When I look in modern football history at some of the biggest rivalries for me Liverpool Vs Chelsea is right up there.
Playing them twice in European ties have only made them more intense. Remember the Luis Garcia goal..? Just ask Jose Mourinho, he’ll still tell you it wasn’t a goal!!
I used to hate watching them play when Drogba was at his peak. He was a monster. A true beast. Powerful, direct with such a sweet shot.
The ‘Can Lampard play with Gerrard for England’ was never answered…but they really did compete on the pitch when facing each other.
Jose Mourinho silencing the crowd….Gerrard refusing on more than one occasion to sign for them.
The list goes on…and on…
Now we have the latest installment, so early in the season.
After Liverpool destroying Champions Leicester the spirits were high. Could we beat them at the bridge? We’ve beaten Wenger’s Arsenal. Can we beat the rejuvenated Chelsea under Conte?
Last week we had no Coutinho. Our talisman. The man we’d turn to for inspiration. Despite not having him we put 4 past Schmeichel. Firmino was sensational.
All week there was talk about how we’d fit Coutinho back into the 1st team…he’d only been gone a week. Regardless, Firmino pulled out with a minor injury. Arguement settled. Liverpool now have depth. Are we ready to challenge for the title?
Klopp on Firmino’s injury..
Talking to Sky Sports about Roberto Firmino’s minor groin strain: “There’s really not a lot wrong with him but no-one could give me a guarantee that if he tried today it wouldn’t get worse. It is a little issue with the muscle. I had to make a decision and I’m taking no risks at this early stage of the season.”
“Chelsea are physically really strong and we expect that from Chelsea. We know about their quality but I know we can do it with a bit of creativity and flexibility. We need to play brave football.
“They defend well but no-one defends perfectly. We have to find space, move them around and then defend like hell.”
We’ve Costa to worry about..
Klopp’s thoughts on Diego Costa: “He is a real warrior on the pitch. Using his body all the time and that is a quality. He’s world class and that’s the best thing football fans can say about you.”
He is a worry, if he’s in the right mood he will physically destroy you…
Liverpool were 3-1 winners in this fixture last season. It was actually Klopp’s 1st Premier League win with Liverpool too!!
The scene was set…
First blood to Liverpool..
And what a goal it was. The 17th minute..all the talk of who’s going to lead the line. Who pops up and connects to Coutinho’s sublime cross…Lovren!! What a goal. Acres of space, plenty of time. Back of the net 1-0.
It didn’t take long for Liverpool to seek out more opportunities.
An attack down the left, forcing a clearance by Cahill. Right to the path of Henderson. Who incidently was at least 30yrds out. Took at touch then he hit it….! Whipping the ball right in the top right hand corner…2-0. Boom….!!
So much talk about what Henderson can offer…should he lose his captains armband. By his own admission he had a terrible season last year. This season he looks more comfortable. Sitting in a midfield 3 he has more time to do his stuff…and boy do he deliver when we need it!!!
Henderson works so well alongside Lallana and Wijnaldum. Both tirelessly running up and down the pitch. Lallana again covering more ground than anyone else. Wijnaldum just controlling play. Dictating, orchestrating play as his confidence grew. He’s going to be so impressive this season.
Chelsea looked like Conte gave them a good talking to. Coming out on top of every 1st and 2nd ball. This was the Chelsea most of us feared.
Everyone Costa received the ball near the penalty area there was anticipation of what could happen… Then in the 61st minute he struck. Scoring from Matic’s cutback.
During the game we witnessed was a superb display of slick attacking football.
However we could see the effects of tireless hours on the training ground. A well organised, well drilled unit, all coming back to defend, with everyone seeking out the ball and breaking with pace.
As Chelsea went more direct playing the long balls up to Costa the pressure of the game just intensified. However we held on to another famous victory.
Reaction after the game..
Jurgen Klopp speaking to BBC Sport: “It was satisfying of course. From the first second we had unbelievably good movement. We were quick in mind. We did really well. We deserved the lead at half-time.
“We have to learn how to manage the game plan. So often this season Chelsea scored in the last few seconds with a direct style. But I can’t remember too many chances from them. We had a few moments where we weren’t so good but that’s normal against a good team.”
“We played football like hell. It was really nice to watch. In the second half it was a bit more difficult. After their goal, we managed it well.”
On Jordan Henderson’s goal: “It was nice, really nice. He’s such a hard worker, it was well deserved. He’s such a nice lad. There’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders.”
Jordan Henderson speaking to Sky Sports: “It keeps our momentum going. We have been training well and I had a good feeling going into the game. We knew it would be difficult as Chelsea are a good side but I thought we defended well and deserved the three points.
“It was about time I got a goal but I always say the most important thing is three points.”
Not a bad start at all to the season..
7 points out of 9 from our title rivals. Not bad for a team according to most pundits wouldn’t challenge for the title…!
Unless we are ready to challenge for the title..? You just never know…
What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
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