Liverpool face the first stern test of their Premier League title-defence in their clash against a newly-designed Chelsea side. They passed it with flying colours, picking up a comfortable 0-2 thanks to a Sadio Mane masterclass! The Reds were on top of the game from the get-go and picked up an added advantage before the half-time break when Andreas Christensen was sent off for tackling down Mane in a 1v1 goal-scoring situation, reducing the hosts to 10 men.
It didn’t take Liverpool much time to score after that, getting the opener in the 50th minute with Sadio Mane finishing off a beautifully-scripted move to get his first of the season. Mane then helped make it 2-0 four minutes later after his determined pressing on Kepa resulted in the goalkeeper’s clearance falling straight in his feet & allowing him to score into an open net.
Alisson saved a late penalty for Chelsea to preserve his side’s clean sheet and seal a dominant win for the Reds, who played more like champions this week than they did against Leeds United.
Here are matchday 2 Liverpool player ratings vs Chelsea
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (8.0) –
Klopp was spot on with his team selection today. Even though playing Fabinho at CB against Werner seemed a risk, it paid off brilliantly with the Brazilian dominating. Proved how good a manager he is by preserving Henderson and giving Thiago a debut after Liverpool got an added man advantage that allowed Liverpool to stroll their way to victory. Seems to have fixed the defensive issues too and got the Reds playing more like they did last season.
Alisson (8.0) –
Had nothing at all to do all game long but makes an amazing penalty save to become the first goalie to deny Jorginho in like forever! Then makes another brilliant save to deny Abraham in the 83rd. Didn’t have to do much but was a brick wall in front of goal whenever called into action.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.5) –
Alexander-Arnold is under pressure with almost all of Chelsea’s attacks going through his side. But he held his own on his flank, not allowing Chelsea to create much and putting in a much better defensive showing than last week. Had a few free-kicks skit wide and perhaps needs to impress his crossing accuracy a bit.
Virgil van Dijk (6.5) –
It’s time for Big Virg to prove why he’s the best centre-back in the world with a dominant performance. Wasn’t as good as the brilliant Fabinho, but maintained a solid defensive line, moved around the ball well and made crucial challenges whenever it had to be made.
Fabinho (7.5) –
With both Gomez and Matip (presumably?) injured, Fabinho slots in at centre-back today! Has a tough battle against Werner ahead. But makes a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny him a goal-scoring chance in the 19th. Absolutely bossed Werner all game long, dispossessing him multiple times and being the star defender in this makeshift role.
Andy Robertson (7.0) –
Robbo is seeing a lot of the ball on the left but not quite as accurate with his delivery in the first-half. Got a chance to score in the 36th, but his shot from a difficult situation went wide. Dominated his flank throughout, making clever challenges and being a menace with his movement & link-up play.
The Looks Great in Training Naby Keita (5.5) –
Keita had a great game against Chelsea in July. Can he repeat his heroics today? Not really. Another nothing performance from him, as he was unable to create anything productive nor bring his great training form on the pitch.
Gini Wijnaldum (7.0) –
Looks recharged with energy after Thiago’s arrival and is pressing Chelsea’s midfielders effectively. Making clever late runs into the box and almost scored in the 65th, but his whipped attempted was saved well. Gini looked even more motivated than usual with his relentless pressing helping Liverpool control the game. Should’ve score late on when his tap-in in front of an open net went wide.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) –
Hendo looks much fitter than last week today, making some impressive interceptions int he first half-hour and marshalling his side forward. Makes a brilliant long ball to send Mane through on goal in the 44th leading to Christensen’s red. Surprisingly subbed at half-time after a pretty good performance, probably to reserve him from picking up a knock.
Mo Salah (7.0) –
Mo’s oozing in confidence after last week’s hattrick. Outwitted Kepa in the 13th minute inside the box before finding Firmino, who couldn’t score from close range. Cleverly went behind Chelsea’s defence in the 34th but his shot from an awkward angle blazes wide. Played a clever pass to Firmino leading up to the opener.
Was really good with his passes and created quite a few great chances for teammates. Unlucky not to score late on, when his shot from a promising area was saved well. Well no chance for him to finish the season on 114 goals anymore, but expect Mo to get back to scoring soon!
Sadio Mane (9.0) –
Mane was an absolute menace with his mazy forward runs all through the game and was rewarded towards the end of the first-half, when he was horribly brought down by Christensen when in a 1v1 with Kepa and forced his sending off. Piles on Chelsea’s misery by scoring the opener, a deft header glided perfectly into the net.
Bit lucky with his second, but major props for his lung-bursting pressing which caused the erratic Kepa to gift him the goal. Almost completed a hattrick late on, but his powerful long-ranger was well saved. Salah was the MVP last week, but Mane says “I’m just as good” with his brilliant performance today.
Roberto Firmino (7.5) –
Bobby had a great chance to get an early opener after Kepa lost his guard in goal, but a clever interception denied him to score into an empty net. But he made up for that with a beautiful assist for Mane after linking up really well with Salah and sending a perfect cross for his teammate.
Firmino terrorized Chelsea all evening long with his clever movement and was a real menace around the final third. Another superb display at the Bridge.
Thiago Alcantara (7.0) –
The exciting new signing makes his debut in perhaps the perfect situation. He’s been with us since Friday but is already playing as if he’s here for a decade. Unlucky to give the penalty with the slightest of nudges to Werner, but bailed out by a brilliant Alisson save.
But a classy display from the Spaniard nonetheless, with his effortless controlling of possession and distribution proving he’ll be a big fan-favourite for years to come.
James Milner (6.5) –
Milner did what he was brought on to do – help Liverpool see out the win without any hiccups.
Takumi Minamino (N/R) –
Looked energetic in a short cameo.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mane was definitely the MOTM today, as his blazing movement and determination to score goals ultimately won the game for Liverpool.