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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 Liverpool Perspective

 

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A really enjoyable, exciting game in the first half, which was ruined by a red card, though it was clearly the right decision according to the laws of the game. Any goal stopped by the hand, deliberate or otherwise, is a red card, which seems to me to be a bit harsh on an accidental one. Though, watching it James did clearly make a movement to push it away from goal, that is more an automatic reaction than a deliberate attempt to block the ball. Also I would say that was after his hand had stopped it anyway, so was not a deliberate preventing of a goal. But the laws of the game are what they are and the referee had no option.

After that, Chelsea did lose their composure but they only had seconds to hold out until half-time, when they re-organised and calmed heads. After that it was a very resilient and well set-up ten man defensive line against attack. Such a shame for the match, but Chelsea were hardly going to come out to play when a man down, they had little choice but to batten down the hatches and look to hold out.

Sadly Liverpool fans let themselves down again with the homophobic chants. It was only a few days ago Klopp asked them not to do it. There is just no need for it, it is pathetic.

 


Chelsea

 

Chelsea got themselves a goal to hang on to and look to catch Liverpool out on the break, only to be undone by a moment on the goal line. Luckily for them it happened right on the cusp of half-time, as it would have been a totally different game without Tuchel's intervention to cool things down. Their players had lost their heads before going off but came out calm and composed and extremely well-organised. Tuchel deserves the plaudits coming his way, he managed to focus his players on the game, rather than feeling hard done by.

They played extremely well to blunt Liverpool's attack, though it was a struggle for them to get any kind of meaningful possession, understandably. The pressure they were under made it very difficult for them to even find Lukaku at times, but they kept their shape and defended really well. In the first half, they always carried a threat, even though Matip and van Dijk dealt well with Lukaku most of the time, he did get moments that he should have done more with.

 


Liverpool

 

Klopp - I felt he got the call wrong to bring back Robertson, not just because Robertson struggled, but because Tsimikas had done enough to deserve to keep his place. Added to that, his delivery, particularly from corners, has been much better than Robertson displayed and it could have made all the difference.

 

Alisson - had a good game, not the busiest he will ever have, especially in the second half, so not really one to judge him on.

 

Alexander-Arnold - all the attacks came down his side as he, Elliott and Salah linked up really well, but he came inside far too often for my liking. With a delivery like his, Alexander-Arnold should have been looking to get wide all the time and put in a quality cross. It would have either created space in the centre, when someone came out to close him down, or he would have had time and space to pick someone out.

 

Matip - in the main he dealt with Lukaku extremely well, though he did make a couple of errors. One in particular allowed the Belgian forward through on goal and it was only his poor touch that cost Chelsea a chance, rather than good defending. He has to learn not to try and reach round to nick a ball off a player with that kind of body strength. That was the big error, Lukaku was always going to just use his body to lever him away. The rest of the time he was very good.

 

van Dijk - played well, though I would have liked to see him bring the ball out from the back more and engage the Chelsea midfield to create a gap. When he did do that it all opened up for him to shoot and that should have been something he looked to repeat until Chelsea reacted to close him down. That is the kind of movement that breaks open stubborn defences.

 

Robertson - unfortunately he was mostly poor on the ball, though his workrate was, as always, excellent. His delivery was terrible though, particularly the corners he took. He looked very rusty and in need of a run of games.

 

Henderson - not his best game, he never looked comfortable on the left and seemed to wander over to the right far too much. Though I would have preferred if he and Elliott had swapped places, particularly after Chelsea went down to 10 men. Then they both would have been able to pull wide onto their strong foot and get the ball in to the box, while allowing Mane and Salah to narrow off more and be in position to be on the end of the balls in.

 

Fabinho - way off the pace, his touch was off and his passing too, plus the timing of his tackle was poor too. Clearly needs to get back to match sharpness, as he is miles off it at the moment. It has been a difficult start to the season for him, so little wonder he was not at it immediately. I would not be surprised if it takes a few games to get his mind switched back on.

 

Elliott - the teenager is looking better every time he plays. He was a real handful for Chelsea, not just with his clever movement and passing but also his reading of the game. He picked off a number of Chelsea passes simply by reading where they would be going and moving to be in place to intercept them. Right now Elliott is earning his place on merit.

 

Mane - Chelsea marshalled him really well. There was never a moment when he was able to get himself one-on-one with a defender as there was always cover. Mane still showed flashes but it was impossible for him to do more as Chelsea's organisation was excellent and dealt so well with denying him space to operate in.

 

Salah - had a better game that Mane mainly because he got more help on his side, which created space for him to work in. But he did not really make the most of the space he did have most of the time.

 

Firmino - like Fabinho, he was off the pace and you could tell it was his first start of the season. Just as he was showing signs of getting going he picked up an injury and had to be taken off.

 

Jota - replaced an injured Firmino in the 43rd minute. I would have liked to see a lot more from him against a team with ten men. Admittedly he was not getting the service, but he could still do more to get involved to create chances.

 

Thiago - came on in place of Henderson in the 74th minute. Really should have been on a lot sooner, but the early injury to Firmino probably made Klopp nervous about making changes, just in case someone else went down injured. He never really had the time to impact.

 

Tsimikas - took Robertson's spot on 86 minutes. Like Thiago, he came on far too late to make any real difference to the game. He was very unlucky not to start and I believe his delivery was missed massively.

 

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Written by Tris Burke August 30 2021 10:51:49

 

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