Liverpool didn’t hit Chelsea in the majority. Removal will be remembered for a long time
Even before the central match of the Premier League tour, the biggest doubts about Chelsea’s starting lineup were about the position of the right-back. If in the match of the first round at Chelsea in this position was played by captain Cesar Azpilicueta , then in the second Tuchel preferred to put Rhys James on the sidelines , and to put Cesar in the center of defense.
Rhys James is yet another Chelsea Academy graduate who got his first team chance during a transfer ban. He, along with Mason Mount , Tammy Abraham , Callum Hudson-Odoi, got his chance under Lampard – and, of course, did not become a star of the club, like Mount, but he did not lose his place in the team, like Tammy. Tuchel regularly does the trick with Azpilicueta’s transition to the center of defense and back, but more often he needs the Spaniard in the center – and then it’s time for Rhys.
It came at Anfield too – and for the time being the match was going well for Chelsea in general and for James in particular. The guests were in control of the game, and Rhys gave an assist after the corner.
And at 0-1 Chelsea was much closer to doubling the lead than Liverpool were to leveling the score. Mount could score in one of the counterattacks, but missed the far corner. And then a corner helped Liverpool.
The ball actually flew on the goal line, but never crossed it – alas, for Chelsea, not without breaking the rules. James, while on the goal line, blocked one of the punches – and made an accented movement after the ball ricocheted off his hip. Anthony Taylor, after watching the replay, pointed to the “dot” and showed a red card. Removal will be remembered for a long time.
As a result, it turned out that James did not deprive the team of everything. Liverpool were in control of the ball and struck many shots on goal, but they never gave Mendy a single really serious moment. Tuchel replaced Havertz with Thiago Silva , effectively abandoning claims to win in this way – but more importantly, he perfectly prepared the team against Liverpool’s attack. The Reds were forced to stray into the canopies, which did not bring any danger – and the goalkeeper coped with long-range shots.
In fact, Liverpool failed twice that evening. For the first time – when he allowed the opponent to play potentially scoring combinations on his field. And the second failure consisted in the fact that even the luck in the form of removing James with the Reds could not be translated into a victory. Tuchel did not receive an important victory as a gift before his birthday (on August 29, he turns 48), but deserved to leave Anfield with his head held high.