The conditions surrounding the club given everything that is going on in the ‘real world’ could make it a reasonable distraction in the minds of Chelsea players on the pitch. However, the Blues will soon show that they are up to the task of the League Cup final against Liverpool, which will also show how the 10-point difference in the Premier League is not really a good illustration of the difference between the two teams at Wembley. Today.
Although Liverpool had the Premier League points advantage and the momentum of an undefeated 12-game streak, Chelsea had the advantage during the opening minutes of the match. We also had the best chance of an opening goal six minutes into the match with Christian Pulisic, whose shot was too weak to beat young Kauimhin Keeler.
Liverpool began to find a foothold with their midfield which despite Thiago Alcantara’s absence due to an injury during the warm-up, was still a unit to reckon with. This will lead Liverpool to good chances in succession from a long-range shot by Naby Keita and a rebound by Sadio Mane in the penalty area, which Edward Mendy defended admirably.
The creators seemed to revitalize the Blues, who quickly returned to their offensive groove after mostly thanks to Kai Havertz. Pulisic’s brilliant chance was once again turned down by Kelleher, while César Azpilicueta’s attempt narrowly missed out from distance. Mason Mount also attempted a shot at Glory from Havertz’s pass, but missed it.
The closeness to tasting success appears to have had a lasting effect on Chelsea, who continued to put pressure on Liverpool in the opening game after the break. Mount again had the best chance of finding the target as he shot in the area that cleared the keeper, but hit the post.
With Reese James returning from injury to replace the injured Cesar Azpilicueta, the strength of Chelsea’s attack has increased. Our job would have been easier if Keita had received a red card from a puzzling foul on Trevoh Chalobah. But somehow, he got away with it.
When something hits you, it can get worse. Our ‘bad luck’ with Keita not receiving a red card would be followed by Mohamed Salah on the verge of scoring an opening 1v1 goal against Mendy, with the Blues rescued by clearing Thiago Silva of the goal line. Then Joel Matip eventually got a header in our net, but the VAR rejected the result for offside.
As Chelsea also had a goal saved for offside, Liverpool returned to the attack. Mendy continued to show his greatness in the face of danger, and the defense and midfield helped him clear the ball to keep the ball out of our area.
Since neither side managed to score a goal during normal time, we went into overtime. From the start, Chelsea showed his teeth, to the point of scoring via substitute Romelu Lukaku. Unfortunately, the attacker was considered an offside in the play.
In the second half of extra time, Chelsea’s third goal was disallowed. Romelu Lukaku played the role of assistant Kai Havertz, but the German was ahead of the line of Liverpool defenders.
And so we headed to the penalty shootout, with Kepa Arrizabalaga taking the net instead of Edward Mendy. This move did not come to fruition, as Kepa wasted the eleventh attempt (!!!) for Chelsea to win the Liverpool Cup.
With peace of mind.
- Fortunately, Mateo Kovacic is ready to appear today, after some scary scenes when he left the field early against last Tuesday night. Thus, the only changes from our last match are Trevoh Chalobah instead of Andreas Christensen in the defense line, and Mason Mount to Hakim Ziyech in the attack line due to the latter’s injury.
- Subs are Rhys James for Cesar Azpilicueta, Romelu Lukaku for Mason Mount, Timo Werner for Christian Pulisic, Jorginho for Mateo Kovacic and Kepa Arrizabalaga for Edward Mendy.
- Edward Mindy is amazing. While Kepa has shown more than just his service during Mendy’s absence from the Africa Cup of Nations, the goalkeeper for our Champions League and Club World Cup winning team is simply amazing at what he does.
- If we’re well suited to defense and arguably in midfield, we really need to do a better job of burying the incredible opportunities we get when we have the best attacking players on the pitch – especially if/when Romelu Lukaku isn’t part of that selection group.
- Next: Luton Town away in the FA Cup Round of 16.
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