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Reds Column II

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool Fc were consigned to a woeful fifth straight home defeat after being beaten 0-1 by the visitors Chelsea Fc in the Premier League.

Replacing Nathaniel Phillips, Fabinho returned for the home clash with Chelsea Fc (The Blues) and the Brazilian partnered with Ozan Kabak at the heart of the defence.

Also in place of Adrián, Alisson Becker returned back to starting line-up. Besides those two major changes, Jürgen Klopp opted to retain the rest of the Players that played against the hosts Sheffield United Fc.

After recovering from his recent illness; Diogo Jota was named among the strong bench that featured James Milner, Naby Keïta, Xherdan Shaqiri and others.

With the hopes of ending a run of four successive defeats at home, the Reds needed to start positively and not waste Goal scoring chances.

Right from the very first minute, Timo Werner strayed offside as the Blues looked to get the German in behind at every opportunity as against the Reds.

The Blues persisted with short Goal Kicks, so the Reds looked to press with a bit of intensity but the usual long ball over the top was clearly not effective for the Reds during the First Half.

In the 24th minute, after an assist from Jorginho; Timo Werner took the ball past Alisson and struck to the bottom left corner of the net.

But following a VAR Review Goal was ruled as Offside and the Reds were fortunate to get away it, thanks to one of those infamous “Armpit Offsides”.

The lack of Goals has been weighing heavily in the minds of the Reds Forwards as they looked short on confidence.

The Visitors got their deserved lead through Mason Mount as the young Englishman cut back and struck his shot into the bottom right corner of the net after a neat assist from N’Golo Kanté.

Failing to register a single shot on target, the Reds trailed 0-1 at the end of First Half.

What’s even disconcerting was the Reds never looked like they can score at home and worse, can’t stop conceding during the First Half.

Andrew Robertson made an instinctive save to block the shot from Hakim Ziyech off the line in the 54th minute.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota replaced Curtis Jones and Mohamed Salah in the 62nd minute.

Perhaps that was little too late to make such changes and instead of Mohamed Salah, perhaps Roberto Firmino should been the one that should have been substituted.

Just a minute later, Firmino missed his header to the right side of the net following an assist from Robertson with a cross.

Alisson produced a brilliant save to deny Werner following an assist from Mason Mount in the 76th minute.

James Milner replaced Thiago Alcântara in the 80th minute to provide Leadership and solidity in the midfield.

The Reds finally had a shot on target after the header from Georginio Wijnaldum went straight to Édouard Mendy after an assist from Alexander-Arnold in the 85th minute.

With the Reds attack looking toothless despite the presence of Jota, the Reds could not conjure anymore shots on target.

The Blues went on to win to pick up a crucial away win by beating the hosts Reds 0-1 in the process.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Could not do anything with opening Goal. Fortunately had a Goal chalked off. Besides that just watched the balls sail past him.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5: Was too slow to mark Mason Mount on the build up to the First Half and was beaten his Countryman. His defensive frailties are getting too obvious.

Fabinho – 5: Looked rusty despite starting well and was caught napping in the lead up to the opening Goal.

Ozan Kabak – 6: Despite making a good block to deny Hakem Ziyech during the First Half, the young Turkish International never exuded confidence.

Andrew Robertson – 7: Almost got Mané to score and besides defending reasonably well, the Scot was the only one that looked threatening going forward.

Midfield:

Curtis Jones – 4: Had a shot that was off target during the First Half. The youngster was back as usual offering almost nothing and hardly shielded the defence.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Tried to shield the Reds but in vain and never looked to get the Reds on the Front Foot.

Thiago Alcântara – 5: His defensive aspect of his game has been found wanting and some of his passes did not go to intended Players. Struggled throughout the game!

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 5: Missed a chance to score during the First Half but his first touch was a letdown and hardly troubled the Blues defence throughout.

Roberto Firmino – 3: Hardly made any impact in the game and just baffling that the out of form Brazilian continued. His use of ball was nowhere near good.

Mohamed Salah – 6: Looked lively but could not find a way past the Blues defence. Wrongly substituted! What on Earth was Klopp thinking to take off the Egyptian!

Substitutes:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5: Did not make the desired impact and hardly looked threatening going forward.

Diogo Jota – 6: Huge relief seeing the Portuguese International and provided some attacking impetus as soon as he got on.

James Milner – N/A: Simply too late make any desired effect!

 

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 2: Better options were available on the bench yet overlooking them for out of form Firmino and youngster Curtis Jones simply shows the German’s Coach blind persistence for his preferred Players.

This was the sort of game like Manchester City home clash that the Big Guns were needed to be utilised. Players like Naby Keïta, Xherdan Shaqiri and others like Takumi Minamino will all feel rightly hard done by for their lack of opportunities!

For the first time ever in Club’s history, the Reds have suffered 5 successive home defeats! Some of the defeats could have been prevented with different tactical approach and utilising better players on the bench.

Reaching the Top-four Spot is slowly slipping beyond the Reds grasp.

 

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