Chelsea started well enough against Liverpool, and even played well enough on the whole, but bad luck and bad set piece defending undid anything positive, especially in the first half.
The visitors took the lead after Christensen went through the back of Mané just outside the top of the area, and Liverpool worked a decent wrinkle into the direct free kick, with Salah rolling it back and Alexander-Arnold absolutely leathering it into the top corner.
Chelsea responded well, and should’ve equalized when Abraham broke the offside trap. But instead of making the easy square pass for Mount to tap in, he went for it alone and hit Adrian’s thigh instead of the back of the net.
Chelsea then did equalize, as Azpilicueta smuggled a pin-balling ball into the back of the net after Liverpool failed to deal with an Alonso cross, but the goal was called off by VAR for a marginal offside by Mount at the very start of the play.
Almost immediately after, Chelsea failed to deal with another free kick — Azpilicueta called for obstruction — this time a Robertson cross, leaving Firmino wide open to head into the back of the net.
A foul by Adrian on Abraham in the area then went uncalled as such fouls tend to go.
A. "Everybody was Kung Fu fighting— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) September 22, 2019
Those kids were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they did it with expert timing"
B. This is a Foul pic.twitter.com/920jnh4JZA
Liverpool looked to put the game out of reach at the start of the second half, but a couple amazing saves from Arrizabalaga kept Chelsea in it.
With Liverpool looking fairly happy to settle for the 2-0 win, getting warned and cautioned for time-wasting even, Chelsea kept to the task at hand, and were eventually rewarded with a tremendous Kanté individual effort and finish to halve the deficit.
Unfortunately, a second goal, despite waves and waves of attacks, was not meant to be, confirming Liverpool’s win — Batshuayi, Mount both missing glorious chances in the final few minutes.
- Back to the 4-3-3 today, with surprise starts for fitness doubts Kanté, Mount, and Emerson. Emerson lasted less than 15 minutes unfortunately.
- Injury enforced subs for Emerson and Christensen limited Lampard’s options for changing things in the second half. Batshuayi’s number was the lucky one, replacing Abraham for the final quarter of an hour.
- If only we could defend set pieces!
- Next up: Grimsby Town in the League Cup on Wednesday. Should be a bit easier.