Postmortem As Liverpool Draw At The Bridge

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Two massive clubs have never had their preseason stories so intertwined, especially on the immediate lead-up to match day 1 of a Premier League season. The Moisés Caicedo situation remains unresolved, with Brighton still waiting for their £110m + fee to be debited to their account, or at least a big chunk of it. The obviousness of that predicament is that the structure of how that fee arrives seems to be the absolute stumbling block. Chelsea is clearly stretching their financial limits, and have now hit a Profit and Sustainability wall, one which has seen Liverpool stand their ground behind an accepted bid of £111m. The drama of those events only added to the spice of the game, which did not fail to deliver in an end-to-end battle at the Bridge.

The starting lineup showed an intent from our manager to cause damage to a relatively new group of players. With no defensive midfielder signed (yet), the manager went with Alexis as the central man in a very attacking midfield three. With Cody Gakpo ushered in ahead of the impressive Curtis Jones, it was a strong move to attempt the overwhelm.

The opening stages were electric and exciting, as the open nature of the game suited the away team’s intent and tactical strategy. Apart from a smart save by Ali and a brilliant interception of Ibou, it was all Liverpool pressure through the opening exchanges, until the first goal. With a quick tempo counter, the Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah, was away before producing a wonderfully weighted through ball to the far side of the pitch. On the receiving end of the pinpoint ball was Luis Díaz, who was able to guid the ball into the bottom corner. From that point, the visiting team were able to surge forward and create more and more openings, until the home side equalised with a scrappy goal. The remainder of the half was then all about Chelsea controlling the pitch and overloading from the wide areas. Andy Robertson struggles against the oncoming Reece James, whereas Raheem Sterling showed that he can still produce elite moments in games.

The second half started brighter for the away side, as the Reds upped their attack and looked to gain the advantage. This moment did not last long, with momentum swinging back towards the London side. As the second half ebbed along, our world-class stopper, Alisson Becker, was called to make multiple saves at the feet of varying Blues. If not for the performance of our elite number one, the game may have become like so many of last season, thus ending in defeat. The call was made to bring fresh legs onto the pitch, in order to try and reengage the opposition.

It was perhaps the next set of substitutes that caused the stir, with both the Liverpool scorer and provider leaving the pitch for Harvey Elliott and Ben Doak. This amazing double change was greeted with annoyance from our record scorer, yet each new player was able to make their mark on the game. With chances being shared between the two teams, Liverpool was probably lucky and content with a share of the points.

In terms of our manager and the team, the glaring problem was always the lack of quality in the holding midfield position. Though Alexis and Dominik were very good for much of the game, the lack of true ball-winning was abundantly clear. Virgil had a very good game and led his rearguard with discipline, alongside the monstrous Konate. In the coming days, we will surely hear more on the players that will l be arriving, as John W Henry made his presence known in the executive box. There were bright moments, and smart performances, however, the issues that need to be addressed showed themselves too often today.

The time to be decisive in the transfer market is now, which will decide the fate of the season ahead.

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