Liverpool – Chelsea: Chelsea’s Conservative Game Plan Cancelled Out By Salah’s Wonder Strike (2-0)
Chelsea were flat the entire match, in all phases of play. As Liverpool controlled the match through possession, some flashes of individual brilliance were enough to seal the deal, as both Sarri’s tactical rigidity and Eden Hazard’s missed chance denied Chelsea a genuine opportunity to get back into the game.
Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias.
There are two separate races occurring at the upper end of the Premier League table; one for the title, and one for the third and fourth places. This clash had a representative of each of these races, who both had their own interests to serve. Liverpool could reclaim the position of league leaders, while Chelsea could bolster their fourth place and increase the gap with chasing teams Manchester United and Arsenal.
The separate tiers in which these teams operate was also reflected in their midweek European endeavors, as Liverpool beat Porto on Tuesday in the Champions League, while Chelsea got the better of Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday. Liverpool obviously enjoyed a healthy advantage from playing in Europe’s elite league, having 48 hours more to recover, as well as not having to travel abroad.
Against Chelsea, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp fielded the exact same starting eleven as he did against Porto, meaning Fabinho played as the number six, while Naby Keïta and Jordan Henderson performed the roles of the more advanced central midfielders. Liverpool’s attacking trio is so famous we don’t have to name it . . .