Maybe there is a world in which we don't keep losing. That sounds like a nice world. Maybe in that world we finished second last season and kept going, taking in neither the towering pinnacles of glory nor the gross chasms of ... whatever this is. As you may have gathered from the first sentence, Chelsea were beaten yet again. This time our tormentors were Liverpool, this time the score was 3-1.
For most of the first half, everything looked a-ok. Sure, the visitors had the ball for about 70 percent of the game, but that was to be expected. Ramires had opened the scoring in the 4th minute, celebrating his new contract by flying past the stunned Alberto Moreno and powering in a header, a goal also marked by Cesar Azpilicueta leaving James Milner for dead on the left touchline.
Despite the constant pressure, all seemed well. Liverpool were mostly smashing aimless shots from distance of flinging in hopeless crosses at Mt. Cahill, and although Jurgen Klopp's counter-pressing was stopping us creating anything, at 1-0 up the onus is on the other team to score. Time crawled by without much in the way of stress, the creeping effect amplified by Chelsea wasting time whenever possible.
This seriously annoyed referee Mark Clattenburg. One of the joys of not having commentator audio is that you can actually hear the game, and our friendly referee could be heard chastising the players to hurry up and play. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but ... but this season is this season. And therefore it was.
Two minutes of stoppage time were to be played in the first half. More than two were actually played. Chelsea wasted plenty of time on an offside call, Clattenburg deliberately gave it back, and as half of the Blue defence switched off and mentally headed down the tunnel, expecting the whistle to go, Philippe Coutinho picked up possession and jinked his way into a central shooting position. Asmir Begovic never had a chance.
So we went from 1-0 with the match under control and everyone knowing what to do to 1-1 and everyone being very angry at everything. Right now I trust Chelsea to defend competently with certain personnel on the field, but that same group has trouble creating anything. Which is a problem when you need to score. The game was no longer winnable via defending, so Jose Mourinho switched to the attack.
First, Kenedy came on for the (tired?) Eden Hazard, which looked like an inspired choice for about five minutes as the young Brazilian began merrily rampaging all over the pitch. Then John Obi Mikel, on a yellow card, was withdrawn for Cesc Fabregas.
And then Liverpool scored again. If Coutinho's first goal was just desserts for our timewasting antics, his second appeared to be the result of some sort of terrible cosmic curse. Again getting himself into shooting position, this time Coutinho kissed the ball off John Terry's chest and into the top corner. Oops.
All structure went out the window as Mourinho shifted to his 'let's lose by more goals' shape. Radamel Falcao came on for Azpilicueta, and as a result superficial pressure was gently applied until Liverpool scored again, this time through substitute Christian Benteke. No serious response was forthcoming, and as a result Chelsea lost. Again.