Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Sarri's mistake, missed opportunities and Salah rocket wins it for Liverpool.

Liverpool beat Chelsea with two quick-fire second half goals that took them back to the top of the Premier League but, as we saw with our...

Liverpool beat Chelsea with two quick-fire second half goals that took them back to the top of the Premier League but, as we saw with our forced tactical switch, this could have been so different for Chelsea. 

I asked for Olivier Giroud to start and to ignore all thoughts of playing with a false-nine and Eden Hazard up front. Why on earth would you take the best player in the Premier League out of his comfort zone, the place where he likes to get hold of the ball facing his opponents to take them on?

Maurizio Sarri decided on the false-nine with Willian one side and Callum Hudson-Odoi the other. RLC and Kante played alongside Jorginho and the back five were unchanged from the last Premier League game.

Within the first two minutes of the game, Liverpool had come out flying and forced Chelsea into numerous mistakes giving away possession and forcing us onto the back foot. Mo Salah had the one clear cut chance after ten minutes or so with a volley from close range saved by Kepa. It was important that Chelsea dug in, worked hard and weathered and storm and you have to say we actually did.

In the last twenty-five minutes of the first-half Chelsea grew into the game and created Liverpool concern. Eden Hazard had our only shot on target from close range but it was easy to save. So we go in at half-time 0-0 and you think to yourselves right, let's re-group, expect them to come out the same as the beginning of the first half so dig-in again. If anything take CHO off who offered little in the game and replace him with a focal point for us - Olivier Giroud and stick Hazard back to his natural role on the left.

But no, we start slow on the back-foot and find ourselves 2-0 down. Jordan Henderson makes a run inside right and gets away from Emerson. He lifts a ball to the back-post and there is Saido Mane with a free header to score from six yards. Then, just minutes later, again Chelsea are sitting too deep, they allow Liverpool possession that comes out wide right to Salah who cuts inside and hits a rocket from 25-yards into the top corner giving Kepa no chance to make it 2-0! We looked stunned!

Only then does Sarri change it. He brings CHO off for Higuain?? Now Eden Hazard is in the game, within ten minutes of going 2-0 down, he unlocks the door, is in behind and slides it past the goalkeeper to hit the post. Then, just minutes later, a ball is played into the box with the Liverpool defence ball-watching and Hazard can't connect with the ball properly, it comes off his shin which makes it easy for the goalkeeper to save it - both times from ten years out. It could/should have been 2-2!

After that and despite changes with Barkley coming on for RLC, we offered little else and you have to admit that Liverpool should have scored at least one more. They fully deserved the win with a devastating ten minutes at the beginning of the second half but, if only Hazard had scored one of his chances, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened.

Maurizo Sarri got it wrong today and it cost us.
What do you think?


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