An occasionally shaky defense held up fine for the first 45 minutes, while at the other end, Chelsea made good use of the two wide men, Pedro and Pulisic, as well as Kante being magnificent to take a 1-0 lead into half.
Giroud’s precise finish opened the scoring, and Pulisic was unlucky to not make that two after being called narrowly offside by VAR. Earlier, Pedro also hit the post in the first half and Kovacic had a great chance that needed a fantastic save from Adrián.
The shaky defense was back in full effect at the start of the second half, and Liverpool bundled in an equalizer. Kepa then was forced into a wondersave to keep things level, while at the other end, Mount’s goal was ruled out for offside.
Chelsea started poorly in extra-time as well, letting Mané score his second, but showed great resilience in drawing level and should’ve scored at another one through Abraham (who did win the penalty) or Mount (who was teed up by Abraham for a free shot from the top of the box). Alas.
In the lottery of the penalty shootout, the first 9 scored and then
Lukaku Abraham missed and Liverpool prevailed.
If the goal was to learn whether we can hang with Liverpool, then mission accomplished. Certainly a better performance overall than on Sunday. A 2-2 draw with the Champions of Europe and one of the two title favorites in the Premier League is something we should not be unhappy with.
- 4-3-3 today after the weekend’s 4-2-3-1
- Only 2 changes from the Europa League final starting lineup (Zouma for David Luiz, Pulisic for Eden Hazard)
- 3 changes from the weekend (Giroud for Abraham, Pulisic for Barkley, Kante for Mount)
- Abraham for Giroud, Mount for Pulisic, Tomori for Christensen in second half straight swaps. Christensen looked to be favoring his groin, probably explaining that surprising sub. Barkley replaced Kovačić in extra time for old times’ sake.
- Next up: Leicester City on Sunday