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Football News: Liverpool v Chelsea - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Chelsea - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Chelsea


A difficult game against the reigning champions, but it was not the best performance overall. It was extremely disjointed with little in the way of movement other than Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Actually I take that back, Milner offers lots of movement as well, but none of it is of much use and usually just succeeds in ensuring he is nowhere near where he is needed to be. Conte came with a similar plan to Mourinho recently, sit back absorb pressure and look to hit Liverpool on the break.

Once Salah scored that changed things and the early LFC domination was overturned and Chelsea were the better side for most of the game afterwards. Neither team were really at their best, both looked out of sorts and a little lacklustre with little fluency to their play. While it was an interesting, close-fought match, there was a lack of real quality to the game as both sides concentrated on cancelling out the other for long periods.


Klopp - showed loyalty to Moreno after the disaster he had against Sevilla, which was repaid by the Spaniard. I am not convinced he got the team selection or tactics right, playing a central striker stifles the space for the runs of Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain. It meant that it was down to Salah's brilliance to score the goal, rather than outstanding team play. The choice to try and hold onto that lead did not sit well with me either, it does not suit the team.

I am getting fed up of watching the midfield get overrun and being totally unbalanced by having just one player helping defensively, one player running round mindlessly and the other not bothering. As for the substitution argument, the change should have been made long before then, as it was clear the system was not working and Chelsea had complete control of the game. Despite that, it was not disastrous as a draw against the reigning champions is decent enough.


Mignolet - while I do not have a problem particularly with the positioning on the goal, his footwork was appalling and his leap was so weak, yet he still got his fingers on it. I am not convinced that either of the other first team keepers would have let that in. Yes it was a fluke mishit, but Mignolet should do better for me.


Gomez - not bad, though he was being dragged in too narrow at times, it was clear that was under instruction. Better first half and not too bad in the second, though he was helped by having Oxlade-Chamberlain in front of him, who dropped in to protect him. Looked much better when the change to a back 3 was made, showed real composure and ability to get out of a tight spot.


Matip - a couple of panicky moments but I am struggling to recall him really having much of an influence of the game defensively or on the ball.


Klavan - struggled with the pace and movement of Hazard, in particular. Was very weak up against Willian for the goal, should never have allowed Willian to get in that position. Panicked badly with a couple of attempts to clear the ball as well. It does seem like both centre backs lose their head under pressure, which is worrying.


Moreno - repaid Klopp's faith in him with what was probably his best performance in a Liverpool shirt. At times he was caught too central, but, similar to Gomez, it was obviously a tactic being employed out of choice to try and cut out the space for Hazard and Morata to get down the outside of the centre backs.


Henderson - was caught a few times out of position and did not play at his best. His passing was off and he seemed to be struggling with his fitness, looking sluggish. While he was not helped at all by being exposed, the rest of the midfield offered Hnederson no help, there were a couple of times he could have made a tackle and killed an attack but was caught on his heels and beaten. There are times to stay on your feet and times when you have to put your foot in, he missed his chances to put his foot in.


Milner - I really do not understand why Klopp persists with him in the centre of midfield. To call him hopeless is being kind. Milner is the very epitome of a headless chicken, running here, there and everywhere. Sadly though, it is very rare that those runs are in the right places and he is usually absent when needed.


Coutinho - a few short flashes of brilliance do not, in my opinion, make up for his lack of effort in the rest of the game. He needs to work harder and help defend against a team of the quality of Chelsea.


Salah - absolutely sensational once more. Not just his goal, not just his runs and his touch and pace, but, surprisingly, his hold up play was out of this world. He played right, left and central and each time he was able to take the ball and protect it against whoever was around him. Has there been a better player in the Premier League than him this season? He looks better and better by the game in the Prem.


Sturridge - far too static and failed to move the defence around at all. On the ball he showed some lovely touches at times, but they were just too few and far between to make up for his lack of mobility. He really does look like a player struggling.


Oxlade-Chamberlain - decent enough game, provided a fair bit of protection to Gomez, after he moved to the right, worked hard and produced some good moments. He is starting to look like a useful player.



Wijnaldum - an odd choice, as Sturridge went off to be replaced by Wijnaldum in the 66th minute. Obviously an attempt to provide more defensive cover in midfield by moving Coutinho forward. However it did not do that as he was as about as much use protecting the defence as Coutinho had been but without the offensive threat.

Lallana - eventually arrived in the 89th minute in place of Coutinho. His first touch was absolutely sublime, but everything else he did was terrible. It was his first game back after a long lay off, so fully understandable, but it just does not seem like the right time or game to bring him back.

Mane - about all he got time to do, after coming on at the same time as Lallana in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain, was to throw a little strop at the end after the final whistle had blown. I see little reason for him to be sulky, he needs to play less as he has not long recovered from injury, only to be sent home from international duty with a recurrence.

Written by Tris Burke November 26 2017 22:01:34