Entertaining game for the neutrals!
That was a goal filled game, a game of missed chances, a game of great goals, a game of dubious refereeing, and a game of defensive mistakes. Chelsea went into this game knowing that a point would be enough to secure Champions League football but Liverpool clearly had other ideas. Lampard stuck with the same team that played against Manchester United with the only change being Kepa who came in for Caballero. Liverpool themselves went with their strongest lineup as well as it was clear they would not be doing Chelsea any favours.
The game started well for Chelsea as we created the better chances with Reece James delivering a brilliant cross that Mount headed over. The intensity was clear from Chelsea but Liverpool began to grow into the game and they got the lead in the 23rd minute as Willian’s first touch went astray and Keita smacked the ball into the net from distance. Chelsea were still in the game but Liverpool began to put pressure after having scored the goal. Kovacic made a brilliant tackle on Mane which was deemed a foul as the Senegalese striker made a meal out of the contact. The resulting free kick was converted by Trent to put Liverpool 2-0 up. Wijnaldum then made it 3-0 in the 43rd minute after a loose ball from a corner found him. Giroud managed to give Chelsea some hope right before half time as a rebound from a Willian shot found him and he bundled the ball into the net.
The 2nd half saw much of the same as both teams searched for a goal but Liverpool made it 4-1 in the 55th minute after a brilliant cross from Trent found Firmino who cleanly headed it past Kepa. It looked like the game was up and Lampard decided to send on Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy for Mount, Giroud, and Willian with 30 minutes to go. The impact was instant as Pulisic dribbled past a few players to set up a brilliant cross which Tammy tapped in to make it 4-2. The energy from the front three began to cause Liverpool problems and Chelsea made it 4-3 in the 73rd minute as Hudson-Odoi sent in a cross which Pulisic took down and smashed into the net. Pulisic made several more chances but the final finish was lacking. Playing on the front foot Chelsea were always susceptible to a counter and Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 5-3 in the 84th minute after a rapid one. The game was then done and Liverpool went on to celebrate the title in the empty stadium.
Kepa – Kepa might have parcelled himself up for a sale after his performance last night. I wouldn’t blame Kepa for the first two goals even though he could have at least attempted to make a save. The 3rd goal was a pinball around the box and again blaming Kepa would be a stretch. The other two goals were clean shots as well. The fact is that in all these instances bar two Kepa showed no movement whatsoever. No attempt to make the save or command the box. The most startling moment came towards the end when a Liverpool cross came into the box and he just stood there as defenders shouted at him to come and collect the ball. Kepa’s confidence looks shot and I don’t know whats happened since last season whether its the coaching or something else but it looks like times up for Kepa.
Azpilicueta – A good performance and more than a few times he covered for mistakes at the back as he continues to be our most consistent and reliable performer in defence.
Zouma – A decent performance not the best but nothing really bad in it. Still probably our best central defender at the club.
Rudiger – Made some mistakes again and needed savings more than a few times during the game. Rudiger isn’t the most reliable.
James – Another really good performance by Reece James, he was strong defensively and continued to pose a threat up front putting in brilliant crosses which should have been goals. Reece is continuing to improve and I love to see it.
Alonso – Alonso was great going forward but the final pass was lacking. Defensively Alonso will always be susceptible on the counter as there is no pace to help him. Not bad but not great.
Jorginho – Jorginho had an ok game but unlike the United game Liverpool pressed back and that’s when the Italian was caught on the counter on a couple of occasions. Nothing on Jorginho but he is just not mobile enough.
Kovacic – Kovacic was good again as he pressed Liverpool constantly throughout the game. Kovacic made some good passes and kept things going in the game.
Mount – Mount looked tired in this game and he was not at it, he should have scored the header in the 1st half but didn’t provide much else.
Willian – Willian looked like someone who’s contract talks had ended or like someone who had a job going forward as the urgency was gone. Willian’s first touch was extremely poor and one of those poor touches led to the opening goal. Willian also looks extremely tired and maybe he needed a rest.
Giroud – Giroud was good once again he didn’t have much service but he tried to hold up the ball when given a chance. Giroud’s goal kept us in the game for the 2nd half and he continues his good goal scoring run.
Pulisic – A brilliant performance by the American once again. Pulisic was suffering from a slight niggle post Norwich and that’s why he was on the bench but as soon as he came on the pitch lit up. We started creating chances and the Liverpool defence didn’t know how to cope. The assist for the 2nd goal dribbling past 3 players was brilliant and reminiscent of the likes of Hazard and Zola. The finish for the 3rd goal was powerful. Pulisic could have had more goals if his finishing had been more on point. A brilliant game and when he is playing with better players next season he will be scary good.
Hudson-Odoi – Hudson-Odoi had a good cameo as well as he provided an assist and posed a threat down the right hand flank. Maybe CHO should have started but he looks like he is gaining confidence and I can’t wait till he is fit.
Abraham – Abraham got his 15th goal and that is very good for a first season. It was a simple tap in but he met it and that was something he had not been doing recently. Continue making a difference when given a chance. Good cameo.
Lampard – Maybe Lampard should have made the 3 changes at half time but other than that I really can’t fault Frank. While he knows what his formation for next season will be I don’t think he knows what his best formation right now is. Sometimes we perform well with a 4 sometimes with a 3 and whatever defence we pick we are always capable of mistakes. I wouldn’t blame Frank.
So, we drop down to 4th with United in front of us on goal difference and so we go into the final game against Wolves at home needing a point or more. This is going to be a massive game we will have to be at our best and get the win not even the point. It is a final. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!