Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool – PL Player Ratings
Matchday 1 for the Reds, with a tricky visit to Stamford Bridge. The pre-match tension was clear for both sets of fans, with the ongoing Moisés Caicedo affair rumbling up until kick-off.
Alisson Becker – 9.0
Had a quiet opening period as the Reds took early control of proceedings. Then, like with so many instances in his Liverpool career, he was on hand to provide a brilliant save against a 1 on 1 early on. Could do nothing for the equaliser, as a defensive misstep cost the Reds their lead. Was once again busy after the break, as Chelsea threatened to take the lead. A smart stop from Chilwell kept the scores level, as the game started to pick up its tempo. Another stop from the rampaging run of Jackson cemented his place as the Red’s best player on the day. If anyone needed clarification on that, stopping Mykhailo Mudryk from settling the game.
Trent Alexander Arnold – 6.0
Was clearly cautious in his desire to push into midfield, as the Reds took advantage of the ball from the opening whistle. Could have done more for the equaliser, as the away side rushed to clear their lines. A moment later he was caught flat-footed for the disallowed Chilwell goal to remind the fanbase of our deficiencies. A difficult first half and an underwhelming second half of good and bad moments. Neither good nor bad, yet not all games will be this tough once a defensive midfielder is signed.
Andy Robertson – 5.0
A big game for the Scot, with so much talk of an incoming left-sided defender. Was aggressive if a little subdued, as Reece James gave him a tough time in the first half. Could not handle to the thrust of Raheem Sterling as his second half continued where the first half ended. His defensive work improved the more the game went on, luckily. Would have been happy to see Sterling & James depart.
Ibrahima Konaté – 7.0
A brutish start for the giant Frenchman, as he used his strength to outmuscle any oncoming blues. Produced a brilliant interception early on, as the inevitable holes saw Chelsea slide through. Had to be strong and efficient in his work through the second period, as balls started to flood into the box.
Virgil van Djik – 8.0
The captain was vocal and forthright in his instruction and leadership, with a want to dominate and give instruction to his players. The sporadic shape of those around him made it difficult to keep a strong rearguard, with halftime coming as a welcome arrival. Was good enough in his defensive work to keep things level, as the clearances helped keep the scores level.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 7.0
Looked dangerous from the opening bell, with a will to drive into the final third. As the scores leveled out, so did the Reds influence, as the possession stakes leveled out. Was a little more active in his second-half play as the Reds started the half better. Steady, with the spectacular yet to come.
Alexis Mac Allister – 7.0
A steady opening spell for the Argentina World Cup winner, with a central position taken up within a starting midfield three. Was good on the ball yet perhaps unsure off the ball, as the home side countered and played around the Reds with intent. Was the adult in the midfield, though much of his game was expelled by a need to occupy space. Needs a holding midfielder next to him.
Cody Gakpo – 5.0
He is the versatile element that helped create an overload and a conduit through our early patterns of play. As soon as the Blues leveled the scores, however, he seemed unsure of his role and the required restrictions on his attacking style of play. Struggled on and off the ball in an unfamiliar role.
Subbed – 65 mins
Luis Díaz – 7.0
Looked to cause havoc from the moment he first received the ball, with a driving (off-ball) run ending in a clinical finish to take the score to 0-1. His influence drifted away as the control of the game slid away. Drifted through the second period before being replaced for a system reshuffle.
Subbed – 75 mins
Diogo Jota – 5.0
An inconsistent and underwhelming start for the Portuguese striker, who looked to be the man that stretched the aging Thiago Silva. Struggled to make any positive impact in the opening half. Was better in the second half as the Reds looked a little more forthright in their attacking work. Some handy defensive work before he left the pitch.
Subbed – 65 mins
Mohamed Salah – 7.0
A wonderful right-footed strike came after a neat and vibrant start by the Egyptian King. His assist and ability to find Luis for the opening goal was sensational, with a clear intent to banish last season’s woes. He was unlucky not to score the second goal (for 0-2), with VAR coming to the home sides aid. Was threatening and always an outlet in the second half and it was a shock to see him replaced, even though we are all keen to see Ben Doak play more.
Subbed – 75 mins
Curtis Jones – 6.0 (on 65)
Came in to add a more defensive body to the middle ground. Neat and tidy.
Darwin Núñez – 6.0 (on 65)
Should have got the winner, if not for a heavy touch. A brilliant long-range strike for the fans on their feet.
Harvey Elliott – 7.0 (on 75)
Added some youthful enthusiasm and some drive from midfield. Very good cameo.
Ben Doak – 6.0 (on 75)
Tried his best in a short and frenetic period.
Jürgen Klopp – 7.0
He went very attacking with his starting lineup, with a clear intent to blow away and relatively unfamiliar lineup. The opening stages and first goal threatened to validate the big Germans plan, yet the equaliser scuppered those plans and reminded us all how susceptible to the counter attack we are. The half time break was a welcome arrival.
Curtis for Jota if we need to make a change. Cody into the 9 spot.
It's a change that should be considered regardless.
Curtis will give us more presence in midfield.
— Dave Hendrick (@MrTwoFooted) August 13, 2023
The start of the second half was bright, as Liverpool looked to force the issue. Gradually, the home side regained momentum, which forced some much need led changes from Jürgen Klopp. The game needed some injection, with Darwin and Jones coming in for Jota & Gakpo. The initial moments (after the break) did not alter much of the game which led to a very surprising moment, where Doak & Havey replaced Salah & Diaz. The game then became a match of moments, as chances came and went.
Liverpool probably lucky to get a draw but at the same time could have left with all three points. Work to do but some positives. Holding midfielder and a centre back needed immediately. pic.twitter.com/uJlczOXuwb
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) August 13, 2023
This will look like a very good point in a few months.
Chelsea 2 – 3 Liverpool