Analysis: LFC 2-0 Chelsea

Liverpool beat current Premier League leaders Chelsea yesterday at Anfield to give the reds their third consecutive victory in the Premier League.

After a positive game against Blackburn, a rather more fortunate victory at Bolton – against Chelsea the reds powered themselves in to a 1st half 2-0 lead thanks to two clinical strikes from Fernando Torres.

We highlighted a number of problems in the analysis of last week’s Bolton game (here) and we saw some improvements in a number of areas yesterday, although there is still a long way to go before Liverpool are anywhere near the finished article.

Last week we highlighted a key switch in Liverpool’s play from previous seasons, and that is less build up play from the back.  Long hits downfield still are the preferred choice of tactic.

Unfortunately, even with Dirk Kuyt also partnering Fernando Torres up front this is still a relatively wasteful strategy with only 2 of the 11 long kicks up field finding a Liverpool player.  Having two strikers does indeed make the chances of winning back the ball easier, but overall the reds are not effectively distributing the ball from the keeper and more often than not giving away cheap possession.

One aspect of play that had improved in recent weeks is an increased fluidity through the team.

No longer is it as easy to see the rigid banks of 4 defenders and 4 midfielders like we have seen in some games this season.  Liverpool did play much higher up the pitch, with far more forward balls than going sideways or backwards – this is a positive development – causing our opponents to work harder physically and mentally.  Despite this, we still head into the final third too often through the middle.  Taking away the 2 corners, the reds are still not getting down the line and crossing the ball in enough.  When we face poorer sides they will find it much easier to defend if we continue to play narrow in the final third.

Lastly, possession.

Liverpool allowed Chelsea to have plenty of the ball, but Liverpool were determined to protect a 15 yard area in front of the penalty area.  Whenever a Chelsea player found themselves in this area, Lucas Leiva was chief amongst many midfielders to harry, intercept and win back the ball.  This is similar to the strategy the reds have adopted for a while now, conceding possession in front of midfield but quickly denying space in between the lines.

Finally, and we’ve mentioned it previously – but Liverpool are still allowing far too many crosses to come in.  Kelly impressed more than Konchesky, which is just as well, because Chelsea headed down the left flank more often than the right.  Liverpool were slightly better than recent weeks at dealing with these crosses, but it is an area the reds need to work on.

We were fairly critical of the tactics at Bolton last week – only Liverpool’s second away victory in 2010.  Hopefully yesterday’s improvement will be sustained, as the reds now seek to double the number of away victories this year – with games against 18th placed Wigan on Wednesday, before travelling to 17th placed Stoke on Saturday.

10 comments on
Analysis: LFC 2-0 Chelsea

  1. llorente and mata say 40 million pounds, then get rid of that babel and in the summer shift aquilani for the agreed 13.1 million to juve, shift degen and el zhar out, sell poulsen if we can in jan, he is just crap total crap. promote shelvey and spearing more.
    sell babel and poulsen for say around 10 mill, thats means the owners have to find 34 mill, if we cant go out and add the matas and llorentes now, we will pay for it in the long run, two deal thats bring long term value and both positives

  2. invest in llorente mata for jan, that would show reina and torres and the football world that we are still a bug big club, the deals would bring back and help the fans get right back into football matters world wide, new start two new deals that show we are going in the right way, both are young players with good records, both spanish so would make reina and torres happy, both would sell shirts, and both would add huge quality and options to the whole set up, both would have good worth.

  3. just heard in spain that Mata’s contract talks have not be sigend at all. there is a player we should sign.
    young, left sided player with pace and can operate in different roles and behined the striker, torres knows him so does reina, would fit in with the other latin speaking lads, hes got sell on value, this deal is a no risk deal that fits into the structure of the club long term younger player contract vision,
    Llorente for 23 mill would also be great value, young again knows the nando.

  4. as we are getting there, its not hiding the fact that the team is still well short on players “QUALITY PLAYERS”. we are still way of the squads that are at the top of the league, look at spurs they way they have spent money without really having to sell to buy, unlike lfc who have been adapting this policy for nearly 4 years, untill we really go out and spend on at least 3- 4 top quality players we will not even get to the top of the league, do you really think reina and torres will stay unless

  5. Nice game.. Torres was been again really important for liverpool. Its been a good match from the side from liverpool. Kuyt was really good he work hard and playing well i like kuyt because he plays for Liverpool and for Holland. Sorry for my bad english.

    • Great result – miracle Pepe kept a clean sheet with all the relentless Chelsea attacks in 2nd half. Liverpool have to address the lack of width if they want to compete for 4th spot. Envious of Spurs in that department. Players that can beat their man are invaluable – they put doubt in the minds of even the best defenders – ‘do I attack the ball or cover the pass?’ We haven’t had such a luxury since John Barnes before his Achilles injury. Just look at his tally of assists.

  6. Had Chelsea bothered to turn up in the first half, it might of been a different story. Still top and on course for retaining the premiership. (Nice to see the gooners getting turned over at home, made the defeat easier to swallow). Drogba, Essien and Lampard are players that have to stay fit and on the pitch for the Blues to be winners this year though, without them we are weak down the middle, as Liverpool proved yesterday. Fair result and losing at Anfield is by no means a disgrace. Carefree.

  7. Well done…

    from a die hard Gooner…i would take this opportunity to congratulate Liverpool and the Kop,it is truly nice to see that you seem to have worked youre way trough all the probs at the club and are on the way back to the Liverpool we all respect……keep up the good work….and lets get back to the famous clashes between Our clubs….

    keep up the good work ..

    Best Regards…

  8. i have been saying that against top teams you can not just lump balls up to torres and think he will do it all on his own. kuyt for me is not the long term fix, he is great for the team, his energy, his work rate, but weather he is the ideal partner/ right help in the top end of the pitch is another debate, but we do need more pace to help torres even more, we need another second frontman / winger attacking player who can drive at the penalty box like stevie and nando does, aguero would be it

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