Naive Chelsea Must Learn from Costly Errors
Manager Row Brushed Aside
Last seasons’ game at Anfield became centred on a row between Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard on the touchline. The Chelsea boss accused Klopp of being ‘arrogant’, whilst Klopp hit back saying that the young Chelsea manager needed to ‘learn’. With the new season in its infancy, the two teams met once again at Stamford Bridge with the row now consigned to history.
The first half was more like a game of chess than a game of football. Both managers setting up to tactically outdo the other, without much sign of threatening the opposition goal.
Chelsea, though, managed to hit the self destruct button shortly before half-time. Jordan Henderson played a sumptuous ball forward, one that Sadio Mane was quickly onto. Andreas Christensen, who had been fairly solid, rugby tackled Mane with the result being a free-kick to Liverpool and a yellow card to Christensen. VAR intervened and asked referee Paul Tierney to check the pitchside monitor. Subsequently, the yellow card became a red and was the right call.
As the half-time whistle blew, Chelsea’s Mason Mount argued with the officials, but if he had the chance to see the video he would have quickly realised that the only person to blame was Christensen. Had the Dane not made the challenge, Mane may have scored, but Frank Lampard’s team would have still had 11 players on the field of play.
Kepa Arrizabalaga Gifts Liverpool’s Second
Sadio Mane gave the ball away to Kepa Arrizabalaga, but he was angry at himself and closed Kepa down. As has happened far too often, the Chelsea ‘keeper was not calm, and Mane stole the ball back to poke home into an empty net. The naivety from Chelsea was astonishing.
Kepa cost Chelsea £70 million but continues to cost them so much more – points. His time at Stamford Bridge may well be coming to an end, and this match highlighted the fact that spending money will not bring Chelsea easy success.
Frank Lampard’s Looking Lost
Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend for his efforts on the pitch. His appointment after a spell at Derby County was a surprise. It always felt like a marriage of convenience when Chelsea had a transfer embargo and needed a manager who would work with young talent. Last season, there was little pressure on Lampard as the expectancy wasn’t there. For all the hard work and promise shown last season, the lack of experience was there to be seen at times today.
Lampard reverted to Chelsea type and went for money, money, money. Big-spending is all very well, but playing with megastars is a very different proposition to managing them. Liverpool haven’t even stretched the purse strings in terms of transfers, yet looked champion quality with a naive Chelsea looking a side that will need time to gel.
Chelsea Must Learn
Frank Lampard is a young manager and must learn how to manage games like this. The players must learn how to manage these games.
On today’s evidence, Liverpool look like a team set for dominance and consistent success. The Blues look like a club spending money without any thought to how players can fit into the team. For that, naive Chelsea may find this season a tough ask to get in the top four, never mind challenge for the title.
Ironically, Chelsea look like the culprits of arrogance, while Liverpool are staying grounded.
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