1. Get in Studge, lad!!! What a goal!!! Absolute class personified. I haven’t celebrated a goal, when not at the match, in the way I did this one in years. It was a proper jump round the front room screaming at the telly moment. Obviously the quality of the strike was a factor but it was also that it felt important. That seems ridiculous when we’re only seven games in, but to avoid defeat against such impressive rivals in those circumstances is always big and could come to be seen as crucial eventually. Either way, as I said, get in!!!
2. Because, simply put, that is a point we’d definitely have dropped in years gone by. It was totally deserved though, even if we weren’t great in the second half. From such moments, belief pours. Watch this space...
3. Alisson and the centre halves were sensational, in my view. Two great saves from the keeper with Virgil and Mini-Virgil both fantastic: all pace, class and composure. Seriously, Joe Gomez is a real talent. He is preternaturally calm and has feet to match. I love the way he switches the ball to his other foot with ease in order to play his way around an opponent before pinging an incisive pass forward. And he can’t be intimidated, either. If they stay fit, neither Lovren nor Matip are getting a look in this season except when these two need a rest. They already look like the perfect partnership.
4. They needed to be though, because Chelsea are far better than anyone expected. Clearly they’ve still got class players, but the impact Sarri has had in such a short space of time is uncanny. Plus his signings have been spot on. The quick passing around our boys in midfield (no mean feat) before playing Hazard in for the goal was brilliant. They were compact and composed throughout too, albeit without really putting us under sustained pressure. I don’t think they’ll go all the way but they might well help us by taking points off City.
5. This was the first time we’ve seen the real depth of the squad tell. All three subs made an impact when they came on. Naby offered more incisiveness, Shaq almost got the equaliser himself (even if it was a shocking miss) and Sturridge, as I said earlier, was just class itself for that goal. What a talent he has, what a shame his body is so weak and what a canny decision to retain him this season. Let’s hope that was just a taste of what’s still to come.
6. Mo definitely isn’t right. His game has been coming slowly together but it’s just not there in front of goal and I’m not sure why. He just seems to be snatching at things he’d have swept home with ease last season. He’s not having a mare as such, but it won’t do him any harm to have been hooked today either; it should in fact focus him nicely ahead of two more big games this week.
7. However, Salah isn’t the only forward deserving of criticism because Bobby and Mané weren’t exactly firing either. I don’t want to overstate it, but Mané is starting to annoy me with his semi-slack focus. He’s far from a disaster but it’s irking me how often he either makes a poor decision or is hesitant on the back foot. That said, he’s still our (joint, Sturridge fans) top scorer and as long he keeps scoring, I can live with the rest. He didn’t today though.
8. We’ve got a big week coming up. Napoli Wednesday and then City at Anfield. We haven’t put in a truly great performance yet this season (although I thought we were brilliant in the first half hour today, except in the final third), so let’s hope we see a couple in these two matches before the next international break.
9. Napoli away is one where I want to see our brains on show as much as our aggression. We need to fly in, get the win and get ourselves home again with the minimum of fuss because next Sunday is huge.
10. It’s a must win game if we’re serious about winning the league because they just won’t drop many other points and this will be one of only two occasions when we can directly influence that. Let’s hope the forwards can get their eyes in in Naples because if that happens, with this midfield and defence as a platform, we can beat anyone at any time. 4-0 to go top and flip the goal difference advantage?
11. Why not? Come on you Reds!!!