Player ratings: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool

VVD-and-Hazard-shake-hands-on-pitch
So I’m not going to lie, that display was something of a belief-denter. We were worryingly outclassed in a few areas of the pitch for parts of the game but let’s take a look at how our boys rated on an individual level.

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Alisson (7) - If we were being harsh, it could be argued that he could’ve done better with the goal but I do think that would be a little overly critical. Made a couple of smart stops to thwart both Willian and Hazard in one on one situations which would have surely wrapped up the points for Chelsea.

TAA (7.5) - Trent would have been viewed as having a better game if the players in front of him had been playing better in my opinion. He played a few excellent passes forward that were wasted by our attacking players and did a respectable job containing the current form player in the Premier League.

Gomez (7) - Another solid display from Gomez. He’s playing with a maturity that belies his youthfulness. Definitely first choice alongside VVD now for me.

Van Dijk (8.5) - Another majestic display from the best CB in world football for me. I shudder to think where we would have been tonight had he not been playing. Another top display of anticipation, excellent tackling, passing and organising. Anything we achieve this season, he will be pivotal to.

Robertson (6) - A rare off night from our left back, things just weren’t really working for him and Willian gave him a torrid time for large parts of the game. Never hides though, got stuck in and played a sublime ball for Shaqiri that really should have been buried by the forward.

Henderson (6) - Struggled to influence the game and was wasteful with some of his passing when
in good areas. Has looked worryingly angry the last couple of games. A bit more composure and quality required from our captain.

Wijnaldum (7.5) - Our best midfielder on the night in my opinion. He shields the ball, wins back and rotates possession brilliantly. For me, Gini is the most underrated member of our squad and does so much dirty work for the team the he doesn’t get enough praise for. A player’s player.

Milner (6.5) - Went at the game with his usual gusto but like Hendo, struggled to influence the game. Did some good work defensively but like the rest of the team, things weren’t quite clicking in an attacking sense.

Salah (5) - The story of the first half was that Chelsea’s star man turned up and ours didn’t. Some decent work in the build up tonight but final ball was woeful and his finishing was nothing short of comical. I thought last season’s Salah was back against Southampton but tonight he worryingly reverted to what we’ve seen for the majority of this season. Big improvement needed in the final third.

Mane (5) - Another frustrating night from Mane. Forced Chelsea’s keeper into one good save but other than that was poor on the night and gave Robbo no options ahead of him at all. No intelligent forwards runs, poor first touch, wasteful in possession. Like Salah, must improve if we are to have a serious title challenge.

Firmino (5) - Largely anonymous for most of the game which is most unlike Bobby. Struggled to make any impact on the game and suffered from the disjointed nature of much of our attacking play. It’s rare Bobby has such an anonymous display however so for now, we’ll just write it off as ‘one of those days’.

Subs:

Shaqiri (5) - Couldn’t make the kind of impact in this game that he has in recent outings and missed an absolute sitter when played in by Robbo. Wasteful from dead ball situations as well.

Keita (6) - Drove forward well a couple of times but still looks a little short of confidence for me. Been a bit of an underwhelming start from a player the fan base were so excited to see.

Sturridge (10) - ‘Nuff said. No? Ok. Sturridge scored an absolute wonder goal. Just when I was thinking it wasn’t going to be our night, Sturridge popped up with as fine a strike as you’ll see, picking out the top corner with such effortless precision that it makes all Liverpool fans despondently wonder what could have been in recent years had Daniel been able to stay fit. If he keeps chipping in with the kind of contribution he’s making from the bench at the moment however, he may well earn himself a contract extension. So good to have that kind of game-changing quality on the bench.

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This game brought me back down to earth with something of a bump. It breaks my heart to say it but apart from in defence today, we were outclassed in most other areas of the pitch. Chelsea were simply technically better than us in midfield and attack. Their passing was slicker and they looked threatening every time they went forward where we just looked wasteful. We created lots of chances but never really worked their keeper.

We’re still not at our best and aren’t losing games which is a positive but our attacking players really need to have a word with themselves and start showing up or we’re soon going to start dropping valuable points. We got out of jail today but we can’t expect a goal like that in every game. Overall rating - must do better.
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