Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool: Man of the Match Saves Liverpool’s Blushes

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Shot Stopper Starts Off How He Means To Continue

Alisson Becker

Another season and yet another game where our world-class goalkeeper has kept the Reds in the game. Several wonderful 1 on 1 saves (either side of the half) were what kept the visitors in the game, as the Reds sporadically orchestrated display kept creating chances for the opposition side. The overreliance on the Brazilian stopper is now immeasurable, given how often he keeps his teammates in games. The rhetoric is a continuing theme for me and I am not keen on how many man of the matches we needed him to have last season, therefore, starting with that age-old routine is almost worrying.

In fairness, the likes of Virgil (especially), Ibou, Dom, and Alexis, all had solid performances, with Mo & Luis adding venom up top. The changes added some much-needed change in dynamic, however, all of this would have been undone if not for the former Roma keeper. The sprawling nature of our stopper must be horrendous for oncoming attackers, yet his style and efficiency are nothing short of spectacular.

The dreaded high line is now so easy to exploit, especially without a designated holding midfielder in the Liverpool squad. The passing lanes and ferocious tackling are being sorely missed, whereas our need for repeated brilliance in shot-stopping will once again be our undoing unless we are courageously successful in the remaining few weeks of the summer transfer window. Though I feel this single point will look very well earned in a dozen or so games, it does feel like an advantage could have been taken here, essentially as we had the home side on the ropes through that opening twenty minutes. With saves at the feet of Raheem Sterling, Ben Chilwell, Nicolas Jackson, and Mykhailo Mudryk, it was such a shame that Ali could not stop the equalising goal from Axel Disasi. In fairness, there was little wrong with the defensive line, as once the ball is in the air (in the penalty box), anything can occur.

For a side that was once so regimented and organised, our magnetic manager is now too reliant on our abundance of quality to find a way through, no matter what danger it creates. The nature of our play will add both excitement and distress throughout this intriguing campaign, though worryingly in equal measure. Enzo Fernández, Conor Gallagher, Raheem Sterling, and Reece James, all had good games, except none were result-changing displays. What has happened with Alisson Becker in the last couple of seasons, is pundits and commentators (even Klopp), have become too used to the superhuman levels of our Brazilian number one. It can sometimes become a shock when a goal is let in softly, though the big changes we continually give up means that one will eventually arise.

Today was a game that could have escalated and gone either way. The end-to-end moments made for a good spectacle game to watch, in keeping given the antics of the last few days. I was relieved to hear the final whistle and can see that this is a positive start to a long campaign, with some new blood hopefully on the Anfield horizon. Mohamed Salah may have had the electric moment of the match; however, the man of the match was undoubtedly the beautiful bearded giant in the Liverpool goal, our very own Alisson Becker.

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