Well, that was shite. I’ve typed that line more this season than I had in the previous three years and, yes, it is getting fucking annoying now.
A fifth consecutive home defeat- something that has never previously happened in the long and illustrious history of this great club. Record breakers; where’s Roy Castle when you need him?
Two changes for the Tricky Reds tonight, with that shirker Alisson being forced back to work by @Klopptimist and Fabinho returning to the heart of the defence in place of the injured Nat Phillips. The return of Diogo Jota to the bench was a welcome sight; hopefully his return will give the front three a much-needed kick up the backside.
A fairly even opening twenty minutes with Werner possibly having the two best early chances, blazing over on the ten minute mark and then just failing to lift the ball over Ali a few minutes later. At the other end, Robbo dragged his shot wide after a lapse by James, while Sadio might have earned a penalty had he gone down under a challenge from the same Chelsea player… or if he had played for a team from Manchester.
Werner appeared to have beaten the offside trap in the 24th minute and, having beaten the onrushing Alisson to the ball, managed to tuck it home milliseconds before Robbo could clear. Fortunately, VAR applied the same forensic detail to its check that it usually does for our goals and the score remained 0-0, with Werner’s arm being adjudged offside.
Five minutes later, Mané fluffed a good chance after being played in by a glorious ball over the top from Mo, the Senegalese forward not quite able to connect with just Mendy to beat. Curtis hit a speculative effort well wide on the half hour mark; the home side were yet to find their feet.
With four minutes of the half remaining, a long ball from Kanté into the space behind Trent saw Mount cut in and gore low past Alisson and into the bottom corner. Nobody closed the Chelsea midfielder down particularly quickly.
As the players trudged off for their halftime oranges, the visitors definitely deserved their lead. Their game plan was obviously to exploit our high line and it worked on several occasions. The Reds were on the ropes and rocking.
The Reds started the second stanza more brightly and should have been awarded a penalty three minutes into the half. Firmino’s cross clearly hit Kanté’s hand; the Chelsea midfielder’s arm was clearly raised at an unnatural angle. An identical offence by our own Joe Gomez against Manchester City earlier this season resulted in a penalty; needless to say, this didn’t.
Mo was mysteriously taken off just after the hour; while it was great to see Jota back, it was perplexing to see Firmino and Mané both stay on instead of our top scorer. Ox replaced Jones, who had had a quiet game, at the same time.
Alisson spread himself to thwart Werner after Mount had played him through in the 76th minute; other than that, the second half consisted almost exclusively of Liverpool playing the ball around in front of the massed ranks of Chelsea’s defence.
Thiago was replaced by Millie with ten minutes left, after another disappointing performance by the Spanish midfield maestro. He’s unquestionably a class act but it just isn’t happening for him at Anfield. Yet.
Liverpool finally had their first attempt on target in- get this- the 85th minute. Good work by Bobby saw him dispossess Kanté and cross into the danger area but Gini’s header lacked pace and was straight at Mendy.
Seven home games since our last win at Anfield in the league… and even that came courtesy of Bobby’s late header against Spurs. We have scored two goals in that period, and one of those was a penalty. Crisis? What crisis?
Next up is the visit of Fulham on Sunday afternoon. Scott Parker’s men have improved of late but are still the sort of team we should be battering, especially at home. Still, this season has shown time and again that nothing can be taken for granted.
MOTM: the late, great Ian St John. The Anfield legend passed away at the age of 82 on Tuesday. A magnificent footballer and a wonderful human being, he will be sorely missed by many. I had the good fortune to meet him at hospitality and fundraising events a couple of times; he was a true gentleman and always had that famous sparkle in his eye. May he rest in peace.