A massive point given the context!
Chelsea travelled to Anfield on Saturday night to play Liverpool for MW 3 of the Premier League season. The winner would go top of the table so it was a big game for both teams. Klopp fielded the predicted team although Robertson, Fabinho, and Firmino all started the game. Mendy started in goal for Chelsea, Azpilicueta, Christensen and Rudiger started in defence with Reece James and Alonso as the wing backs. Jorginho, and Kovacic started in midfield with Mount, Havertz, and Lukaku up front. Two strong lineups, Anfield buzzing and the game kicked off.
It was evident from minute one that the game would be end to end. Chelsea and Liverpool were at another level as the players pressed each other and tried to create chances. Liverpool had two early chances but scuffed their shots. Chelsea got the opening goal in the 22nd minute as Reece James delivered a cross in the box and Havertz unmarked looped in a brilliant header to give Chelsea the lead. Chelsea then had 2-3 great chances to increase the lead but the final pass was the wrong one on each occasion. Lukaku had the ball and failed to find Havertz, Havertz had the ball he failed to play in Lukaku and Mount also messed up a few times. Mount did come close with a shot as well. Reece James was then sent off right before half time after he cleared the ball off the line but the ball hit is thigh and ricocheted off his arm. Anthony Taylor saw a freeze frame of the handball and instantly gave the red not having spent time seeing the incident. Salah stepped up and converted the penalty as well to make it 1-1. The first half ended with Chelsea on the back foot and Liverpool feeling confident.
Tuchel brought on Silva and Kovacic for Havertz, and Kante in the 2nd half as Kante had hurt his ankle again. The 2nd half was attack against defence for 45 minutes as Chelsea stayed organised and tight in defence. Liverpool initially had some shots off on Mendy but after 10-15 minutes the game calmed down. Chelsea had a couple of chances on the counter. The final whistle blew and Chelsea had a point. The players hugged each other and every Chelsea fan came out of yesterday’s game knowing this team is special.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy pulled off some great saves during the game and was dominant in his box. Mendy was always highest to pick out corners and the saves in the 2nd half were crucial to keep Chelsea in the game. It was a very good performance and the way Tuchel came up to Mendy at full time showed how important he had been. A big point.
Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, and Silva were amazing throughout the game. It was the defending of champions and they showed why Chelsea have one of the meanest defences in Europe. Everyone was organised and Jota, Salah, Mane, and Firmino were neutralised for much of the game. The only threat was shots from long distance. Christensen once again showed how he is continuing to get better and better. Reece James was great and very unlucky get sent off in right before half time. Another assist for the right back and he could get his red card repealed. Alonso did very well he was caught on possession a few times but overall it was a good performance. Alonso also provided one of the minimal threats in the 2nd half. Chalobah came on late in the game and played in the midfield for the final few minutes. A top notch performance.
Jorginho and Kante were great in the 1st half. Kante in particular was all over the place and hopefully his ankle is fine. Kovacic came on in the 2nd half and was key for Chelsea in releasing the pressure. Kova’s dribbling is just too good and there was a great moment where he played a 1-2 with Lukaku and got a shot off on Alisson. Mount was very good in the 1st 45 and a threat down the left hand side. There was a great moment where he spun Matip and was brought down. The midfield was of course nullified in the 2nd half as we had to defend but it was well organised.
Havertz got a goal and it was a great looping header he was unfortunately one of the people that had to come off to bring on Silva. Lukaku did as much as he could as the lone man up front. It was a good battle with Matip and Van Dijk and all three players had moments where they won and lost their battles. Lukaku had a couple of chances and he was key in allowing Chelsea to move forward in the 2nd half as he held the ball up. The big thing for Chelsea’s forward line now is that there has to be better decision making in the final 3rd. We got into great positions in the 1st half but all three of Havertz, Mount, and Lukaku picked the wrong pass on an occasion or two. Only the 3rd game though and chemistry will be built.
Another masterclass from Tuchel. It would have been easy for Chelsea to meltdown at half time and get thrashed in the 2nd half because we have seen that happen on a few occasions over the last few seasons. Not this time though, as Tuchel clearly motivated the team and the players put in a 45 minute masterclass in defending. It was a great half and Tuchel was very proud of it.
I feel like Chelsea would have won this game with 11 players but spending 45 minutes with 10 men at Anfield is a massive task and the players were well up for it. It was truly a performance of potential champions and it showed that this Chelsea team are going in the right direction. On a side note Anthony Taylor cannot be allowed to referee Chelsea games anymore, enough is enough. A great morale boosting game. COME ON CHELSEA!!!