Liverpool lost 2-1 to Chelsea at home and have now lost 3 matches in a row in a span of one week. Rodgers would be glad there is an international break where he could regroup his side and assemble some confidence in it. Daniel Sturridge should return for the Crystal Palace game immediately after the break but the Reds look weak in all departments and Rodgers does in fact, need to do a lot of work in the next fifteen days. Large sections of the fans are beginning to call for his head, and while this is not rational, we have seen managers been sacked for less in football. If Rodgers doesn’t get results by the end of this calender year, his job would hang by the thread.
The Reds were unlucky to not get a couple of penalties as there were two clear handballs in the game, and one right at the end as a Steven Gerrard shot was met by Matic’s hand. However, barring the opening 10 minutes of the game, they looked on the backfoot and Chelsea dominated the game through and through.
Simon Mignolet (5/10)- Saved well to deny Terry, but was unlucky to carry Gary Cahill’s follow up over the line. His punches looked better in most corners but also made a rookie mistake in the first half to give the ball away in the middle of the park. Still lacks composure and Liverpool are right to be looking at goalkeepers
Glen Johnson (5/10)- Made a number of key blocks initially but struggled immensely against Hazard. Javier Manquillo, who did exceedingly well against Marcelo and Ronaldo mid-week was dropped in favor of Johnson, and it ended up looking like a laughable decision as Johnson didn’t track back for the second goal and didn’t do anything to stop Azpilicueta’s darting run on the flank, leaving with Coutinho to do too much.
Martin Skrtel (6/10)- Was involved throughout the game in battling Diego Costa and did well in defence in large parts of the game. However, Liverpool conceded from a set-piece again and the marking of the defenders for Cahill’s opener was laughable.
Dejan Lovren (4/10)- Doesn’t look like a player Liverpool paid 20m GBP for to make their most expensive defender of all time. Started decently, but began to lose posession and looked very sloppy in defence. Marking was not good for the opening goal. With Moreno constantly moving forward, Lovren has more responsibility defensively and he didn’t do a good job. After Toure put on such a strong performance against Real, dropping him for Lovren seems like an extremely unwise decision.
Alberto Moreno (5.5/10)- Definitely looks like a smart investment on part of Brendan Rodgers but the Spaniard was visibly tired from the midweek trip to Madrid. Was not extraordinary in defence or offense and couldn’t do enough to keep up with Ramires or Oscar. With Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique both out with injuries, Rodgers had little options at that position. The international break comes at the right time for him.
Steven Gerrard (5/10)- Was absent in the first half. He doesn’t look like the defensive midfielder he is made to be. Set piece delivery was also not up to the mark. His shot in the closing stages should have got a penalty, but the captain’s performances are not good enough to make him a guaranteed starter.
Emre Can (7/10)- A bright spot from Liverpool’s weak overall game. The 20 year old was one of the players retained from the Madrid game and he proved his inclusion. The summer signing from Leverkusen got his first goal for the club in the opening stages of the game. He drove the team forward whenever he got possession.
Jordan Henderson (5.5/10)- The ex-Sunderland man hasn’t looked particularly good in the previous games and today was another day where he didn’t help Liverpool register a win. But he was asked to keep Cesc Fabregas quiet and the fact that the in-form Chelsea midfielder wasn’t involved in the game too much is testament to the fact that the England international did a decent job.
Philippe Coutinho (6.5/10)- The Brazilian had a good outing and also tried to provide Liverpool with creativity. Was extremely impressive initially and tested Courtois with a long range effort. Did more than his team-mates, but still not enough. Was surprisingly substituted after 70 minutes
Raheem Sterling (6.5/10)- He troubled the Chelsea defence whenever he got the chance but this was another game when too much was asked from a 19 year old. Moreno’s poor defensive display meant Sterling had to track back a lot. One positive for him is that these games are certainly polishing this sure to be star for tough matches where results would have to be ground out. However, the English international needs support in the attack…
Mario Balotelli(6/10)- …much like Balotelli. The Italian didn’t open his account for Liverpool in the league, but the player doesn’t have enough support in front to feed off. Asking him to score off almost zilch creativity in the final third is too much. Not to mention Liverpool do better in a two-man striker system and Balotelli himself doesn’t prefer to play alone up-front. The Italian would be waiting for Sturridge to return as much as Liverpool fans.
Joe Allen (4/10)- Tried to create opportunities, but the Welshman couldn’t do much as an impact substitute. He should be employed as a defensive midfielder and his big strength is providing urgency in passing. His job today was different and he was not the man for the occasion.
Fabio Borini (5/10)- The Italian’s work rate is admirable, and so is his desire and hunger. But it he wants to prove himself to Rodgers, he would need to do something extraordinary in situations like these. Should get to play in domestic games upon Sturridge’s return and should take the opportunities to build his position.
Rickie Lambert (NA)- Came towards the late embers of the game.