Chelsea have to play Liverpool twice in a space of four days, and the Blues did draw the first blood after beating the Reds right in front of their home fans in the Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday night.
The game wasn’t an easy one as both sides showed hunger to win the tie. Chelsea started the game brightly and were the dominant side in the first half, but it was Liverpool who ended the first period on the ascendancy. Liverpool started the second half on a high and it wasn’t a surprise when Daniel Sturridge scored the opener just before the hour mark.
The game took a different turn when Emerson cancelled out Sturridge’s effort with ten minutes remaining of normal time as he was aware to tap home from a Ross Barkley header.
The match looked like it was heading for a penalty shootout before Eden Hazard popped up with a solo wonder goal. Hazard jinked round several Liverpool defenders and drilled the ball past a hapless Simon Mignolet to send Chelsea into the fourth round of the competition.
Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has now turned focus to this Saturday’s Premier League clash against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Zola expects yet another tough game against the table toppers, and he doesn’t think the scores from the Carabao Cup fixture will have an impact on Saturday’s game.
“I don’t think it will have a big impact, to be honest. Of course, we are very pleased and we will go into the game with a good feeling but Saturday is going to be different,” the Italian said.
“Today, to be fair, it was such a close game, they played very well, they could have won, and they had the chances to win it.
“They are a very good team but in the end, we won and we didn’t steal anything. Saturday is going to be similar, two teams that don’t sacrifice their philosophy, [who] want to win and are going to try to win on Saturday as well. Hopefully, it will be the same type of game, spectacular and good to watch.”