Liverpool is reeling.
Losses against Atletico Madrid and Watford (!!!) have dinged their confidence. Will they field a full squad against Chelsea and focus on advancing in the FA Cup?
It’s a good mixed squad. But the results are the same early on. Fabinho gives away a poor pass that leads to an opening Chelsea goal. It’s Chelsea 1-0 at the half. Liverpool are 1.54 xG to Chelsea’s .76 though–Reds just aren’t finishing.
Second verse is same as the first. Chelsea go up 2-0 off a Ross Barkley goal and that’s how it ends.
Liverpool just aren’t clicking. No link up play. Too casual. No intensity. Not first to balls. Time to hit panic button. Jurgen Klopp clearly misplayed the winter break. A team playing at Liverpool’s intensity can’t just take that amount of time off. Lesson learned.
Credit to Liverpool fans for their “Si Senior” and “Mo Salah” chants–totally drowning out Chelsea supporters. Feels like a home match.
Here are Liverpool vs Chelsea player ratings.
Liverpool Starting XI vs Chelsea
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (4) –
“As expected” levels of squad rotation today. He isn’t at fault for Liverpool not finishing. But the squad is still off.
His subs are poor. Fabinho should’ve come off in the first half and doesn’t. Takes out Lallana who is one of few bright spots.
With last set of subs goes 4-2-3-1 with Minamino at the 10 and Bobby up top, but nothing changes.
Adrian (5) –
Two strong saves followed by giving up a howler to Willian in the 13th. Did well to block the Pedro breakaway in the 65th.
Neco Williams (5) –
Pretty quiet night for the kid who could be TAA’s heir apparent (moving him to midfield of course). Will be disappointed with his showing.
Virgil van Dijk (7) –
Mountainous defending on a Giroud attack towards end of first 45. Overall decent performance. Best of the defenders.
Joe Gomez (5) –
Seeing a LOT of the ball early on. However, doesn’t close out well on Barkley leading to the second Chelsea goal.
Andy Robertson (5) –
Too quiet. Not effective. WTF is going on.
Adam Lallana (7) –
A deserved start after being the only Liverpool player to show up vs Watford. Doing crafty Lallana things, winning tackles, completing a high percentage of his passes. Unfairly subbed off for Salah.
Curtis Jones (5) –
Pretty quiet showing. Completed three dribbles and got a shot off, but will be disappointed to waste this first team opportunity. He’ll have more to come. Subbed off in the 70th for Milner.
Fabinho (3) –
What’s up with him? Terrible giveaway that leads to the Willian opener. Should get credit for the assist on that one. Booked in second half. May need to go back to the bench. Really really bad.
Takumi Minamino (5) –
Gets his first start in the Bobby Firmino role. Just isn’t making an impact. Doesn’t look the part of a Liverpool player yet.
Sadio Mane (8) –
Looks really strong and lively. Had an opportunity to get Liverpool ahead in opening minutes but Kepa denies him. Completing dribbles like it’s his job. Easily the best of the starters.
Divock Origi (5) –
Just didn’t make an impact. Two shots but runs weren’t inventive and not as strong on ball as normal. Off in the 70th for Firmino.
Roberto Firmino (NR) – On in the 70th for Origi. Sloppy passes. Not linking up.
James Milner (NR) – On in the 70th for Jones. Good tactical foul in the 76th on Pedro earns him a yellow. Otherwise doesn’t do much.
Mo Salah (NR) – On in the 81st for Lallana. Too late to make an impact.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Really at this point, nobody deserves it. But Mane was the best of the bunch.