Chelsea have suffered their first defeat of the new season, losing by two goals against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
The first half started hopefully for Chelsea, keeping Liverpool at bay and began to create openings and opportunities in the game, mainly through Timo Werner’s runs in behind the Liverpool defence. The first ten minutes or so were relatively quiet with Liverpool having the majority of the possession, however feeling to create anything of note during this period of dominance. One thing was clear in the first 10 minutes which was Frank Lampard had set up the blues to sit off and not press high up the pitch. This was likely due to Liverpool’s lack of creativity in midfield and Chelsea weakness of defending on the counter.
Chelsea slowly began to grow into the game throughout the half and had their fair share of good moments throughout it. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Mason Mount all attempting to make runs in-behind on multiple occasions in attempt to beat Liverpools highline. In the first half we also began to see N’Golo Kante back to somewhat of his best with him progressing the ball well up the pitch and his ability to breakup the play well then quickly transition into the counter. Although did lack a bit of decisiveness in the final third on occasions.
Liverpool also had a few chances of their own but were unsuccessful in creating anything of substance in the first half. Georginio Wijnaldum hit a long shot wide, Roberto Firmino had an opportunity against Andreas Christensen when Mohammed Salah basically eliminated Kepa from the equation. However, the biggest moment of the half came when a seemingly harmless ball was played over the top of the defence by Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson for Sadio Mane which resulted in the sending off of Chelsea centre back Andreas Christensen. The Dane was sent from the field for dragging Mané to the ground as the last defender.
At half time, Thiago Alcantara was subbed on for injured Jordan Henderson and Lampard subbed on Fikayo Tomori for Kai Havertz as a result of Christensen’s sending off. As a result of the red card Lampard was forced to switch to a 4-3-2. Which made a difficult task for Frank a whole lot hard. With him being left with only really Werner with the ability to hurt Liverpool on the counter and having to continue to sit deep for the rest of the game.
Not even five minutes into the second half and Sadio Mane had netted home a short cross from Firmino, after a neice piece of interplay between Salah and Firmino left the Chelsea defence with no response. To add insult to injury five minutes later a sloppy pass from Kepa gave the ball straight to Mane to score any easy second goal. It was damage limitation after with Frank left with no other option but to continue defending deep to avoid further humiliation.
A few minutes later Frank attempted to salvage something from the game with the double substitutions of Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham. This did change Chelsea’s fortunes somewhat around. As on the seventy minute mark Mason Mount did send a long shot from the edge of the box that just didn’t dip enough to enter the top corner. Chelsea also has another opportunity not too long after that as for the second game in a row Timo Werner won a smart penalty for the blues after a brilliant bit of dribbling. Unfortunately, though Jorginho failed to score the penalty, which was only the Italian’s second penalty miss of his professional career. Tammy Abraham did look bright in his limited minutes with him forcing Alisson into a good save late on in the second half. The game pattered out after that with neither side able to make any chances of note.
I think many Chelsea fans would argue that on paper this game looks worse than it actually was. And other than a few moments of individual moments of brilliance from the champions and individual moments of madness from the blues, the game was fairly even. Despite the result Chelsea were mostly solid throughout the game defensivly as well as creating good chances on occasions. New signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz I thought looked a lot better than their previous outing at Brighton which another positive to take away. However, I think the biggest positive for Chelsea was the fact that they played reasonably without many players who would likely start in Frank first eleven such as: Ben Chillwell, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and potentially Edouard Mendy.