Liverpool and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening, with Mohamed Salah’s second-half goal cancelled out by a rather fortuitous effort from Willian.
Here are the observations from the match.
Mohamed Salah shines against former-club
Here we are again; another Liverpool game, another goal for Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian winger produced another impressive display for the Reds, showing incisive movement throughout the ninety minutes to cause some real problems for his former-club.
During his time at Chelsea, Salah really struggled to make a name for himself, scoring just two goals in 19 appearances before being shipped out. However, it’s been the complete reversal on Merseyside – with the 25-year-old now on 15 goals for the season. Combining well with Philippe Coutinho down the left-hand side, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was on hand to prod the ball through a crowd of Chelsea players before Salah coolly slotted the ball home.
Those early season comparisons to a certain Juan Cuadrado are looking more and more comical by the minute.
Alberto Moreno reacts to midweek blunder
Self-destructing in his final 15-20 minutes against Sevilla, many fans had called for Alberto Moreno to be dropped ahead of the Chelsea game. The Spaniard returned to his former-self on Tuesday night, needlessly giving away a free-kick in the second half to gift Sevilla a way back into the match before conceding a penalty.
However, Jurgen Klopp maintained confidence in his divisive left-back – a show of faith that Albie repaid at the weekend. Snapping into tackles well while showing his usual attacking nous, Moreno showed the type of performance that has seen him earn rave reviews this season. Credit must be given to him for the way in which he reacted to the disappointment in midweek. Thankfully we don’t have to play Sevilla again this season…
Praise for Ox? Surely not!
There were no signs of Oxlade-Chamberlain haters here, with the former-Arsenal man putting in a good shift in the front three alongside Salah and Sturridge. Having rejected a move to Chelsea in the summer, Chamberlain looked desperate to make an impression for Liverpool, showing some intricate movement on and off the ball to wriggle his way through the opposition. Then there was the assist; an alert little poke that allowed Mohamed Salah to ghost through on goal and put the home side in front.
It may have taken Chamberlain a while to settle into his rhythm at Liverpool and there’s still more progression to go, but the England international has certainly improved in a short space of time under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp. Grabbing an assist will do his confidence the world of good – not to mention helping to silence the group of Liverpool fans that refuse to warm to him.
Joe Gomez delivers solid display at centre-back
Taking a starting spot in a back three for Liverpool, Joe Gomez delivered a solid performance for Jurgen Klopp at the heart of the defence. The former-Charlton player has largely been deployed at full-back this season, with Nathaniel Clyne out due to a long-term injury, but showed the same strengths that earned him Man of the Match against Brazil on international duty.
It remains to be seen where Gomez is used in the long-term, with right-back still the most likely scenario for the Englishman, but he showed that he could well have a future on the right-hand side of a back three for The Reds. Composed on the ball, he delivered a number of timely blocks to prevent Chelsea from getting a shot off at Mignolet. It’s another step in the right direction for Gomez’s development.
Late substitutions are becoming the theme for Liverpool
Blessed with some real quality on the bench in the shape of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and the recently returned Adam Lallana, you’d have expected Jurgen Klopp to ring the changes a lot earlier than he did.
Salah’s goal put Liverpool firmly in the ascendency but dropping deeper and deeper saw Chelsea laud the pressure on the back-four, inevitably resulting in an equaliser – albeit with a huge element of fortune attached. Nonetheless, you can’t help but feel earlier changes could’ve helped Liverpool on the night, with the midfield of Henderson and Milner hardly getting the pulses raising. Klopp’s got to learn to mix things up a little earlier, especially given the options he had at his disposal on Saturday evening.