Premier League champions welcomed Liverpool on Saturday afternoon in a game which proved to be an overwhelming affair for both sets of fans at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool did well to inflict yet another blow to the stuttering giants, as the 3-1 triumph from Klopp’s charges will put additional pressure on Jose Mourinho who is facing a sack from Roman Abramovich.
Saturday’s encounter was an eventful showing and here are the several focal points of the game available for your further analysis:
1. Mourinho vs Klopp
Chelsea boss claimed before the game he wouldn’t lose any sleep over his current situation he described as fantastic, but Jurgen Klopp did his best to ruin the mood for the Portuguese tactician. Liverpool manager outwitted his Chelsea counterpart, getting the best out of the 4-2-3-1 formation both managers opted to go for in today’s match.
Without any fear and with courage and optimism fully restored, Liverpool weren’t afraid to attack from the start. The Reds had a poor patch in the beginning of the game for which they got punished after four minutes by Ramires, but have been the dominant side throughout the proceedings and their seven shots on target in the first period are the definite proof.
Chelsea were being forced to defend hard and Terry, Zouma, Cahill and Azpilicueta had their hands full for the entire 90 minutes.
Mourinho deployed Ramires and Mikel in midfield instead of Fabregas and Matic who was at his manager’s disposal having served his ban. However, both of Mourinho’s key men from last season were once again benched as the Portuguese is unhappy with the lack of effort from the Spaniard and the Serb.
Ultimately, Klopp has recorded an important win both on and off the pitch. In addition to the three points from the match, the German claimed the bragging rights as he grabbed all of the spotlights to himself.
2. Costa vs Firmino
Diego Costa had a quiet game against Liverpool. Unnoticed for the most part of the match, the Spanish striker will be remembered for his kick on Martin Skrtel which he was lucky enough not to receive a red card for.
He was expected to lead the attack and pose a major threat to Liverpool backline, but was instead completely impotent. The 27-year-old forward was reportedly offered to Barcelona, and it will be interesting to see if the January transfer window will see both him and Radamel Falcao leave the Stamford Bridge.
On the other side, faced with an injury crisis, Jurgen Klopp decided to go with Roberto Firmino leading the attack. The Brazilian was rewarded for his fine League Cup performance against Bournemouth during the week as Liverpool manager decided to leave Origi out and give the former Hoffenheim man a run in the centre of attack line.
However, just his counterpart Costa, Firmino was not the most prominent figure on pitch, but he did well to assist Coutinho for his first half leveller.
3. Oscar vs Coutinho
Definitely the two most outstanding performers in their respective teams today. Oscar marked his 100th Premier League appearance with a fine all round display. The Brazilian was selflessly helping his teammates in defence, returning deep to pick up balls and support the back four.
Chelsea playmaker showcased his technical abilities and unlikely strength in several occasions against Liverpool and was definitely one of the few bright spots in Mourinho’s team, along with Willian.
Man of the match, on the other hand, Philippe Coutinho once again proved he is a world-class calibre. Quiet in the first half and well-covered by Ramires, the 23-year-old Brazilian stepped up to the limelight and took responsibility when it was most needed.
Liverpool playmaker ended a run of 710 minutes without a Premier League goal, his Stamford Bridge brace and two amazingly precise shots have made all the difference in today’s fixture.
4. Ramires vs Lucas
Working in silence, usually unnoticed on the pitch for their respective teams, Ramires and Lucas had a fine game. Chelsea’s Brazilian was deployed deeper than he would have liked it, but was excellent in all the jobs Mourinho assigned him to do.
First of all, Ramires opened the scoring running in from behind to pick up a pass from Azpilicueta after only four minutes of play. In addition, the 28-year-old midfielder had his hands full in defence.
He followed Coutinho’s every step, and his sole error led to a goal from Liverpool magician. Coutinho pulled a fake shot to deceive Ramires and cut into space before unleashing a precise shot Begovic could not have blocked anyway.
Lucas Leiva, on the other hand was focused on intercepting the Chelsea’s counterattacks, and his importance was yet again displayed on Liverpool’s half.
The Brazilian was an anchor, linking the defence and midfield and his reliability will serve Jurgen Klopp very well this season.
5. Hazard vs Moreno
The two weakest links in today’s game. Eden Hazard deserves every bit of criticism he has been receiving lately. Uninspiring playmaker, the Belgian lacked his recognizable creativity and flair and didn’t have a single memorable moment to boast of against Liverpool.
The 24-year-old lacks concentration and rumours about his possible transfer away from Stamford Bridge have clearly had a part in it.
Hazard was replaced by Kenedy Nunes at the hour mark and will have every reason to forget his dreadful display against the Reds.
Alberto Moreno was also the least prominent performer in his team. The arrival of Jurgen Klopp and Gomez’s injury have changed his status in the team, but the young Spaniard is to be blamed for Ramires’ goal as he is the direct culprit for leaving the Brazilian unattended in the penalty box.
His runs on the left were at times rash and irrational, and the fans will have every right to blame him for his overly self-assured display.