Liverpool played host to Chelsea in what was termed as their rehearsal for the big final against Sevilla. The Reds were in roaring confidence after their mesmerizing performance against Villarreal followed by the comfortable win against Watford. The manager and the fans were expecting all three points from this one which could have put them in contention for the fifth spot, but Eden Hazard had other plans. He gave the Blues an early lead with a brilliant finish and stunned Anfield in the first half. His effort was nullified by a late goal by substitute Benteke who pounced on the cross inside the box and kept the Reds in European contention. Here a few talking points from the game.
The trio of Lallana, Coutinho and Firmino had been wonderful for Liverpool, but there is a big problem with the consistency of the trio. The three have put together some fine displays, but they have not been able to reciprocate the same in a consistent manner. If Liverpool are to become title contenders for the next season, these three still have to show a lot more consistency in terms of attacks and the chemistry ip-front.
Substitutes saved the day-
Liverpool were pretty much played out in almost every department for the majority part as the attacking combinations were failing to click and produce chances on goal. It was the introduction of the substitutes Allen and Benteke that sparked some light into the game. Allen was instrumental in the midfield and Benteke scored the all important equalizer. Also, Ojo was introduced as a last resort by Klopp and it was a combination of these substitutes that saved the game for the Reds in the dying minutes.
Allen needs to start-
Joe Allen has shown glimpses of brilliance matched with consistency and desire and it is this attitude that makes him deserve a place in the starting lineup. Klopp should consider giving him the nod in the important games as well. The Welshman is surely making his point with outstanding performances back to back and he should be rewarded for his hardwork.
Defence didn’t match the pace-
The combination of Lovren and Toure was just not good enough to match the pace of the game and the quick counter attacks of Chelsea. This has been a problem for Liverpool throughout he season and Klopp will have to answer it next season.