had to be on his guard to parry Johnson's low, left-foot drive.

Liverpool were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty with time running out when Eto'o cut across Suarez in the penalty area, but referee Howard Webb waved away the strong protests.

Oscar was also fortunate to escape with just a yellow card for a lunge on Lucas in injury time, but Chelsea held on for the win.

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Info

2 - 1

Competition
Premier League
Date
29 December 2013
Game week
19
Kick-off
17:00
Half-time
2 - 1
Full-time
2 - 1
Venue
Stamford Bridge (London)
Attendance
41614

Goals

0 - 1
E. Hazard 17'  
1 - 1
S. Eto'o 34'
(assist by Oscar) 
2 - 1

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
26 47'
24 79'
2
4 50'
28
8
22
17 17'
11 90+4'
29 34'
Coach: José Mourinho

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
3
12
9
5
14
23
10
# Player Bookings
44
9
4
1
6
20
46

Thursday 10 July

17:12
17:00
16:43
16:39
16:36
16:35
16:16
15:45
15:41
15:11
14:56
14:42
13:43
13:39
13:38
13:08
13:00
12:27
12:22
11:49
11:34
10:59
10:33
09:58
09:14
08:39
08:35
07:45
06:38
06:36
06:03
05:22
04:30
04:01
02:53
02:05
01:48
01:43
01:33
01:02
00:30

Wednesday 9 July

23:44
22:43
22:09
21:09
21:01
20:44
20:42
20:31
20:25
20:13
19:35
19:31
19:10
18:52
18:34
18:32
18:32
17:43
17:19
17:00
16:55
16:25
16:19
15:48
15:36
13:46
13:45
13:44
12:36
12:34
12:33
10:28
10:01
09:48
09:30
07:36
07:15
06:27
06:22
04:50
03:56
03:56
03:30
02:17
01:42
01:27
01:04
00:49
00:48
00:00

Tuesday 8 July

23:50
23:11
22:40
22:29
22:15
21:47
21:34
20:34
20:17
20:05
19:50
19:19
18:47
18:20
18:09
18:06
17:45
17:23
17:09
17:06
16:51
16:39
16:39
16:05
15:43
15:10
15:08
14:38
14:34
13:20
13:04
12:18
11:43
11:35
11:27
10:38
10:12
09:57
09:51
09:45
09:16
08:47
08:08
07:24
06:54
06:05
05:40
05:38
04:43
04:02
03:54
03:47
02:35
02:35
01:37

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0

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