3 things learnt from Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea

Tom Barnes
11 months ago

Liverpool had to settle for a point in their opening game of the new 2023/24 Premier League season away at Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea.

Luis Diaz' opener was soon cancelled out by Axel Disasi's first goal for his new club while both teams were denied of a second by VAR.

The Reds came flying out the blocks at Stamford Bridge, causing a new look Chelsea side an array of problems. Their early dominance was margins from being rewarded with Mohammed Salah seeing an effort crash off the crossbar.

After weathering an early storm, the host's regained a foothold in the game and began to cause Liverpool problems of their own, in what turned out to be an enthralling end-to-end game.

Mac Allister as holding midfielder

There was a lot of talk and concern leading up to the game regarding Liverpool's lack of defensive midfielders, with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho departing, and Liverpool's inability to recruit a replacement thus far.

As expected, debutant Alexis Mac Allister was given the role as Liverpool's holding midfielder against Chelsea, albeit with his skillset, a deep lying playmaker.

The Argentine has a history of playing deeper in midfield, and that became apparent with his ability to play long-field balls, particularly to Mo Salah was just as impressive as his reading of the game.

Although his preferred role is more advanced, and being in that area of the pitch he is expected to play in during his time at Anfield, it is healthy to know that Mac Allister is more than capable of filling in the number six role when vacant.

Mac Allister was heavily involved in Diaz' goal on Sunday afternoon, after his long range pass landed at the feet of Salah who set the Colombian up to fire past Robert Sanchez.

New season, same Alisson

There has been plenty of concern regarding Liverpool's defensive fragility during preseason. Yet despite that worry, Liverpool's defence for large spells of their clash with Chelsea proved to be very strong. But against a side with a new manager, away from home on the opening game of the season, The Blues will always have chances, and that's where Alisson is required immensely.

There was nothing the Brazilian could do for Disasi's leveller but his quick thinking to get out to the feet of an attacker, making the goal an incredibly small target is something to be admired about Alisson's game.

Liverpool's goalkeeper denied both Ben Chilwell and Nicolas Jackson from close range with smart saves, ultimately earning Liverpool a point.

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his side doesn't rely on their shot-stopper as much as they did in their dreary campaign last season, but having him in your goal eases the number for anyone associated with Liverpool Football Club.

Magnificent defensive performance from Trent

Ever since his break through into Liverpool's first-team, Alexander-Arnold's immense praise as been primarily for his effectiveness in the attacking phases of play, yet he has received masses of criticism for his defensive frailties.

Sunday however, saw the Scouser produce an admirably solid defensive performance against a high-flying Chelsea side. The defensive concern has been mostly targeted at Liverpool's right side with the 24-year-old occupying an inverted position since the back end of last season.

If this performance was anything to go by, Alexander-Arnold's defensive awareness and reading of the game has improved immensely, and against a team like Chelsea with the firepower they posses, Liverpool fans should be encouraged about the right-back becoming an all-round world class package.

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