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Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea, Premier League: Statistical review and analysis

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The numbers behind the game

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Our season summed up in one game.

Overview

Chelsea were shown the difference between a good team and a great team in the most ruthless way imaginable. If football was fair, Chelsea would have walked away with a point but football is rarely, if ever, fair.

Chelsea started the game reasonably well and even created a solid chance for Mount that should have at least been on target. However, as has been the theme of Chelsea’s season, Liverpool replied to this with a string of unsaveable goals.

They were not unsaveable because of the nature of the finish or anything of that sort, they were unsaveable because of who Chelsea had in goal. If a goalkeeper is going to jump late, swing his arms behind his back and not even bother diving, every goal is going to look unsaveable.

Giroud grabbed a goal after some scrappy play in the Liverpool box and the first few minutes of the second half were broadly serene, with both teams at peace with the result. Anyone who went to sleep at this point missed a comeback that was almost on par with the 4-4 draw against Ajax, only to fall painfully short.

Pulisic channeled his inner Messi to create a goal for Tammy Abraham before combining with Hudson-Odoi to make it 4-3. Considering the flow of the game, an equalizer was being anticipated next.

Kepa and Jorginho, though, had other plans. Jorginho made a mess of a simple tactical foul, while Kepa made a mess of what should have been a routine save, as usual. It is what it is, I guess.

In an ironic twist, the two men brought in last summer to propel Chelsea into a consistent top-four team present the greatest threat to Chelsea’s top-four ambitions this season.


Match statistics

Match stats from fbref and understat.


Individual ratings

Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

Frank Lampard

The 3-4-3 system he opted for was the most sensible, and perhaps the only option Chelsea had. To pick Jorginho as the lone defensive midfielder behind two attacking number 8s would’ve been even worse than, as would’ve been playing Kovačić and Jorginho with a back-four behind them.

3-4-3 offered the best solution in terms of masking the glaring defensive weakness in midfield. Despite that, Liverpool’s midfielders found plenty of space and took turns at ruthlessly exploiting a pairing that is aesthetically pleasing but is ultimately not effective enough on a consistent basis.

The team largely selected itself except for two players. Dropping Pulisic was a curious decision, to say the least, but Lampard claimed a small injury afterwards, so perhaps that was a mitigating factor.

Starting Kepa, however, was a criminal mistake and is the reason why Chelsea lost the game. The fault lies entirely on Lampard’s shoulders considering Caballero’s positive performance against Manchester United. Was it any surprise to see our defenders more confident and secure with Caballero behind them?

It is well and good talking about “systems” and “tactics” but if a keeper lets in every other shot on goal, there is nothing that any manager can do. Forget Lampard, even the likes of Sir Alex, prime Mourinho, Guardiola and Klopp will struggle to get anything with a team with no goalkeeper.

RATING: 7


Kepa Arrizabalaga

Not much to add at this point except that every goal was saveable and will have been saved by better goalkeepers. The goals Chelsea concede look unsaveable only because the man between the sticks makes them look so.

Unequivocally the worst goalkeeper in the league. Unequivocally the worst purchase made by Chelsea in the Abramovich era, surpassing the likes of Bakayoko, Torres, Morata and Drinkwater. Arguably the worst big-money buy by any team ever.

RATING: 2


Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Reece James

Created two absolutely delicious chances but was also found wanting on the defensive front. One gets the impression that he is primed for a rise to stardom next season and it is a matter of time before his chances get converted into assists. Interestingly, his performance deteriorated as Chelsea’s performance improved in the second half but that is perhaps down to mere fatigue and nothing else.

Stats of note
5 passes into penalty box - 1st
3 key passes - 1st
12 progressive passes - 1st
2 tackles won - 1st
4 aerial duels won (out of 5) - 1st
2 successful dribbles (out of 3) - Joint 1st
1 goal-creating action - Joint 2nd
28 pressures - 3rd

RATING: 7


César Azpilicueta

Was not at his usually high level of performance and was a bit careless defensively. His block on Firmino early in the second half acted as a catalyst for Chelsea’s mini-renaissance but he has had, and will have, better nights.

Stats of note
1 goal-creating action - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6


FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kurt Zouma

Chelsea’s best defender on the night and played some laser-guided long passes. Zouma is transitioning into a very good defender with each passing week, and is perhaps the best defender in the squad at present.

Stats of note
4 interceptions - 1st
12 clearances - 1st
3 aerial duels won (out of 4) - Joint 2nd
8 passes into final third - 2nd

RATING: 7


Antonio Rüdiger

Had an inconsistent game. Locked down Salah excellently on certain occasions while also letting him by on a few others. Not as active as Zouma on the ball.

Stats of note
17 recoveries - 1st
8 clearances - 2nd

RATING: 6


Marcos Alonso

Not as his usual marauding best and lost possession too often. The fact he was substituted for Emerson, perhaps the least impressive outfield player at the club, says a lot.

Stats of note
14 recoveries - 2nd
9 progressive passes - 2nd
4 clearances - 3rd

RATING: 5.5


Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

Jorginho

With every passing game, it becomes ever more clear that Jorginho has no future in the Premier League. Liverpool players took turns at exploiting him and it was a painful sight. He tries his best but his best is quite simply not good enough.

His lack of football-intelligence is jarring as well. There was no reason for him to lunge into a tackle on Robertson before the fifth goal and that was not an isolated incident. It was ridiculous watching a supposed defensive midfielder attempt to press opponent centre-backs.

Kanté and Gilmour cannot return soon enough. It is one thing to look good on the stats sheet but it has to translate into on-field performances.

Stats of note
9 passes into final third - 1st
32 pressures - 2nd
13 recoveries - 3rd
6 progressive passes - 3rd

RATING: 4


Mateo Kovaćić

Not the best at the office for Kovačić. Got the weight of his passes wrong from the first minute and was not at his best from a dribbling perspective. Defensively, too, he was caught wanting several times. It is perhaps excusable considering he was playing as an one-man midfield at times.

He needs to be better on counter-attacks too, with one misplaced pass to Alonso that ruined a very promising counter acting as a summary of his shortcomings in the final third.

Stats of note
33 pressures - 1st

RATING: 5.5


Willian

Was not at his best and his heavy touches, poor decisions on the ball and tendency to slow the game down all contributed to a miserable first half.

Stats of note
4 touches in penalty box - 2nd

RATING: 4.5


Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Paul Ellis/Pool via Getty Images

Olivier Giroud

Could not dominate Van Dijk the same way he dominated Maguire and the pace of Liverpool’s centre-backs, as opposed to their United counterparts, stifled him as well. However, he did manage to get on the end of a good chance and got himself a goal anyway.

Stats of note
1 goal
2 touches in penalty box - Joint 3rd
3 aerial duels won (out of 3) - Joint 2nd

RATING: 6.5


Mason Mount

This was perhaps Mount’s worst display of the season, on the back of a riveting performance against United. Missing a relatively easy chance at the beginning of the game seemed to have set the tone for what was to come. Everything was off in terms of passing, dribbling and shooting.

Stats of note
2 touches in penalty box - Joint 3rd

RATING: 4


Substitutes

Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Phil Noble/Pool via Getty Images

Christian Pulisic (59th minute)

Unbelievable display off the bench. If the game was level or even close with a minor deficit, Pulisic could have well won the game for Chelsea. The dribble leading up to Abraham’s goal was phenomenal and the composure in the box to score Chelsea’s third was different class. Long may this continue.

Stats of note
1 goal
1 assist
2 goal-creating actions - 1st
5 touches in the penalty box - 1st
2 successful dribbles (out of 4) - Joint 1st

RATING: 8.5


Tammy Abraham (59th minute)

Got his 15th non-penalty league goal of the season, making him only the 5th Chelsea player to achieve the feat since 2000 and the first since Diego Costa in 2016-17. His pace helped stretch the game in a way Giroud could not, although it did come at the expense of worse aerial ability.

RATING: 7


Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Callum Hudson-Odoi (59th minute)

Grabbed an assist due to some proactive think and good decision-making. He still does not appear to be at full speed but his sharpness was encouraging regardless. His decision-making and pass selection, among the best in his age group if not the very best, is still as sharp as it was pre-injury. It is all about getting enough games under his belt for the sake of fitness and confidence.

It is bizarre to think he and Pulisic have only started two games together - against Grimsby and United in the League Cup.

Stats of note
1 assist
2 successful dribbles (out of 3) - Joint 1st
1 goal-creating action - Joint 2nd

RATING: 7


Emerson (88th minute) - Nothing of note.