Sunday’s Premier League clash between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge was one of the big games of the football weekend. Some claimed it would be an early test of reigning champions Liverpool after a less than convincing opening weekend win over newly-promoted Leeds. In the end, though, it was a lesson in football for the home side, to succumb to a 2-0 defeat after a game with absolutely everything.
Chelsea shoot themselves in the foot
The Blues were struggling to get any sort of possession against the reigning champions even before the dismissal of Andreas Christensen on the stroke of half-time. His rugby tackle on Reds star Sadio Mane after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had run out of his goal.
Frank Lampard’s team then experienced another self-inflicted blow, as Kepa produced a howler to gift Mane a tap-in to double the visitors lead. The second goal all but ended the ten men’s chances of taking anything from the game.
They did have a glimmer of hope in the final quarter of the game, as Thiago on his Reds debut felled Timo Werner in the penalty area. Jorginho stepped up, only to see Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson save his spot-kick.
Liverpool always in control
Jurgen Klopp’s team were not champions of England for no reason last season. They were by far the best team in the Premier League. On Sunday, even before Christensen’s dismissal, Liverpool were in control of the game, even if they were not that threatening to the Blues goal.
Chelsea struggled to get hold of the ball or form many meaningful attacks, which was not helped by the fact that they had to sacrifice Kai Havertz at half-time to bring on another centre-back in the shape of Fikayo Tomori.
Once Liverpool scored, they dominated even more of the ball and never really looked in much danger. The concession of the penalty was probably the only real danger the Liverpool goal faced, despite the industry of Werner, who had a thankless task in the end.
Chelsea will improve with time together
This only Chelsea’s second league game of the campaign, so the new players have now had much time to work together and get to know each other. The likes of Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech have yet to feature for Lampard’s team.
The two that did feature Werner and Havertz are international teammates. However, they have not played together regularly for Die Mannschaft. Werner has looked sharp and will likely score goals. His young teammate has struggled to make an impact in his opening few games.
It is early days and his head coach still needs to work out how to get the best out of the attacking talent available to him. Not only Havertz and Werner but also Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, the aforementioned Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.
It is a nice problem for Frank Lampard to have when everybody is fully fit. However, for now, there is no doubt that the Blues boss has learnt lessons about his time from the defeat. They could stand Chelsea in good stead for the future.
Having watched Chelsea so far this season, do they have enough quality to mount a realistic title challenge?
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