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Chelsea 2 Liverpool 2 (Jan 2 2022)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

Nothing wrong with a draw at Stamford Bridge. At 2-0 up you’d like to think we’d see it but but we were ahead against the run of play and Chelsea were the better side for most of the game, and although the chance count was pretty even we probably didn’t deserve anything more than we got.

 

The problem of course is that we needed to win because we fucked up against Leicester. We’ve taken two points from the last nine which isn’t good enough when you’re trying to keep pace with City. That’s why people are reacting the way they are. It’s unfair really, Klopp and this team have basically performed miracles to give us what they have, and even this season they’ve lost only twice. Sure, draws have been costly but three of the six draws have been against City and Chelsea. In the days before oil this would be title winning form.

 

Now though? It gets you top four and maybe within 15 points of City. The frustrating thing to me is that five points from nine would have been sound, considering all three games were away and two of them were at Spurs and Chelsea. So yeah, the Leicester game has completely fucked everything and that’s the main reason we’ve gone from being neck and neck with City to being well off the pace.

 

There are certainly things I can pick holes in from this performance but the fact is Chelsea are a really good side. They’re European Champions, they’ve got top players all over the park and they played really well. The best they’ve played in ages in fact. They were really good and we struggled to match their intensity.

 

It’s not often teams have more possession than us and have us on the back foot so instead of complaining about how we played I think I’ll just accept that we’re talking about two very evenly matched teams here and we were never going to go there and play them off the park. They had more control and more possession than us and it’s understandable. I think we’re better than Chelsea and that the table in May will back that up, but there’s not much in it and they were at home and needing a win just as much as we were. 

 

That being said, they were wide open at times and that allowed us to still create chances even when they were on top. I’d have liked us to have played better but as I say, this result feels worse than it should because of what happened at Leicester. I don’t want to keep bringing that up but you’re probably best getting used to it as I can’t see me letting that one go any time soon.

 

 

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In Kelleher it looks like we have a decent back-up keeper for the first time in quite a while. One positive to take after some of the keepers we've had in recent years. Other than that not a great deal to feel good about. Feels like everything has just fallen apart over Christmas for the 2nd year in a row (I know things started to fall apart with all the injuries earlier than that last season but we strangely seemed to cope without any problems for a few months). Report pretty much sums it up. Not bad. Not great. A win would have been nice and we probably should have been able to see it through from 2 goals up, but this result is very low down on the list of problematic results this season. 

 

I'm bored of my MSN homepage being filled with stupid stories of reactions from Liverpool Twitter fans and headlines making them sound as though they represent what all or most Liverpool fans think. I have one up today with people calling Milner a clown for yesterday's performance. We've had some awful players over the years who are probably worthy of such a description but Milner's certainly not one of them. This should be his last season with us probably but he's been a great signing overall. 

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Good report Dave and pretty much how I see it.

 

Might be stating the obvious but I think we've eased up on the on game management bit. At the start of the Brentford game when they were up for it, we just seemed to go 'well come on then, we'll go toe to toe' instead of taking the sting out of them and the crowd. Same with Brighton and even Palace to a lesser degree.

 

Yep, getting the better of city now is going to be incredibly hard but if Jurgen and the team gives up, then yes, it is virtually done.

 

I dont think we can ease up in the league to concentrate on the domestic cups. Get into that mindset and we may find we're 5th before we know it.

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Henderson has had 3 dire games in a row, barely managed above 3/10 in any of them. Milner looks goosed to me and probably the reason the midfield looks so dysfunctional. He looks stuck to the ground at times, can't get himself moving, when he's in a stride he's fine but on standing starts he's reminding me of me, if it's not to my feet I'm not getting it. Havertz didn't over hit the ball, he just moved it away so Milner could predictably cream him.

 

Overall something had definitely changed in how we play, someone more technical than me would need to explain what. We had a 4 v 2 and 3 v 1 yesterday, how did that happen? Why did he we have so many players ahead of the ball in the first place, all seems a bit reckless to me. Brentford away is fine to go toe to toe but there were situations yesterday that on the face of it just seemed mad.

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Think that's a very fair and accurate report, a draw in the match was a good result against a strong team who played very well but the context of the Leicester game just makes it two points lost not one gained.

The midfield was awful, Milner's work overshadowed by that horrendous foul to open the situation for their first goal. Fab looked like he was in treacle, Hendo was awful and I say that as a big admirer. 

I said in the comments after the last report that I thought the team has been held together one season too long. Thiago or Keita would have been fine, both means we are paying two wages for effectively one player given the time they have off.

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Good report Dave.  I'm like you in that I think we're going to struggle over the next month, but it is an opportunity for some of the younger and less favoured players (for them it might be their final opportunity) to stake a claim.  

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I think we're the 3rd best team. City are clearly the top of the pile, chelsea are the current European champions and above us in the league they also were the better side in both games we played generally. I dont think we improve by using what we have or promoting youngsters, we need to dip onto the market and buy for the first 11. Our midfield needs the kind of improvement our defence did or goalkeeping position did when we signed Ali and VVD. Michael Edwards will undoubtedly be fucking off with all the knowledge we've paid him to gather but to a club that actually spends.

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Nah, not having it that we're 3rd best team. Think that's a massive overreaction. If we'd hadnt got beaten at leicester, many people would have been happy getting a draw before kick off.

 

van Dijk is still playing recovery coming back from his year long layout and yesterday he's playing with new boy Konate. Some seem to think he'd be back to his imperious best straight away. That was a serious injury he had.

 

I also think some players are still feeling the effects of covid and missing training etc plus we've a number of players out and using the squad.

 

 

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Milner was wonderful until around the hour mark. I suspect he ran out of steam, no great surprise given the lack of other midfielders. That was indeed the area where we were over-run. OK so he gave away the foul - perhaps unecessarily. But to blame him for a world-class once-in-a-lifetime goal from Kovacic (he'd never repeat that strike in a lifetime of trying) is, to say the least, a little unfair. Kelleher made a fantastic stop from the initial kick, not enough was made of that. He was also manhandled in at least one of their corners and nothing was done about it.

 

AOC made no discernible impact, Keita less still. I thought subbing Jota off was a mistake. Milner and Hendo should have made way for Jones and AOC in my book. 

 

No mention of the foul/kick on Tsimikas that deserved a yellow at the very least.

 

One more thing. Gary fucking Neville. Jesus. He is one utterly repellent tit. If I never hear his fucking voice again. Some of his comments were absolutely appalling.

 

As you said though Dave, with Chelsea playing like they did, the least they deserved was a draw.

 

 

 

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Good report Dave. One thing I’m not clear about though mate is what your thoughts are about the Leicester result. Care to elaborate…?

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Good report, agree with most of the thoughts expressed.

 

I don't especially agree that Taylor had a good game. It's a reflection of the appalling standards we've become used to that if a a referee doesn't majorly fuck up he's done well. He was in any-Liverpool-challenge-is-automatically-a-foul mode for much of this game, giving soft free kicks for example two, maybe three times when Chalobah was being pressed by Jota and chose to hit the deck voluntarily, and the booking for Konate for breathing heavily on Hudson-Odoi was a joke. Having seen it again, I'm still not convinced that Milner committed the foul - would it have been given against Rudiger on Salah at the other end? Anyway, to blame Milner for their first goal is silly. Kovacic wouldn't find that top corner if he tried a thousand more times. There was also a clear foul by Havertz jumping into Virgil in the build up to their second.

 

Lots of chat about Mane's elbow in the media and on MotD, fuck all about Mason Mount on Tsimikas. He should have at least had a yellow for that - but it's yet another VAR anomaly that it's either a red or he gets off scot free. Same happened at West Ham when Cresswell should have been sent off (still fuming that he wasn't).

 

However all of that just detracts from what was probably our worst performance in a long time in terms of being able to retain the ball and pass accurately, which was the most worrying factor here. Right now, I'm feeling that it would be an acceptable season if we can keep whoever is in fourth place at arm's length and pick up a cup (preferably two). We need to go as strong as our depleted squad will allow against Arsenal and hope our kids can get through against Shrewsbury (before the inevitable away draw against a decent PL team, should we get through). The u18s team for the Youth Cup tie on Friday night will probably have to get raided just so we can actually fill the bench against Shrewsbury. 

 

It does feel like we're back in if-anything-can-go-wrong......-land again and City are enjoying the exact opposite. Hopefully Klopp will be recovered soon and inspire the boys to get through the next few weeks until hopefully we get a few more players back.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Barnesey said:

Millie reminds me of me playing in my lad’s 5 a side team: trying to make up for a lack of pace by throwing my weight around. Only works to a point. 

And he's not begging to go in goal after 5 minutes

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Am I the only one who thinks Kelleher was slightly at fault for their first goal? He pretty much couldn't have hit it anywhere worse., 

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14 hours ago, Remmie said:

Am I the only one who thinks Kelleher was slightly at fault for their first goal? He pretty much couldn't have hit it anywhere worse., 

He was under pressure from a Chelsea player when the freekick came in. He did well to punch the ball outside the box. Attaching any sort of blame to him for that first goal is too harsh. Kovacic certainly isnt scoring a goal like that ever again.

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Keepers need to be punching or parrying the ball to the edge of the box not straight in front. Not a total gaff but could do better

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