The final two Barclays Premier League matches of 2013 had Chelsea keep up with the pace at the top of the standings while Tottenham Hotspur secured their second win post-Andre Villas-Boas era.
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
It was the first meeting between Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho, whom the former worked under as a youth team coach at Chelsea during the Portuguese boss’ first spell at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger opened scoring for the visitors in the fourth minute, but Eden Hazard equalised for the Blues before Samuel Eto’O gave Chelsea the lead before half-time.
Liverpool has now lost two successive matches from a winning position following their Boxing Day loss to Manchester City by the same margin. The team that celebrated Christmas at the top of the table will now go into the new year in fifth place with 36 points- six points behind Arsenal.
Chelsea kept pressure on league leaders Arsenal and second-placed City by going within a couple of points behind the Gunners and one point shot of the Citizens.
Liverpool took the lead when Jordan Henderson whipped in a free-kick and Luis Suarez helped it on, only for Skrtel to smash home from six yards out.
Hazard whipped into the top corner from 20 yards in the 18th minute following an Oscar’s deflected shot off Mamadou Sakho to the Belgian’s feet.
Eto’O then scored Chelsea’s second when Oscar squared the ball to the Cameroonian, who scuffed a shot from six yards out that somehow squirmed under Simon Mignolet’s body.
Tottenham 3-0 Stoke City
Roberto Soldado, Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lenon were among the scores as Spurs beat Stoke City at White Hart Lane.
Soldado gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot after Ryan Shawcross handled Emmanuel Adebayor’s volley
The Spaniard had a tame 12-yard shot saved before Dembele added a second when he rifled in a 20-yard shot.
Stoke rarely threatened and Lennon’s angled strike across goal sealed Tottenham’s first home league win in five league outings.