This week I review Liverpool’s thunderous Gameweek 11 display at Stamford Bridge against the current Premier League Champions, Chelsea.
Premier League Gameweek 11
Saturday, 31st of October 2015
Chelsea (43% possession FT) 1 – 3 Liverpool (57% possession FT)
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Opposition manager: Jose Mourinho
Starting Line-up: 22 Mignolet, 2 Clyne, 17 Sakho, 18 Moreno, 37 Skrtel, 7 Milner (c), 10 Coutinho, 20 Lallana, 21 Lucas, 23 Emre Can, 11 Firmino
Subs used: Christian Benteke on for James Milner 63′ (captain’s armband passed on to Skrtel), Jordon Ibe on for Roberto Firmino 75′, Dejan Lovren on for Adam Lallana 90′
You’d be forgiven if your match excitement plummeted in an instant after Chelsea’s Ramires’ thumping header opened the scoreline in the 4th minute of Saturday afternoon’s kick-off league fixture. Chelsea appeared in control in the ensuing minutes with Firmino operating in a false 9 role and we seemed off to a shaky start with very little possession. I was thankfully able to survey the match with both eyes shortly after the first 15 minutes as we started to find our rhythm with longer increments of good possession. There was some good work done by Clyne and Coutinho which led to an attempt from Lallana at 20 minutes but this was easily stopped by Chelsea’s Begovic. Lallana continued to underwhelm me and just generally seems to lack the motivation or the desire to be a better version of himself – Admittedly, this makes me feel like I’m watching a repeat of the Joe Allen experiment! But, I digress…
Coutinho was shown the first yellow card of the game after 24 minutes for a rather bad foul on fellow Brazilian, Willian; who usually doesn’t need more than a nudge to go down. Granted though, Can was lucky to escape a booking a few minutes later when he foolishly (and rather brutishly) tackled Willian from behind. Liverpool continued to dominate in possession with the two sides getting rather physical at times. Two minutes of extra time were added to end off the first half and our little magician, Coutinho, curled a stunning left footed shot around Begovic’s dive as the 2nd minute of extra time continued onto a 3rd.
With the second half kicking off on a level scoreline, Chelsea started brightly,but soon the team, along with the mood of their fans seemed to dampen as Eden Hazard moved wide for Chelsea with Oscar in a more central role. Chelsea’s man in goal, Begovic, seemed to have a tough afternoon due to poor communication with his defenders. Close to 60 minutes things were heating up on the touchline as Chelsea coach, Jose Morais thought that aggressively yelling at our Kloppo to calm down was a good idea. Klopp had raged at someone in the technical area and went on to have quite a heated exchange with Morais in the moments that followed with Mourinho looking on, barely batting an eyelid. In the midst of all this Eden Hazard was substituted after a rather quiet afternoon, with yet another Brazilian named Kenedy (never seen him before!) replacing him and subsequently making more of an impact by looking alot livelier. Lallana once again had an opportunity and did nothing more than shoot wide after Benteke was brought on for James Milner in the 63rd minute. Diego Costa followed with some standard Diego Costa behaviour and after his foul on Skrtel sent them colliding to the ground, took the opportunity to lash at Skrtel with his foot which would surely have gotten him a red card had Clattenburg caught sight of the scene. Lucas was equally lucky in the 67th minute to not be sent to the dressing room after narrowly escaping a second yellow for a foul on Ramires that had the entire Chelsea defense pleading with Mr Clattenburg to break out a red card. This clearly annoyed the referee more than anything and is likely the reason Lucas was not sent off, which had Mourinho sarcastically applauding from the touchline as he too had been baying for Lucas’ blood. Emre Can and Chelsea’s Mikel garnered yellow cards of their own shortly afterward and Fabregas arrived on the pitch to take Mikel’s place. With 70 minutes on the clock, Mignolet made the save of the afternoon with Oscar, 45 metres from the post, making a plucky attempt at goal. Our little magician had more than lady luck on his side, as he struck a right footed gem that took a deflection off of John Terry on its way to the back of the net. At 74 minutes, we looked to be in complete control with a 2-1 lead. Jordan Ibe came on at 75 minutes for Firmino and almost extended our lead in the 80th minute with a shot that could have gone anywhere. Chelsea followed this with more abysmal defending in the 83rd minute as Benteke scored his goal (our third) with poise, as though he was moving in slow motion. The Chelsea faithful started trickling out of the stadium in the remaining minutes and Lovren was brought on in the 90th minute for my least favourite LFC player, Lallana. Two extra minutes were added on at the end of the second half and Coutinho was named Man of the Match for his brace which was largely responsible for Chelsea’s 6th premier league loss this season as they continue on with what has been their worst start to the league in 37 years.
The belief I deemed lacking during our match against Southampton was overflowing on Saturday with our Red men looking good on possession throughout the game once we passed the 20 minute mark of the first half (Possession was at 61% at half time). We also cranked up the pressure as soon as the second half had begun and made Chelsea look increasingly nervous with an energy and an enthusiasm I haven’t seen since our 2013-2014 season. I summed up my feelings in my tweet after the match See Tweet ‘So damn proud of our #Reds today, they Believed!! & this is only the beginning of the #KloppEffect. U already feel it…its magic! #YNWA‘
- Opposition Goal: Ramirez at 4′
- Liverpool Goals: Coutinho at 45′ + 3 & at 74′, Benteke at 83′
- Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho
Kloppo’s Quote of the Week
Klopp offered some thoughtful comments on José Mourinho, after our win against Chelsea. He continues to deliver candid insight without a hint of arrogance and has everyone hanging onto his every word… Klopp, who survived a similar situation at Dortmund last season when his side was at one stage bottom of the Bundesliga, said about Mourinho;
‘Of course I feel for him. He’s a great coach, one of the best managers in the world.
But things like this happen. I had a similar situation in Dortmund and the good thing was no one in the club was in doubt about my position. Nobody. I never felt pressure. So we were able to change the situation. With the quality of the players at Chelsea, of course they’ll change it. Of course I feel for him, but it’s normal work. They have to change it, and they will change it.’
And finally, as if to indicate that Saturday’s win was only the beginning, he finished off;
‘This win was huge for all of us. We won at Chelsea, a difficult game in this situation. But we deserved it. We solved problems and we can do better, that’s for sure.’
We Go Again in our Europa League and the 2nd leg of our Group stage meeting with Rubin Kazan, Thursday, 5 November at 6PM BST at the Kuban Stadium in Russia.
Our Premier League fixture is at Anfield this Sunday, 8 November 2015 at 16H00PM BST, wen we take on 10th placed Crystal Palace. We are currently in 8th place.
Until next week,
#Don’t forget to Follow me on Twitter @Bloodsugarnatz for L.F.C related twittery