From the first whistle to the last, only one team were ever really in this game, and perhaps we can count ourselves lucky to only walk away with a 4-1 defeat to the league leaders.
Things might have turned out a bit differently if Liverpool didn’t get the nice home field advantage call from both the referee and VAR in the 6th minute, adjudging that Gallagher had simply fallen over Virgil Van Dijk’s leg instead of what actually happened, and VVD taking our Gallagher in the area, but that may be wishful thinking. Nothing in our performance suggested that the match would’ve turned out any differently in the end, with or without an early goal for us — certainly not in the first half.
Liverpool dominated every phase, every facet, nearly every single action. They were up 2-0 at the half with a missed penalty, and that reflected generously on us.
Pochettino made a triple change at half, and that gave us a bit more impetus, but that soon died out as well. Mudryk had a chance to get one back during this period, but skied his effort quite badly after Gusto played him in with a great ball.
And then normal service resumed in the 65th minute, Liverpool scoring their third on a simple cross and header thanks to some impressively poor defending on our part.
Liverpool switched off momentarily then, and Nkunku gave us a bit of hope with a lovely finish, but then Van Dijk got away with another foul in the area, this time on Nkunku, and then we fell asleep at the back again to give Liverpool their three-goal advantage back.
And then, and then, and then. Eventually the final whistle came to put us out of our misery.
28 & 13 - Liverpool's 28 shots tonight is the joint-most on record (since 2003-04) any side has had in a Premier League match against Chelsea, while their 13 shots on target is the most the Blues have faced in a league match in that time. Peppered. #LIVCHE pic.twitter.com/FV2311YdO7— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 31, 2024
- One change to the lineup from Friday night, with Chilwell getting the start left back.
- Nkunku, Gusto, Mudryk on at the half (Gallagher, Chilwell, Madueke off); Badiashile switching to left back.
- Chukwuemeka gets a runout as well, and picks up an assist. Nkunku gets his goal.
- Casadei on for the final few minutes for his Chelsea debut, the 800th player to pull on the Blue shirt.
- Four goals for Liverpool, who also hit the woodwork four times (including once from the penalty spot), and Petrovic still had to make saves nearly in the double digits.
- Looking forward to that apology about VAR from PGMOL in 3,2,1...
- Next up: Wolves at home on Sunday