Liverpool have now lost five successive home games for the first time in the clubs illustrious history, after the Reds slipped to a costly 1-0 defeat to Chelsea tonight at Anfield.
Thomas Tuchel has clearly introduced a possession based approach at Chelsea since taking over from club legend Frank Lampard, and right from the off it became evident that the German coach was not about to change his ideals just because he was visiting the home of the champions.
Time and time during the opening exchanges the Blues would impressively play around and through Liverpool’s fabled high-press with a confidence and accuracy that few sides manage to execute at Anfield. Chelsea’s possession was far from sterile though, with Timo Werner – selected ahead of Olivier Giroud as the central striker – looking a constant menace wth his pace in behind the Reds high defensive line.
On 24 minutes Tuchel’s decision to start his countryman Werner looked a masterstroke when the German attacker beat Alisson to a ball over the top before poking into the empty net. However, VAR would step in and adjudge that the £52 million man was offside by an armpit hair and the goal was disallowed.
Chelsea would however take the lead for real on 42 minutes through academy graduate, Mason Mount. The young England international latched onto N’Golo Kante’s long range ball behind the home sides defence, before cutting inside from the left and firing expertly into the bottom corner.
Liverpool upped their intensity levels after the break and began to dominate possession, although Jurgen Klopp’s side once again seemed somewhat devoid of ideas once they reached the final third, with Chelsea comfortably holding on for a deserved victory.
The defeat sees Liverpool slip down to seventh in the table, four points behind Tuchel’s side in fourth, and speaking afterwards Reds boss Klopp admitted his side are struggling in the final third and conceded the result was a major blow to his team’s top four hopes.
“The individual quality of Mason Mount in that moment made the difference. It was a tight game, intense game. Both teams invested a lot. That is it pretty much,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
Liverpool have gone over 10 hours without an open play goal at Anfield. pic.twitter.com/ilBTcm7wme
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 4, 2021
“They had the goal they scored which was offside. The second half another counter attack, we had more situations around, the great one with Sadio Mane and other situations where we did not score.
“You have to defend differently and we didn’t do well there. There are a lot of things out there you have to consider. In the end we conceded one goal, we made the mistake there, the other was offside and you can say it was good defending but with all the possession we had you need to have more chances. Everything was really good until the final pass.
“Unfortunately we cannot say it is only at home. It is not about Anfield or whatever, it is in general, too often. In the decisive moments we have to improve. We have to show our quality in these moment and we don’t do that often enough.
“It is a massive blow. It is not done yet. We have to win football games.”
Next up for Liverpool is another home clash against relegation threathened Fulham on Sunday.