What an unbelievable game/night that was! Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and co, sending the reds back to the top of the table with one of our best performances in recent weeks. Anfield was absolutely bouncing, from the moment the lads walked out of the tunnel, till after the final whistle when Klopp gave his signature 3 fist pump salute to the Kop. The sense of feeling was apparent throughout the sea of red, we believe! The first half I thought we played really well, we created a few good chances but it was more of a controlled build up. I've read a few other supporters views on the game, they had the opinion that we looked lethargic and nervous, I didn't see it this way at all. It reminded me of when you see a boxer feeling his way into the fight for the first 3 rounds, just jabbing and moving to get a read of his opponent. I thought we had a great control on the game, and we were determining the tempo of it, but the boys looked very sharp. Within the first 5 minutes you could see that Keita's confidence was through the roof, the way he was running at them and linking up with Mane down the left. As the minutes ticked on, we was having a lot of joy down the left, but Mo seemed a bit isolated on the right. Chelsea looked very organised defensively, which surprised me to be honest, and it felt like we might have a difficult 90 minutes trying to break them down. A few minor tweaks were needed in the game plan to allow us to cut through them. Those changes were apparent in the second half, as Liverpool picked up the pace in terms of moving the ball around. Not only the tempo was altered, but it seemed like Hendo was allowed a bit more freedom, as well as Trent, to get closer to Mo down the wing. Maybe they were freed up due to Hazard playing a central role. Then of course, both our goals came from the right. Mo and Firmino linking up, with Jordan following in for the scraps, and chipping one back post for Mane to header in the first goal of the match. Then a few minutes later Mo produced an absolute wonder strike that sent Anfield and all Liverpool fans around the world in to an eruption of chaos. There's only two moments in recent history that I've been so overwhelmed with a sense of belief, that I've broken down into tears. Mo has been the cause for both those moments, Last season against Roma with that pearler, and this goal against Chelsea. As I said in my preview to this game, it would be poetic justice for the lad to get the winner for this one after the racist abuse he received during the week from a small minority of their fans. Absolutely made up for the lad. After our second, Sarri made the immediate change to bring Higuain on and push Hazard to the left, and for about ten minutes Chelsea looked like the greatest football team I had ever seen. I was absolutely shitting myself, and lucky for us it just didn't quite go right for Hazard. When he got into those positions, I tried to look around and blame someone for not picking him up, but sometimes you have to appreciate class even if it is on the other side. His movement was world class. Fortunately, his finishing, not so much. For some reason we got caught up in their game, trying to counter attack them and giving them the ball back, to counter attack us. It was frantic. But eventually the lads realised there was no need, they slowed the game down, controlled the ball and moved it around to take the sting and momentum out of Chelsea. Once we had reasserted ourselves as the team on top, orchestrating the pace of the game, we saw it out with relative comfort. And with it, back to the top of the premier league. Get in there you beautiful Reds.
The manner of the win was very impressive, and I can confidently say now that we are in very good form. The perfect time to hit such a green patch. But the significance of this result can not be underestimated. Of course it is only another 3 points, but its provoked an insurgence of belief throughout everyone involved with our special club, that we can go all the way. I honestly believe its had the opposite effect on everyone else. I spoke in my previous article about how there is an agenda against Liverpool. Pundits and experts alike want to talk about how, and why Liverpool will fail. They all would have expected us to drop points in these games against Spurs, Saints and Chelsea, then blamed it on nerves and the pressure, but we've shut them all up. City would have expected/hoped for us to drop some points in these games, so they had a buffer heading into their tricky fixtures. They would have loved some breathing space, but now they have none. City know, they have to win every game if they want to win the league, and that will be exhausting looking at who they have. We have to make it count, by winning all of ours, but I believe with this team and manager, WE WILL. Back to the Chelsea game, I thought our lads played brilliantly, both as a unit and individually. There wasn't one player on the pitch who had a bad game, and even the lads who came on did a fantastic job for the time they were on. Player Ratings: Alisson - 8 Trent - 7 Matip - 7 Van Dijk - 8 Robbo - 7 Hendo - 8 Fabinho - 7 Keita - 8 Salah - 9 Firmino - 9 Mane - 8 Subs: Milner - 7 Gini - 7 Shaqiri - N/A What ratings would you give the lads? leave a comment or head to the forum to write your own piece on what you thought of the game.