Chelsea have lost 3-1 at home to Liverpool in yet another appalling match with many of the best players once again failing to get the team out of its terrible form.
The away side got forward early on and there were clear signs of Jurgen Klopp’s high presing game being implemented as they stole the ball in midfield and Firmino put the ball wide from the edge of the area. Chelsea responded by pushing up themselves, and got the perfect result from their early pressure. Costa, under heavy pressure, did well the play the ball back from the far left side of pitch to the on-running Azpilicueta who was given time to cross the ball into the box for Ramires to head low into the bottom corner in the fourth minute.
It certainly appeared as if Chelsea’s recent improved but unrewarded form continuing and beginning to yield results, and the team played with more thrust from midfield with Oscar replacing Fabregas in the centre. Costa’s runs were not directionless but rather creating space for the support cast behind- space which was now being used as opposed to wasted. Eden Hazard ran through in the dangerous and questioning manner that he did so may times last season, but his final ball let him down.
It took Liverpool several minutes to find themselves in the match and recover from their early set-back, but from the 20th minute onward it was them who had the majority of the ball as Chelsea sat back. Both Clyne and Lallana found themelves in space around Chelsea’s box to no avail, and the latter had an attempt that forced Begovic into a smart save as the game’s momentum went the way of Klopp’s team and Mourinho’s opted to try and catch the visitors on the break.
Liverpool were left incensed when after 30 minutes Clyne’s ball into the Chelsea box appeared to be blocked by the arm of John Terry. Closer inspection showed that the incident was just outside the box and it would have been impossible for the Chelsea captain to get his am out of the way.
Chelsea’s luck ran out second before the half-time whistle when Coutinho, who was allowed far too much space on the edge of the box, turned and curled the ball past Begovic to cut out their early lead. It is a familiar story and Chelsea should be wary of the next act.
The second half began very nervously for Chelsea, Coutinho’s goal completely throwing the defence off its guard. There were several moments when the goalkeeper and the centre-backs were caught in indecision which almost allowed Liverpool in for a second goal.
Mourinho tried to inject some fresh pace into Chelsea’s attacking play by bringing on the recently impressive Kenedy at the expense of the under-par Hazard. Oscar took a shot from 40 yards that Mignolet did well to save while running back, Lucas should have seen a red card when he committed a yellow card offence having been cautioned in the first half and Chelsea luck took a worse turn still when Coutinho scored again to give Liverpool the lead with 20 minutes left, his shot from just inside the box deflecting off John Terry.
That goal broke Chelsea’s spirit and they were unable to make their way back into the game thereafter. Benteke increased the lead to 3-1 as Chelsea collapsed in a manner that has become depressingly familiar. The players offered no resistance as the game overwhelmed them and Liverpool’s fresher approach battered them having worn down their resistance in the first half. This defeat increases the pressure on Jose Mourinho and though it is unlikely any sacking will take place due to his incredible record and the lack of alternatives available, speculation to the contrary is sure to intensify.
Once again the temporary false dawn this season has come to nothing and it doesn’t look as if anything is going to improve any time soon. Qualifying for next season’s Champions League is looking like one of the biggest challenges in the club’s modern past.
CHELSEA: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta (Falcao, 76); Ramires, Mikel (Fabregas, 70); Willian, Oscar, Hazard (Kenedy, 59); Costa.
Unused Subs: Amelia, Baba Rahman, Matic, Remy,
Manager: José Mourinho
Scorers: Ramires (4)
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno; Milner, Lucas; Can, Coutinho, Lallana; Firmino.
Unused Subs: Bogdan, Allen, Randall, Teixeira.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Scorers: Coutinho (45 and 74), Benteke (84)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK.