Chelsea kept their hopes of finishing in the Champions League places alive after a solitary goal from Olivier Giroud earned a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. The Frenchman headed in from a Victor Moses cross to give the Blues the lead in the first half. Antonio Conte’s side had chances to double their advantage, with Marcos Alonso coming close with a sublime volley. But the lone goal from Giroud was enough for all three points, as Chelsea put the pressure on the teams above them vying for a Champions League spot. Here’s who impressed on Sunday:
3. Tiemoue Bakayoko
A man who hasn’t really hit the heights expected of him since making the move from AS Monaco in the summer, Bakayoko’s Chelsea career really hasn’t kicked out of first gear yet. But the Frenchman’s performance on Sunday showed that there was promise and talent there. Perhaps next season could be the season for Bakayoko to shine and silence a number of doubters he has. He provided a brilliant ball forward in the build-up to the opener.
2. Antonio Rudiger
Another of the summer signings, Rudiger was absolutely brilliant against Liverpool. With the Reds boasting the in-form front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, the German’s afternoon wasn’t going to be easy. Despite the opposition, Rudiger was faultless from start to finish and kept the PFA Players’ Player of Year Salah quiet for the entire afternoon, something that many defenders have struggled to do this season.
1. Eden Hazard
If Chelsea are to seal a spot in the Champions League for next season, the performances of Eden Hazard will be the main reason for that. The Belgian was in his attacking element against Liverpool, and the defenders couldn’t cope with him. He was so good, the opposition resorted to ripping his shirt in order to keep up with him. Although he didn’t score or assist, he controlled the attacking play and was unplayable.