5 Things Learned: Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool | Premier League
Chelsea started their 2020/21 home Premier League campaign with a 2-0 defeat to champions Liverpool.
A second-half double from Senegalese forward Sadio Mane ensured all three points for the Reds. However, it was a Chelsea player that grabbed the attention once again.
In a dull first-half with both sides failing to create many chances, it was Liverpool going into half-time with a man advantage. A ball over the top found Mane, who was brought down by Andreas Christensen. However, Chelsea fans questioned Kepa Arrizabalaga as the keeper was running into no man's land.
Five minutes into the second half, Liverpool took the lead. A well worked team goal saw Mane head in from close range to give Klopp's men a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, they doubled their lead. Kepa's failed clearance was intercepted by Mane who tapped in his second to give Liverpool all three points at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had the chance to reduce the lead, but Jorginho failed to convert from twelve yards after Timo Werner was fouled inside the box via Thiago.
Here's our five things that we learned from Chelsea's defeat:
1. Chelsea and the desperate need for a new number one
It's a no brainer that the Blues need a new keeper. The defence clearly does not trust Kepa. Chelsea's number one ruined what was at fault for the second goal and maybe even the red card for Christensen you could argue. His performance overshadowed a reasonable satisfactory display from the defence. The Spanish international is low on confidence right now, and it'll take some doing for Kepa to live up to that extraordinary price tag.
2. Reece James continues to impress
Despite Chelsea's backline conceding two goals, James should be proud of the shift he put in. Reece was arguably the Blues' most standout player in the game. The young full-back dealt with the threat of Sadio Mane very well and put in a mature performance. James has a bright future with the club, and after another impressive display, the Englishman will be looking to cement his place as Chelsea's number one right back.
3. Give Kai Havertz time
With Frank Lampard's men being reduced to ten men right on the stroke of halftime, it was evident that one of the attacking forwards would be sacrificed for the second half. Unfortunately, Havertz was the man to be sacrificed. It's obvious that Havertz is not up to scratch when it comes to being 100% fit. The German international needs time to adapt to the new surroundings and be played in his preferred position. Once that happens, it'll be money well spent.
4. Fikayo Tomori does have a future at the club
With Antonio Rudiger looking set to, potentially, depart the club, that leaves the door open for Fikayo Tomori to earn his place back into the team. Tomori replaced Havertz at halftime and put in a real solid shift at the heart of Chelsea's defence with Frenchman Kurt Zouma. Tomori was commanding and reliable when called upon, as was Zouma. If Tomori stays, then there's no doubt that he'll be a part of Lampard's plans for the upcoming season.
5. This isn't Chelsea's strongest starting XI
It's frustrating to see your team lose their first home game of the season, but for Chelsea fans, there's no need to panic yet. Come early October the Blues will have the likes of Thiago Silva, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell all starting. Once these key men are back, and Chelsea have stuck to a set system, there's no doubt that fans will see a very capable squad going forward. There is no cause for concern yet we're only two games into the new season.
Next up for Frank Lampard's side is Barnsley at home on Wednesday evening, in the Carabao Cup, at Stamford Bridge.