Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea: Player ratings as rampant Reds regain five-point cushion

  • Liverpool regained five-point lead at top of Premier League table
  • Goal and an assist for the outstanding Conor Bradley
  • Christopher Nkunku scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea
Liverpool were outstanding in their 4-1 win over Chelsea
Liverpool were outstanding in their 4-1 win over Chelsea / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Liverpool regained their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after thumping Chelsea 4-1 at Anfield on Wednesday night.

With Arsenal winning on Tuesday and Manchester City earlier wrapping up a comfortable win over Burnley, three points were very much necessary for the Reds at Anfield.

However, it was clear from early on that Liverpool would have no issues as they romped past a tepid Chelsea side that offered little. While Jurgen Klopp's team restored their advantage at the summit, the Blues remain tenth having suffered their first defeat since 24 December.

How the game unfolded

A poignant Anfield atmosphere greeted the two sides with the distinct contrast of red and blue setting the stage for some Premier League heritage.

Unfortunately, there was little by way of a contest as Mauricio Pochettino's striker-less system failed to bear fruit - even if his Chelsea side were unlucky not to win an early penalty when Virgil van Dijk clipped Conor Gallagher.

From then on, Chelsea succumbed to a Liverpool barrage. The visitors, bereft of a focal point, couldn't get out and failed to register a single shot in the opening 45 minutes. At the other end, Darwin Nunez's attempt to get on the scoresheet was as relentless as the hosts' vigour out of possession. It wasn't the Uruguayan, but the in-form Diogo Jota who bundled home an opener.

The theme continued thereafter, with Liverpool adding a second after winning possession in midfield and breaking. Young Conor Bradley was on hand to superbly finish. Things could've gone from bad to worse for the Blues before the break, but Nunez's penalty struck the woodwork after Benoit Badiashile was penalised for stepping on Jota's foot.

Dismayed with his side's first-half showing, Poch rung the changes at the break but continued with the absence of a recognised striker as Raheem Sterling and Christopher Nkunku started to take up central positions. Substitute Mykhailo Mudryk should've halved the deficit early on in the second period as Chelsea finally got a footing in the contest.

Nkunku eventually found the back of the net for the Blues, but his pinpoint finish didn't arrive until Dominik Szoboszlai had added a third for the rampant hosts.

Nkunku's strike inspired Chelsea's period of superiority in the contest, and they should've had a penalty when Van Dijk went through the back of the Frenchman. The VAR agreed with Paul Tierney's decision, however, and Liverpool soon went down the other end and added a fourth through Luis Diaz.

Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)

Conor Bradley
Conor Bradley's first Premier League goal was a superb one / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

GK: Alisson - 6/10 - No clean sheet for Alisson, who had a quiet night overall.

RB: Conor Bradley - 9/10 - Is there anything else the young man can do? Bradley's fine run of form continued on Wednesday as he netted his first Premier League goal to double Liverpool's lead.

CB: Ibrahima Konate - 7/10 - Konate was rarely troubled by the Blues, and his passing was superb throughout.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (c) - 5/10 - The Dutchman certainly didn't produce his cleanest defensive display, but his distribution was often outstanding.

LB: Joe Gomez - 7/10 - Enjoying life down the left flank, with his form undoubtedly giving Klopp something to think about for Sunday's game at Arsenal with Andy Robertson returning.

DM: Alexis Mac Allister - 8/10 - Arguably the best player on the pitch in the first half. Excellent in all phases, and it looks as if he's making that #6 role his own in Wataru Endo's absence.

CM: Curtis Jones - 7/10 - An efficient showing from Jones, who was crafty in and around the box, but was particularly impressive out of possession.

CM: Dominik Szoboszlai - 7/10 - The Hungarian enjoyed his return to the starting XI, capping off a powerful display with an emphatic header in front of the Kop.

RW: Diogo Jota - 8/10 - Jota's rich vein of form continued as he scrapped home Liverpool's opener amid yet another spritely showing. Must be a nightmare to play against when he's in this mood.

ST: Darwin Nunez - 7/10 - Nunez might've outdone himself in this one as he rattled the woodwork a record times without finding the back of the net. Weirdly, a good performance.

LW: Luis Diaz - 7/10 - Bright without being exceptional, Diaz returned to the scoresheet when he arrived at the back post to crash home Nunez's cross.


SUB: Cody Gakpo (68' for Jota) - 6/10

SUB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (68' for Bradley) - 6/10

SUB: Andy Robertson (69' for Gomez) - 5/10

SUB: Harvey Elliott (69' for Szoboszlai) - 6/10

SUB: Bobby Clark (82' for Jones) - 6/10

Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Ryan Gravenberch, James McConnell, Jarell Quansah


Jurgen Klopp - 8/10 - A vintage Liverpool display, even if they were aided by a couple of decisions which certainly went their way. The Reds were relentless, with Klopp smartly using his bench ahead of Sunday's crucial clash at Arsenal.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-4)

Mauricio Pochettino
It was a night to forget for Mauricio Pochettino / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

GK: Djordje Petrovic - 6/10 - Made a couple of fine saves in the first half, and there wasn't much he could do to prevent Chelsea's defeat.

RB: Axel Disasi - 5/10 - Certainly not the worst of a bad bunch, but not a natural right-back.

CB: Thiago Silva - 4/10 - One of those games which suggested the Brazilian, who turns 40 in September, might be over the hill.

CB: Benoit Badiashile - 3/10 - A rough night for the defender. He poorly dealt with the sequences which led to Liverpool's first and fourth goals.

LB: Ben Chilwell (c) - 4/10 - Offered some hustle and bustle, but was loose in possession and it was his giveaway which led to Jota's opener.

CM: Moises Caicedo - 5/10 - An yellow card didn't hinder his industry as he at least looked like he cared about Chelsea's early struggles.

CM: Enzo Fernandez - 4/10 - These are the games where Chelsea need their £108m man to stand up. He didn't. The Argentine was dire in possession, often losing the ball under pressure.

RW: Noni Madueke - 5/10 - Anonymous in the opening 45 minutes before his withdrawal.

AM: Cole Palmer - 5/10 - A slick nutmeg aside, Palmer couldn't get into the game in the first half. He produced a couple of tidy sequences after the break, but not much else.

AM: Conor Gallagher - 5/10 - Should've won Chelsea an early penalty, but that was about it.

LW: Raheem Sterling - 6/10 - Quiet until the second period when he at least offered the Blues something in a central position. Dangerous on the half-turn.


SUB: Mykhailo Mudryk (45' for Madueke) - 4/10

SUB: Christopher Nkunku (45' for Gallagher) - 7/10

SUB: Malo Gusto (45' for Chilwell) - 7/10

SUB: Carney Chukwuemeka (66' for Caicedo) - 5/10

SUB: Cesare Casadei (85' for Palmer) - N/A

Subs not used: Lucas Bergstrom (GK), Armando Broja, Deivid Washington, Alfie Gilchrist


Mauricio Pochettino - 4/10 - His system flopped woefully in the first half, although his hands were somewhat tied. Hard done by on the penalty front, but Chelsea didn't deserve anything from Anfield.

Player of the match - Conor Bradley (Liverpool)