LFC 1-2 Chelsea: Stubborn Rodgers continues with failing formation and faces

Premier League
Saturday 08 November 2014 - 12:45 pm
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Brendan Rodgers midweek statement about not 'resting' players against Madrid was blown apart when he brought back the majority of the underperforming stars from last week's dismal Newcastle defeat.

Liverpool were easily beaten by a Chelsea side going through the motions.

Chelsea fielded a relatively full strength team away at Maribor last week - but even with a days shorter rest and facing an away trip to Anfield they barely look threatened.

Indeed Liverpool took an early lead, through a major deflection off Gary Cahill, but they were quickly level and Liverpool fans inside the stadium could clearly see it was a case of 'when' rather than 'if' Chelsea grabbed a winner.

Liverpool did have a couple of bright sparks in the side - Emre Can and Phil Coutinho showing plenty of promise - this made their removal by Brendan Rodgers in the 70th minute all the more baffling.  A decision that was met with audible disappointment by the crowd.

Lambert was brought on for the hapless Mario Balotelli with 10 minutes to go.

A standard team, the standard substitutions and the standard result from a week which has seen Liverpool lose 3 times.

After an above average performance away at Madrid, Simon Mignolet returned to type - effectively assisting both of Chelsea's goals.

Chelsea equalised in the 14th minute, Mignolet palming a save to the Chelsea man 4 yards out before carrying Cahill's attempt over the line.  Goalline technology proved that Mignolet had dragged the ball into the net.

And Chelsea's winner, a strike from Costa, created when Mignolet palmed Azpilicueta's cross into his path.

Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson are going backwards in terms of form - Gerrard's position in particular in front of the centre-backs has to now be questioned.  If it's purpose is to help free up the wingers to bomb forward then that didn't happen.  If it is to provide some defensive stability and provide the basis of our attacks - it isn't working.  With a single immobile striker on the pitch, Chelsea's defence were rarely beaten - and the reds chances were limited to set pieces.

The reds had a good shout for a penalty late on when Gary Cahill's arm hit the ball - but the referee waved the appeals away.  There was a similar incident in the first half - although perhaps a little less blatant.  Liverpool will need far more than deflected goals and penalties to get a grip on this season.

Liverpool, who finished above Chelsea let's not forget, are now 15 points behind the Premier League leaders with only 11 games played.  Liverpool fans will strangely look forward to the international break and hope that Brendan Rodgers uses the time fruitfully to ditch some of his consistently poor decisions on both tactical approach and team choices.

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