Premier League - Eto'o secures controversial Chelsea victory over Liverpool

Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 2 (Hazard 17 Eto'o 34) Liverpool 1 (Skrtel 4)

Samuel Eto’o scored the winner for Chelsea as they beat Liverpool 2-1.

Liverpool opened the scoring after three minutes when Luis Suarez headed the ball against Branislav Ivanovic, leaving Martin Skrtel with an easy chance to score from just a few yards.

Moments before, Eto’o was lucky to stay on the pitch for a studs-up foul on Jordan Henderson.

Chelsea equalised when Eden Hazard curled in a great shot from the edge of the box. They took the lead when Simon Mignolet’s dreadful effort to stop Eto’o’s close range shot saw the ball slowly roll over the line.

At the start of the second half, Mamadou Sakho went close, heading Henderson’s short cross against the bar.

Eto’o had a chance to extend Chelsea’s lead when he blasted the ball at the near post from a few yards out, but Mignolet stuck out a leg to pull off a fine save.

Suarez was denied an obvious penalty after an Eto’o foul, but Chelsea deserved their win.

KEY EVENTS

2’ - ETO’O COULD SEE RED - Eto’o goes in high on Henderson’s leg and he’s lucky not to be sent off.

3’ - SKRTEL SCORES - Suarez’s header rebounds of Ivanovic, letting Skrtel tap the ball in from just a few yards out.

12’ - LAMPARD SHOT - Frank Lampard goes close, Mignolet tipping over his fierce shot.

17’ - HAZARD EQUALISER - The Belgian curls in a shot into the top corner as he gets onto a loose ball on the edge of the area.

37’ - MIGNOLET MISTAKE - Mignolet’s woeful save, to palm Eto’o’s shot away from goal, pushes it slowly over the goal line to give Chelsea the lead

53’ - LIVERPOOL HIT THE BAR - Sakho’s header loops ominously towards the goal, with the keeper beaten, but it hits the woodwork and Chelsea are safe.

54’ - MIGNOLET SAVE - Eto’o drives the ball at the goal but Mignolet sticks out a leg to save the day.

71’ - OSCAR SHOT - Lucas is dispossessed just outside the area but Oscar sends a low shot wide of the post from just inside the area.

82’ - SUAREZ PENALTY CLAIM - Eto’o barges Suarez over in the box, for no reason at all, and Webb inexplicably doesn’t give a penalty.

90+4’ - PATHETIC FIGHT - Oscar and Lucas come to petty blows after a rough Oscar challenge is rewarded with a paw in the neck from the Liverpool midfielder.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY STATS

Luis Suarez has gone two games without a goal.

Six of Chelsea’s last eight Premier League wins against Liverpool have come under Jose Mourinho.

Luis Suarez failed to score the one goal needed to become only the 7th player to reach the 30-goal mark in a calendar year in the Premier League era.

Chelsea have still never lost a Premier League home game under Jose Mourinho

TALKING POINT

Are Liverpool out of the title race? Top at Christmas, fifth going into the new year. There season could already be unravelling as Spurs and United close in on them.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Eden Hazard (Chelsea): A constant outlet for Chelsea on the right wing after his goal, he bought numerous free kicks with cynical play and scored a great equaliser for his side.

PLAYER RATINGS

Chelsea: Cech 6, Ivanovic 6, Cahil 6, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 6, Luiz 6, Lampard 7, Willian 6, Oscar 7, Hazard 7, Eto’o 7. Subs: Cole 6, Mikel 6, Torres 6.

Liverpool: Mignolet 5, Johnson 6, Agger 6, Skrtel 6, Sakho 6, Lucas 6, Allen 6, Henderson 6, Sterling 6, Coutinho 5, Suarez 6. Subs: Toure 6, Aspas 6, Smith 6.