10 man Chelsea fell to Liverpool in a match that has everyone throwing blame. What lessons can be learned from the fixture?
Chelsea was doing just fine until Andreas Christensen lost his head. After that, no matter how good the game plan, it didn’t really matter. Liverpool simply had too much for Chelsea to handle with a man advantage. What lessons can be learned from this match?
1. Something has happened with Callum Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea Football Club dreamed of fielding a frontline of Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, and Hakim Ziyech when they made their signings. However, the stars never aligned for Frank Lampard and the Blues as Pulisic and Ziyech went down to injuries before the beginning of the season. This was a shame as Chelsea couldn’t field their dream lineup and meant that Chelsea didn’t have too many wingers ready to start the season. However, one man who was fit and ready to go was Callum Hudson-Odoi. Hudson-Odoi was subject to some strong interest from Bayern Munich.
However, the Englishman stayed at his boyhood club as he strived to fulfill the dream he saw as a young boy at Cobham, only to get injured at the end of the season. After missing out on a lot of football due to the injury, he came back and looked ready to finally get into the lineup. Chelsea fans expected to see Hudson-Odoi feature week in and week out but things haven’t really gone according to plan.
Frank Lampard seems reluctant to start the 19-year-old as he continues to emphasize that Hudson-Odoi “needs to improve”. Throughout the game, Chelsea lacked a clear “sting” on the wing as Kai Havertz and Mason Mount seemed out of position and still, Lampard didn’t put Hudson-Odoi on. It is clear that something has happened behind the scenes and Hudson-Odoi isn’t part of Lampard’s plans anymore. Moreover, with other clubs interested, Callum Hudson-Odoi has a big decision to make.
2. It will take time for Chelsea to close the gap. It’s a project.
Chelsea has been very busy this transfer window. Marina Granovskaia and Lampard have gone in ferociously for each and every player they have targeted till now. With major coups like Timo Werner (who was about to move to a club that is a “different type”) and Kai Havertz, Chelsea has clearly spent the Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata money very wisely. Premier League fans were quick to claim that Lampard should be sacked if Chelsea don’t challenge for the trophy this season. However, what people fail to understand are the current circumstances. Despite signing a number of players this window, Lampard never got the opportunity to play them together due injuries and the lack of a proper preseason.
It is important to understand that this season is all about improving. Premier League is one of the most physical leagues in the world and players take time to adjust to the style. Players like Pepe and Tanguy Ndombele are still trying to adjust to the pace of the Premier League and they have been around for more than a year. With all fit signings, Lampard’s side will be able to put in more convincing performances. Against Liverpool, Havertz seemed lost at times. Werner lacked support up front and Alonso seemed to struggle against Mohammed Salah. Andreas Christensen committed an error and Kepa gifted the ball to Mane. The goal for Lampard this season is to improve and close the gap with Manchester City and Liverpool.
3. Chelsea in need of a new keeper than ever before
Chelsea fans have regularly tried to convince themselves that Kepa Arrizabalaga is meant to be their goalkeeper. Last season, he was often let off the hook as he had a horrendous backline in front of him. However, close observers were able to realize that Arrizabalaga was extremely weak between the sticks and was never able to command the box. Against Brighton, Arrizabalaga conceded another long range shot and the questions started to resurface again. Today, Kepa was decent throughout the game but there was one moment that killed the game. Around the 54th minute, Tomori played a back pass to Arrizabalaga in a tight situation. Instead of clearing the ball, Arrizabalaga tried to play it straight to Jorginho and Sadio Mane intercepted the ball and scored a goal. This goal showed that Chelsea are in dire need of a new keeper. They need a keeper who would be able to organize his defense and command his box.
What lessons did you learn from this match? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!