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Chelsea v Liverpool – The Best and Worst

As something different and in addition to the standard match reviews, from this weekend I’ll be discussing the weekend game through the eyes of the best, the worst, and what we’ve learned. So without further ado……

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The Best

Two Great Goals

Whilst we may have only had three shots on target at Stamford Bridge, two of those found the back of the net and have to be up there with Liverpool’s goals of the season so far. The first, a superb interchange between Bellamy and Suarez before the Welshman tees up Maxi for a composed finish. Yes he hits his shot into the floor, but I’m sure it was intentional, wasn’t it? As for the second, Glen Johnson – is he the new Javier Zanetti? If he keeps scoring goals like that one he just might be, although he still needs to improve on his frankly woeful defensive skills. But still, a great goal to sealanother victory for The Reds at The Bridge, let’s hope he (and we) can keep it up!

The Team Selection

Whilst the team might have been quite a strong departure from the line-ups Kenny has picked so far this season, for me it’s the closest we’ve come to our strongest side yet. No Downing, a man who has had 15 shots in his last four games and not hit the target once; No Henderson, so we weren’t forced to watch another of his painfully ineffective displays on the right of midfield; and no Carroll, who I doubt would’ve made any impression on the game, seeing as he doesn’t make much of an impression whenever he plays. Instead we had the pace of Bellamy, the reliability of Kuyt, and the intelligence of Maxi. Yes the three players “rested” are all new signings, but who cares as long as the team is playing well and winning? Now if Stevie G can come back to form to replace Adam and either Kelly is restored at right back or Johnson keeps scoring wonder goals, I think we might have arrived at our strongest XI.

The First Half Performance

OK, so during the first quarter hour I was questioning just why I had such high hopes for the game, given the tedious affairs encounters with Chelsea usually turn out to be, but the first half was still an efficient, organised and impressive performance from Liverpool. I was never worried that Chelsea’s front three would cut us open, nor that Drogba would tear the defence apart single-handedly like he has done so often in the past. The first goal was pure class, and was partially created by the pressing and harrying we engaged in so successfully in the first 45 minutes. Going into the break, I was imagining a winning margin or two or maybe even three goals and a continuation of the control we had shown. How wrong I was.

Chelsea’s Team

I said that when I saw Liverpool’s line-up I was pleased; when I saw Chelsea’s as well I could barely contain my glee. No Sturridge in the starting line-up; no Torres to come back and haunt us; the utterly ineffective Mikel instead of old boy Mereiles; and the rash David Luiz instead of the imperious Alex. Didier Drogba has a fabulous record against The Reds, but he is not the same player who gave Carragher and co nightmares a couple of years back. Neither is Petr Cech one of Europe’s best keepers anymore, and Chelsea’s defence is extremely vulnerable without Alex to hold things together. On Saturday I said to a friend that I could see one of two outcomes to the game: an impressive, battling win from The Reds; or a comprehensive victory for Chelsea. When I saw the team-sheets, I was almost certain of the first outcome.

Suarez Didn’t Score

Now this may not sound like a positive, but it is nice to know we can score two goals away from home against one of the best teams in The Premier League, and Suarez doesn’t have to score one or both of them. It’s nice to know that we aren’t just a one man team, and that when Suarez has an off day or two, we have others who can shoulder the responsibility.

 

The Worst

Most of the Second Half

As impressed as I was as the half time whistle blew, I was just as disappointed half an hour or so later. Chelsea score, and suddenly all our good work in the first half is replaced by sloppiness in possession, lack of inventiveness or initiative going forward, and a general lack of quality. If Liverpool play like that for even 10 minutes next week against Man City, City could score a couple of goals and the match will be over. The thing that infuriates me about when Liverpool play poorly is the tempo – no movement, no speed, no energy. I remember a match against Chelsea at Anfield a couple of years back, where we flew out the blocks, had about five chances in the opening ten minutes, and carved open a far better Chelsea side than the one we played today almost at will. When we play with pace and a high tempo, we can match any team in the country: I just wish we did it more often.

Charlie Adam

I was a self-confessed Charlie Adam fan last season, and was more pleased with him than I was with any of LFC’s other summer signings. But everything I loved about Adam last season – his fearless will to try things, his passing range, his goals, his corners, his desire to affect the game every time he got the ball – has been replaced by the opposite. He doesn’t try things, preferring instead to keep things simple and play the five yard pass; he floats through games, rarely stamping his authority on a match or even a passage of play; he rarely shoots and is, as a friend recently remarked, slower than he looks; and finally, I think Alex Ferguson must have been playing games when he said Adam’s corners were worth 10 Million. At the moment, they aren’t worth 10p. I realise he played a crucial part in both goals, and I don’t want to rain on the parade after such an important win, but my ranting is born of frustration that Adam isn’t showing the quality that almost kept Blackpool up single-handedly last season, the quality that I and everyone else knows that he has. When Adam was signed, I was excited: when he steps on to the pitch or receives the ball, I want to feel that excitement again.

Stand Out Players

Frankly, there weren’t any. The fact that Sky Sports gave Glen Johnson man of the match when (winning goal aside) I would give his performance 6.5/10 shows just how few stand-out players there were. Yes the team performance is most important, and nobody played poorly, but nobody played that well either. The ball was lost too often; too many players had an inconsistent game, and nobody stood out and stamped their mark on the match. We were just lucky that none of Chelsea players did either.

 

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Boost for Liverpool as Bundesliga manager open to selling this star striker

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Timo Werner

Julian Nagelsmann claims RB Leipzig could sell Timo Werner

Liverpool have been handed a boost in their chase for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

The 23-year-old has been linked with the Reds (h/t Liverpool Echo) and has been in great form this season.

The German has 15 goals and four assists in all competitions for Leipzig this season. Werner is also a regular for the national side and scored in their recent win over Estonia too.

Timo Werner
Timo Werner is a regular for the German national team (Image credit: Getty)

Leipzig’s manager Julian Nagelsmann was speaking to Bild and claimed Werner could be sold if the German became bigger than the club (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“I’ve already advised many players to take off their wedding ring with their current club to move somewhere else.

“I’d do the same with Timo Werner if he were developing faster than the team at RB Leipzig.”

Werner’s release clause

The 23-year-old signed a new deal with Leipzig in the summer, however, that includes a £25million release clause (h/t Liverpool Echo).

Werner is capable of playing across the front-line and it will be interesting to see how things develop for him in the coming months.

timo Werner
Timo Werner joined Leipzig from Stuttgart (Image credit: Bongarts)

Bayern Munich are also keen on landing the 23-year-old (h/t Liverpool Echo) and the Bavarians are struggling this season.

Leipzig are placed extremely well to qualify for the next round of the Champions League and lie second in the Bundesliga, ahead of Bayern.

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Werner scored 16 Bundesliga goals in the previous season and should go past that mark if he keeps his scoring rate up.

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Liverpool interested in Bundesliga star who could leave for £100m in the summer

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Jadon Sancho

Liverpool interested in Jadon Sancho as Dortmund star expected to leave in summer

Liverpool are the latest club to highlight their firm interest in Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Mail.

The 19-year-old has been excellent for Dortmund since joining from Manchester City but has faced some tough times recently.

Manager Lucien Favre has reprimanded Sancho recently and subbed him after 36 minutes against Bayern Munich (h/t Daily Mail).

Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City (Image credit: Getty)

The English winger has also been criticised by Michael Zorc, the sporting director, and is contemplating his future at the Bundesliga club (h/t Daily Mail).

Manchester United and PSG are interested in the England international but Liverpool and Barcelona are also keen on landing him (h/t Daily Mail).

Dortmund want big money for Sancho

The winger has a lot of potential to develop further, and Dortmund would not allow him to leave on the cheap.

The report adds that Dortmund are planning for his exit and want more than £100m for the winger.

Sancho has scored three goals and provided five assists this season for the Bundesliga side. The England star has also featured in Euro 2020 qualifiers and has a couple of strikes to his name.

Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott joined Liverpool from Fulham (Image credit: Getty)

It will be interesting to see if Liverpool make a big move in the next summer window.

This summer was quiet with two young players and two veteran keepers joining. However, we kept hold of all our stars and have started this Premier League season well.

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The Reds lie eight points clear of the chasing pack and are nine ahead of defending champions Manchester City.

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Liverpool star pictured with ankle in protective cast during international break

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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah pictured with ankle in protective cast

Mohamed Salah aggravated an ankle injury in our 3-1 win over Manchester City at the weekend.

The Egyptian scored the second goal of the game and was bright against the Premier League champions.

However, a tackle from Fernandinho late in the game saw Salah remain down and needed treatment.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah leaves the pitch during the Leicester game (Image credit: Getty)

The Liverpool forward continued after treatment but had to be subbed off as we held on for the win.

The international break should allow Salah to rest before our clash against Crystal Palace. Egypt shared a couple of pictures and the Liverpool forward was seen wearing a protective boot.

Leicester injury back to hurt Salah

Salah injured his left ankle initially against Leicester City and missed the draw against Manchester United.

The Egyptian will not play for the national side during the break and is also a doubt for the clash against Palace (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The niggling issue needs time to heal and it will be interesting to see if the forward plays the game after that.

Mohamed Salah Jordan Henderson
Mohamed Salah celebrates with Jordan Henderson (L) after scoring against Tottenham (Image credit: Getty)

Liverpool host Napoli at Anfield after the international break and a win should see us qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition.

We shouldn’t try to leave it to the final day as we travel to Austria and face surprise package RB Salzburg.

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The Reds have an easier run in before the trip to Austria. Liverpool have games against Brighton, Everton and Bournemouth, and should be favourites for the three clashes.

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