The first heavyweight showdown of the 2020/21 Premier League season took place yesterday between Chelsea and Liverpool.
Klopp’s Reds came out on top, and showed that Chelsea still have plenty of work to do if they want to challenge the top 2.
Despite taking 6 points from 6, and City not having kicked a ball yet (they do play later today), Liverpool are still second favourites in the latest football betting.
The bookmakers have slightly shortened the odds on Klopp’s men though. They are now 6/5, having been closer to the 2/1 mark a week or two back.
Liverpool beat Chelsea convincingly in first big clash of 2020/21 season
Liverpool’s win yesterday was pretty comprehensive in the end. As I alluded to in my pre season predictions, Chelsea are a work in progress – a young team on the up. While Liverpool are the finished article.
Even without Christensen’s amateurish red card, and the latest calamity from Kepa, Chelsea looked every bit the up and coming team, up against the established outfit.
In truth, Liverpool won with plenty to spare.
Liverpool March On
Jurgen Klopp’s team have had a decent start to the new season. That said, it’s not been as assured as we’re used to seeing from Liverpool.
Could this just be down to the ridiculously high standards Liverpool set themselves last season, and is this a more achievable level the Reds are now playing at? I don’t know, but they don’t look as solid as last season.
Liverpool looked rusty against Leeds last weekend, they weren’t assured at the back. Then against Chelsea yesterday, they were given more than a helping hand.
It could be harsh to judge them on that, and I personally believe Liverpool would have won that match without the red card.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have both started the season well, and that bodes well for Liverpool moving forward.
For Klopp and his team, it’s just a case of more of the same please. Sadly, the same can’t be said of Chelsea……….
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Lampard and Chelsea fail first test of the season
This defeat should serve as a lesson to Frank Lampard.
He stood up to Klopp and his team admirably – on and off the pitch – in the 5-3 defeat at Anfield at the back end of last season. This time though, Lampard was found wanting from a tactical perspective.
In fairness Lampard tried to go horses for courses, he didn’t just put his team out and hope for the best. At least he had a game plan.
Us writers and pundits are quick enough to criticise when managers send their teams out to do the same old thing every week.
If Lampard had just played his normal game against Liverpool and lost, I’m sure we would have heard the same old mantra trotted out. So it only seems fair that we acknowledge Lampard did try something different.
I just think sometimes that when you go more defensive, especially when it goes against your team’s main strengths, that you hand the initiative to your opponents.
After all, Chelsea had success against Manchester City last season playing their natural game.
How much are injuries taking their toll on Chelsea? Who knows!
Given the way Christian Pulisic finished last season, he surely would have played yesterday if fit. New signings Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva both would also have been playing if fit.
Those three would surely have made a difference to the level of performance if nothing else.
Conceding Goals still a problem for Chelsea
The problems at Chelsea are fairly obvious though.
Injuries or no injuries, the accusation that Lampard hasn’t sorted out his defence and goalkeeper will be levelled against him.
Lampard will carry the can if that continues to happen. There is no doubt about that.
You simply can’t spend all that money and still have the same problems. Chelsea have a history of not tolerating such short comings.
At the other end of the pitch there is plenty to be positive about though.
Despite not scoring against Liverpool yesterday, Chelsea have the players to score goals and hurt teams.
Timo Werner looks to have settled in nicely to the pace of the Premier League. The goals to match his performances will soon follow.
The team also look to be adapting to the new style of play based around the German forward. With the aforementioned Christian Pulisic and new signing Hakim Ziyech still to play this season, the side will only get stronger.
I also think it would be fair to assume that a new keeper may be arriving at the Bridge anytime soon.