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Reds Column II

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) cruised to a 0-2 win over the hosts Chelsea Fc at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League Match.

After last Saturday’s pulsating win over Leeds United, the Reds were eager not to concede goals cheaply and kept things tight defensively.

Joe Gomez (minor knock) and Joël Matip (slight muscle problem) were both out injured before the game. Thiago Alcântara started the match on the bench as he joined the Reds just few days ago.

The Reds began to dominate and took control of the game but Chelsea Fc (The Blues) threatened to take the early lead through Timo Werner. The German’s shot went narrowly past the Left Post and much to the relief of Alisson.

With both sides looking to keep things tight, the match was heading for 0-0 in the Half-Time, until Sadio Mané was hauled to the ground by Andreas Christensen.

A perfect through ball in the middle of the pitch from Jordan Henderson was well judged and intercepted by Sadio Mané (before getting hauled to the ground by Christensen).

By reversing the Yellow Card decision to Red Card, Christensen was later given his marching orders after a VAR Review adjudged him for denying Mané a “Clear Goal Scoring Opportunity”.

Jordan Henderson was later withdrawn before the start of the second half and was replaced by Thiago.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 50th minute after Roberto Firmino’s low cross was brilliantly headed by Mané beyond the reach of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

For the Blues in particular, things got more embarrassing as (in the 54th minute) Arrizabalaga’s tame pass was intercepted by the prowling Mané and the Senegalese had the simplest task of just calmly placing the ball into the empty net.

The Reds were however given an almighty scare (in the 75th minute) as Thiago’s lunge on Werner inside the penalty box resulted in a penalty for Chelsea. But, Alisson correctly guessed by springing to his right and brilliantly saved the resulting penalty shot from Jorginho.

Both the presence of Virgil van Dijk and particularly Fabinho ensured to keep the Blues attack at bay as the Reds sealed a comfortable 0-2 win over the Blues.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 8: Had a relatively quiet first half. Made a brilliant save to stop Jorginho’s penalty kick and denied Tammy Abraham’s shot in the 84th minute.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7: Defensively compact and always look threatening going forward.

Fabinho – 10: The Makeshift defender replaced for the injured Joe Gomez. Done a brilliant job by sensing the threat particularly from Timo Werner and was ever present to root off any Blues Attacks.

Virgil Van Dijk – 8: Trademark vintage performance from the Dutch with calm defending and marshalling the defence.

Andrew Robertson – 8: Brilliantly handled his duels with N’Golo Kanté and James. The tireless Scot never gave the Blues a moment’s respite.

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Tidy performance from the Dutch and kept the Reds in the hunt with superb ball distribution.

Naby Keïta – 6: The young Guinean is still finding his way in the team. Conceded few possessions and could not dictate the match tempo. He was later replaced by James Milner in the 63rd minute.

Jordan Henderson – 7: Always looked to get the Reds to move forward and provided the Game-Changing through ball that resulted in the Red Card for Christensen. An unfortunate thigh Injury forced the Captain to withdraw before the second half.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 10: Besides scoring a brace, the Senegalese was an utter nightmare for the Blue’s defences. His pressing forced Arrizabalaga into committing the blunder of passing the ball into the Senegalese’s path.

Roberto Firmino – 7: Provided with slick passes and touches as the Reds were kept pressing in search of goals.

Mohamed Salah – 8: On another day the Egyptian could have a scored a goal or two. But, his pressing including the one-on-one pass with Firmino eventually led to the first goal.

Substitutes:

Thiago Alcântara – 7: After joining the Reds just few days back, he made his Reds Debut by replacing the injured Henderson before the second half. By constantly looking to thread passes into the final third and brilliant vision of the game, the experienced Spaniard shown exactly what the Reds had missed against teams that defend deep.

He will be surely thanking Alisson for saving his blush. The Spaniard’s lunge on Werner resulted in the penalty for the Blues but was brilliantly saved by Alisson. Surely has to be a match to remember for the Spaniard.

James Milner – 7: Kept it tidy and brought more calmness in the midfield.

Takumi Minamino – N/A: Replaced the tiring Firmino in the 86th minute and helped the Reds to continue pressing forward.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 8: The German will be very happy especially with the Reds improved defensive displays.

Klopp will be hoping that the thigh injury sustained by Henderson will not leave him sidelined for too long. But with the arrival of Thiago, Klopp will have more midfield options to call upon.

The reigning World and English Champions are next due to play against the hosts Lincoln Fc on 24 September 2020 (at 7:45 p.m (BST)) for the Third Round of the Carabao Cup 2020-21.

Klopp will look to heavily rotate the squad and bring on young players. Most of the Reds Senior Players that played in this match (in all likelihood) will be rested for the home match against Arsenal Fc on 28 September 2020 (at 8:15 p.m (BST)).

 

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