Liverpool won't have the chance to win a domestic double this season after losing their second game in a matter of days, crashing out of the FA Cup to Frank Lampard's Chelsea thanks to goals from Willian and Ross Barkley.
It was a fast start at Stamford Bridge with both goalkeepers being forced into early saves, but it was Liverpool's defences which crumbled first when Adrian fumbled Willian's powerful shot into the back of his own net.
Mason Mount almost doubled Chelsea's lead with a vicious free-kick that clipped the top of Adrian's crossbar, but the hosts eventually did get their second when Barkley rounded off a brilliant solo run with a shot that was too hot to handle for Liverpool's goalkeeper.
Pedro and Olivier Giroud both had chances to kill off the game but were denied by impressive saves by Adrian, although it didn't matter in the bigger picture as Chelsea held on to book their place in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.
Key Talking Point
It's easy to chalk up the frantic start to the match as both sides approaching the game like headless chickens, but Frank Lampard drilled his side to attack what proved to be a major defensive weak point for Liverpool -
The 18-year-old full-back was being caught horribly out of position time after time, which Chelsea looked to exploit every time they were able to attack - either through quick, short passing or long balls in behind Liverpool's back four.
Chelsea's use of width changed somewhat after
Kepa (9); Azpilicueta (7), Rudiger (6), Zouma (7), Alonso (7); Kovacic (6), Gilmour (10*), Barkley (7); Willian (7), Giroud (8), Pedro (6).
Substitutes: Mount (8), Jorginho (6), James (N/A).
It was a big night for Billy Gilmour as he made just the sixth senior appearance of his career, but the 18-year-old put in a performance which should make him a
Andres Iniesta starts for Chelsea. Sorry I meant Billy Gilmour— َ (@HakimZ10i) March 3, 2020
Billy Gilmour has been the best player on the pitch so far. Composed and not afraid to put his foot in. #cfc— Oliver Harbord (@ojharbord) March 3, 2020
Billy Gilmour is the perfect combination of peak Iniesta and Dennis Wise!— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) March 3, 2020
My God, BILLY GILMOUR is the refined version of Xavi. He's incredible. Getting better every time I see him.— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) March 3, 2020
Key Talking Point
It felt like
Adrian (4); Williams (5), Gomez (6), van Dijk (7), Robertson (6); Lallana (6), Fabinho (6), Jones (8*); Minamino (7), Mane (8), Origi (6).
Substitutes: Firmino (6), Milner (6), Salah (N/A).
He's been the star of Liverpool's FA Cup campaign this season, and Curtis Jones once again showed that he's got what it takes to feature more regularly as the Reds edge ever closer to their first-ever Premier League title.
Curtis Jones is actually so good on the ball it’s mad...— 홾횡횂횉홽 ヒ (@szn_ox) March 3, 2020
Curtis Jones looks a class player tbf.— Max (@RossiterTHFC) March 3, 2020
How Curtis Jones doesn’t play more is beyond me, especially when Lallana gets game time.— Dave (@JoeDaveGomez) March 3, 2020
Jones wasn't able to carry Liverpool into the next round of the competition, but his positioning and link-up play as one of their two box-to-box midfielders will give fans hope that another homegrown talent will become a first-team regular.
Chelsea will welcome Carlo Ancelotti's Everton to Stamford Bridge this weekend, although it won't quite be a homecoming for the ex-Blues boss as he's set to serve a touchline ban.
For Liverpool, they'll look to rediscover their form when Bournemouth make the trip to Anfield, although one eye will already be on the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against