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Chelsea 0 Liverpool 2 (Sep 20 2020)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

On paper this is one of the three or four most difficult fixtures we’ll have to play this season. In reality though it was pretty easy. It never felt in doubt to me. 

 

Ok, the sending off just before half time helped massively, and Alisson needed to save a penalty, but  this was comfortable. We had another couple of gears to go to if we needed them. We didn’t need them though.

 

I thought Chelsea were shite but to some extent that’s to be expected. It’s a good time to play any team that’s trying to bed in new players (although it was only two, its not like they had a whole new team out there) as there’s basically been no pre-season to speak of. Chelsea were disjointed but they weren’t helped by Lampard’s insistence on playing out from the back and inviting pressure, especially in the second half when they were a man down.

 

They didn’t do much even when they had eleven men. We penned them back and the only time they posed any threat was with the occasional counter attack. Even then Fabinho usually just snuffed it out with the minimum of fuss.

 

He was terrific, which strangely seems to have taken some people by surprise. This isn’t anything new. He’s been great any time he’s played centre back and now that we have so many midfield options he should be regarded as a genuine option to play at the back if needed.

 

And he will be needed, because ol’ Big Bird is injured yet again. So frustrating that. I think he’s great. I’d even go as far as to say that other than Van Dijk he’s probably the best centre back in the Premier League. He’s certainly the most under-rated, but then that’s probably because he misses so much playing time that no-one outside of ourselves would be able to pick him out of a line up.

 

Matip is absolute quality but he’s got those same cheese string muscles that Sturridge and Lallana had, and chances are his career with us is going to end up going the same way. It’s a real shame, but thankfully we’ve got Fabinho who can just step in and perform like this.

 

Joe was missing as well but his injury is less serious and he’s not as unreliable as Matip. His injury issues have been more bad luck that anything else and he's generally been available for most of the last year or two. I understand why plenty of Reds would like to see us add another centre back but I probably wouldn’t do it because what happens when all four are available? You’ll have one who can’t even make the bench, and that’s going to cause problems. So for now I’d stick with the three we have plus Fabinho. That’s a discussion for another time and place though really.

 

Back to the game. As I said, Chelsea barely laid a glove on us because their only outlet seemed to be trying to get the limited Werner in on the counter, only any time he ran at Fabinho he got nowhere. Actually there was one time he got away but only because he tried to crudely run straight through him and the ball fortuitously bounced back off Fabinho’s face into his path before he shot wide.

 

This game showed exactly why I never wanted us to sign him and why I spent months saying it in the diary. He’s a bull in a china shop and has zero guile at all. All he can do is run and shoot, which is fine when you’re playing on the break all the time, but that represents of 5% of our game these days. We rarely have that luxury.

 

Imagine this fucker trying to play intricate little one twos around the box against a packed defence. He can’t do it. May as well ask him to tie his shoelaces while wearing boxing gloves. He's great at what he does but what he does wouldn't benefit us. The man has no finesse at all. Chelsea are welcome to him at that price.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view full article

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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I’ve seen a few people (including Lampard) trying to claim it wasn’t a red, deluding themselves that Kepa was getting their first.  Even if that was in doubt, which it wasn’t, then it should still be a red because of Christiansen’s intent.  He’s making that challenge to take away any chance Mane gets there and hoping the referee bottles it which he did.  I was pissed off with the ref even though he overturned it because he should be looking at what happened live and giving the benefit to Mane because of how cynical the foul was.  He’s not just hauling him down for a laugh there and clearly had no interest in the ball.

 

You can guarantee there will be a vaguely similar situation within a week or two where the ref doesn’t give it and there will be uproar about how VAR benefits us again.

 

Thiago was as brilliant as expected.  His technique is so unique.  The disguise he puts on passes is going to lead to some outrageous football.  I liked the fact he got stuck in and won a couple of headers as well. He’s not shirking any responsibilities on any front.

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Top top getting the report out quicksticks there, Dave. 

 

Nevertheless... 

1 hour ago, tlw content said:

Kepa would have gotten there first. 

You're so annoying. 

 

And might I be permitted to point out that you didn't forget Wilson... 

1 hour ago, tlw content said:

Wilson too.

See? 

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Great report Dave, spot on on Lampard’s comments, he was ridiculous. 
 

Fastest ever match report ? 
 

I think we all expect your mum’s view on Werner !

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29 minutes ago, rb14 said:

Top top getting the report out quicksticks there, Dave. 

 

Nevertheless... 

You're so annoying. 

 

And might I be permitted to point out that you didn't forget Wilson... 

See? 

You do know he slips a "gotten" or 2 into every match report solely for your benefit, right? 

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Ah, the bliss of watching clubs cling to the notion that a manager needs time, just like Klopp got. The reality that they're not Klopp, and Klopp doesn't have to face Klopp, can only be observed by those whose club is managed by Klopp. Truly we are all living our best lives.

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Given Lampard’s inevitably still in the Mourinho camp of thinking had Luis’ goal not been given Cech would have stayed on the pitch and there would have been no penalty, I’m not too shocked to see him being an ungracious tit grasping at pathetic excuses.
 

I like how Kloppo kept the moral high ground by shouting whoever on our bench cheered the red card down, too. Will have burnt fatty’s piss not to have that to cling onto.

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Great report Dave - thought you'd mention how Thiago reacted to winning the ball back in the 89min of the match - he gets us already

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54 minutes ago, aws said:

Poor old Origi. Scores in a CL final but soon forgotten. Or soon forgot as rb14 would say. 

Teetering on the brink. Teetering. 

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Quote

And other than them who is there to worry about?

 

Have you not got the memo from Everton fans? Apparently they are going to walk the league this year.

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3 hours ago, deiseach said:

Ah, the bliss of watching clubs cling to the notion that a manager needs time, just like Klopp got. The reality that they're not Klopp, and Klopp doesn't have to face Klopp, can only be observed by those whose club is managed by Klopp. Truly we are all living our best lives.

That's deep man, really deep. 

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About Lampard, Kepa and Dave’s comment about the coach responsability,  Sexy Brest conceded a similar goal during the injury time, that made the score line close at 3-2. 
 

Sexy Brest manager, Olivier Dalloglio said after the game that was his fault because that was him who asked to play the ball from the back.

 

Not pretty, Franckie !

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Had to get the report out early as I had a 10am tee time!

 

Funnily enough, my regular playing partner is a Chelsea fan and I told him what I thought about Lampard, his tactics and the way he let Kepa be the scapegoat. He completely agreed, especially about them still playing out from the back when they were a man down.

 

He thinks Lampard is shit and won't last long.

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I think the only type of penalty Ali saves is the Jorginho type @dave u

 

The reason he's poor from pens is he waits to see what happens, which is exactly what makes him such an amazing keeper.

 

The reason Jorginho has such an impressive penalty record is because he knows 99.99% of keepers would dive before he hits the ball.

 

That 1 or 2 seconds extra that Ali gives himself allows him to react properly.

 

It was an alignment of the stars. Or maybe even the sun shining on a dogs arse.

 

I called it too, so I'm properly chuffed with myself.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga's confidence is shot and the way Chelsea play doesn't help him | Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan WilsonMon 21 Sep 2020 10.00 BST

Spaniard’s display against Liverpool sums up his struggles but there is a pattern of keepers saving fewer goals under Lampard

 

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s time as Chelsea goalkeeper, you suspect, will be remembered for two incidents. First there’s him on the Wembley turf, defying Maurizio Sarri and refusing to be substituted before the penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup final in 2019. And then there’s him on Sunday, playing the ball straight to Sadio Mané to concede a second against Liverpool.

 

Two moments 19 months apart in which the world’s most expensive goalkeeper went from self-belief that only he could get the job done to swigging awkwardly at his water bottle, apparently desperate to be anywhere but in his six-yard box having confirmed his side’s defeat.

 

It’s perhaps fortunate for Arrizabalaga that the stadium was empty, that he didn’t have to endure the guffaws of the away fans behind that goal, the ironic cheers every time he managed to deal with a back pass without kicking it straight to an opponent, or, perhaps even worse, the (temporary) exaggerated encouragement of his own support, sympathetically applauding moments of basic competence. Few things can sting so much for a professional sportsman as pity.

 

But there was something pitiable about Arrizabalaga in that final half-hour. It was one of those awful periods when a player seems consumed by self-doubt so he was having to concentrate on the most basic tasks. Suddenly even standing up required intense concentration, a feat nowhere near as easy as others make it look.

 

When that happens, there is no option but to withdraw the keeper from the firing line. Willy Caballero will play against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday and by the time Chelsea face West Brom next Saturday, Édouard Mendy, soon to be signed from Rennes for £22m, could be in goal.

 

The error on Sunday was the just the final straw. Even if it might reasonably be asked why nobody closed down Brighton’s Leandro Trossard on Monday, his shot skipped through Arrizabalaga’s hands. Last season he saved only 54.5% of shots on target, the lowest figure for any regular Premier League goalkeeper over a full season since records began to be collated in 2003-04.

 

Even on Sunday his scattered state of mind was evident in the first half as he chased a deflection out to the left edge of his box, only to be beaten to it by Mohamed Salah. His judgment was faulty, too, in the incident that brought the red card for Andreas Christensen. Mané would have got to Jordan Henderson’s long pass first; had the defender not hauled him down, there’s a significant chance Arrizabalaga would have fouled him and been dismissed.

 

The temptation is to conclude that Arrizabalaga simply was never that good, that Chelsea were sold a pup when they paid £71.6m for him as a 23-year-old two summers ago. And perhaps there is some truth to that. Arrizabalaga is still young for a goalkeeper. He certainly wouldn’t be the first to find the transition from La Liga to the Premier League difficult.

 

Yet Arrizabalaga’s first season in England was fine. His shots‑on‑target save percentage was 67.5%, roughly in line with the 68.2% he recorded over two seasons in La Liga at Athletic Bilbao. So why would it suddenly drop last year?

 

Caballero made five league starts last season. In those games, his shots-on-target save percentage was scarcely better than Arrizabalaga’s at 56.3%. It’s a small sample size, admittedly, but it is at the very least worth noting that is significantly below his career average: 71.0% over six seasons at Elche, 74% over four seasons at Málaga, 72.6% over three seasons at Manchester City. In his other five league starts for Chelsea, over the previous two seasons, he had managed 78.2%.

 

Scott Carson was Derby’s first choice in the Championship in 2018-19. His shots-on-target save percentage was 66% – nowhere near as low as Arrizabalaga or Caballero last season, but the fourth-worst season of his career and significantly below his overall average of 71.5%.

A pattern begins to emerge. The data set is not huge, so there must be caveats, but it appears that when Frank Lampard is in charge goalkeepers save fewer shots.
 

There may be all kinds of reasons for that to do with coaching and man-management, but there is also a basic issue to do with how his sides play. Lampard teams concede a disproportionate number of two particular types of goal: crossed set plays and counterattacks. Both leave a goalkeeper exposed, both yield chances that are relatively easier for the attacking player to convert – close-range headers and one‑on‑ones. Not all shots are equal.

 

The problem then magnifies itself. A keeper becomes aware he is letting in a lot of goals and making very few saves, so his confidence dips, diminishing his aura of authority and making him less likely to save the next shot, and so on. It’s hard to project the self-assurance, the arrogance, Arrizabalaga did at Wembley if almost half the shots hit at you fly in.

 

That Arrizabalaga needs a break, needs to reset and readjust, is obvious, but there is a deeper problem here. The structural issues that led Chelsea last season to let in more goals than they had in any campaign for 23 years remain to be resolved and the wider ramifications of those deficiencies continue to be felt. Chelsea is not an easy place to be a goalkeeper.

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