PLAYER RATINGS: CHELSEA 2-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge and were held to a stalemate. The Reds went 2-0 up and allowed their hosts to pull both goals back in a five minute spell before halftime. It was huff and puff second half with neither side finding a winner. Read on for player ratings from the encounter.
Kelleher – 7.5
Fantastic dive at Pulisic’s feet to save a certain goal early on. Crucial point blank save from Pulisic first half after Van Dijk missed a header. Showed good handling in holding on to Mount’s hit from range. Was confident with his distribution and didn’t show any sign of nerves. Unlucky with the two goals, he couldn’t get near either as they were both well hit.
Alexander-Arnold – 6.5
Sluggish start saw him almost cost his side a goal when his clearance hit Havertz and fell to Pulisic. Grew into the game and opened it up with a peach of a pass for Salah to run onto and score. Played another perfectly weighted first time pass to put Salah in. Wasn’t much involved as the game wore on. Crucial clearance on a cross to the back post late on with Alonso lurking.
Konaté – 6
Stepped infront of his man to win the ball a couple of times. Made key interceptions to halt dangerous attacks. Can be too easily sucked out of position as seen on their second goal. Should have done better with a header from a corner second half. A man his height needs to attack set pieces better. Stepped into midfield a few times like Matip does and his line breaking pass to Jota set us away for the first goal.
Van Dijk – 6
Sluggish tonight. Lost runners, gave the ball away cheaply and resorted to just booting the ball out of play when composure was needed. He was slow on the cover when Konaté got pulled out of position. He did win his individual duels when he had to and was switched on second half. Repelled their attacks down that side.
Tsimikas – 7
He’s a fighter, I love him, but his deliveries can be dreadful at times. Showed great strength to win a corner off Mount late on and geed up the Liverpool fans only to then hit his corner straight at the first man. He tends to take too many touches when in crossing positions, this allows the covering defender to get a block in. Defensively he was rock solid and didn’t give Mount an inch. Really good backup.
Fabinho – 5
Part of a midfield that was below par tonight. Not enough composure in there to get on the ball and get his side playing. Improved slightly as the game wore on and opened Chelsea up by dribbling upfield and chipping a ball over the defence for Jota. We didn’t see him try that again though. Caught on the ball a few times due to poor first touches. Kanté ran rings around him at times.
Henderson – 4.5
Kovacic ran rings around him all night. It was hard to watch. Henderson is very stiff, and in games like this where you get no time on the ball, he can suffer. Couldn’t control a bouncing ball to save his life and lost too many duels to Kovacic. Lost Pulisic for their equaliser as he stopped to appeal for offside. I’m surprised he lasted the whole game to be very honest. Lacked quality on the ball all night.
Milner – 5.5
He gave it away loads first half but then won it back, usually with thunderous tackles. He was actually faring better than the other two till he gave away a needless free kick in a dangerous position with halftime approaching and Chelsea lacking ideas. They scored from that and the game was turned on its head. Another who is very stiff and needs three or four touches when only one or two is required. Couldn’t get near Kanté.
Salah – 7.5
Played in by Mané early on but he was beaten to it by Rudiger. Then he went straight through and shot straight at Mendy but the offside flag came to his rescue. Took his goal with aplomb, leaving Alonso for dead and then beating Mendy at his near post. A truly world class finish. Almost caught Mendy out with a lob after a well worked break. Went through a few more times but didn’t capitalise.
Jota – 6
Struck a volley sweetly after sneaking in behind but saw Mendy push it wide. It wouldn’t have counted though as he was offside . Didn’t really get on the end of another chance all night. Had the chance to play Salah in a few times but his weight of pass was poor. Backed into his man and controlled passes in the box with his back to goal but couldn’t turn and get a shot away. Subbed
Mané – 7.5
Brought an end to a long goal drought by punishing Chalobah’s error. Showed real composure to sell Mendy the dummy before finishing past the despairing slide of Azpilicueta on the goal line. Created a few openings for Salah as he caused Chalobah problems. Should have scored when he cut in on his right and went near post with the far post gaping.
Made it too easy for Mendy. Started running into cul-de-sac late on and was subbed. To his credit he didn’t give the referee any reason to think of booking him again after that early yellow. Defended well and could be seen making headed clearances in his own box.
Keita – 5
No real impact. Got away from his man once or twice but nothing came of it.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
On to play in the false nine position. No real impact. Had a chance to set us away on a 4 vs 1 counter attack after a Chelsea set piece had been cleared but he couldn’t control Trent’s pass. Salah was fuming.
Jones – N/A
Good to see him back, came on for Mané late on. Showed good feet to get past a few challenges. Could probably have had a pop on goal.
With Jürgen struck down with Covid, Pep stepped in the breach. He was energetic on the touchline and encouraged his troops. After going 2-0 up it’s disappointing to see the lead thrown away in just 5 minutes at the end of the first half. The changes second half didn’t really change the course of the game. Title hopes well and truly over now.
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