Thiago debuts & Kepa disappoints again: All the key talking points from Liverpool’s win over Chelsea


Chelsea vs Liverpool

The weekend’s marquee Premier League clash was played out a short time ago.

Chelsea welcomed champions Liverpool to Anfield, as they looked to exact revenge on the Reds.

The Reds put their hosts today to the sword by five goals to three in their last meeting back in July, which also featured a rather heated exchange between Frank Lampard and Liverpool’s coaching staff.

Chelsea headed into Sunday’s tie on the back of a 3-1 victory over Brighton, whilst Liverpool played out an enthralling matchup with Leeds in their own season opener, which they eventually won 4-3.

And, when all was said and done at the Bridge, we were once again treated to an action-packed Premier League showdown.

Christensen sees red

Liverpool, due to some minor injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, were forced to start Fabinho at centre-back vs the Blues.

And, in the early stages of the game, it did appear as though Lampard and co. had set up to exploit the out-of-position Brazilian.

Timo Werner spent a fair amount of time out on the left-hand side, running at Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz having swapped between the centre and right positions of a front-three.

Werner enjoyed a fair amount of joy vs Fabinho and TAA early on, too, getting in behind the latter on several occasions.

Neither side was able to carve out any real clear-cut opportunities during the opening exchanges, though.

The first half-chance of the game fell to Liverpool, when Kepa charged out of his goal, only to be beaten to the ball by Mo Salah. Andreas Christensen came to the Spaniard’s aid, however.

The hosts’ only real opportunities of the first 45 fell to Werner, the first of which saw him curl an effort just past Allison’s left post shortly after the half-hour mark.

The former RB Leipzig man then missed a sitter after Havertz played a lovely ball across the box, which Werner directed wide. The hitman’s blushes were spared by the offside flag, though.

Chelsea were then handed a huge blow on the stroke of half-time.

Sadio Mane, who was through on goal, was brought down by Christensen. The Chelsea defender was swiftly given his marching orders after a VAR check.

The first 45 drew to a close with Jurgen Klopp certainly the happier of the two managers.

Liverpool dominate

The second-half began with both sides making changes.

Fikayo Tomori was introduced for Kai Havertz, whilst Thiago was handed his Liverpool debut, coming on for Jordan Henderson.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to take advantage of their numerical advantage, carving Chelsea open within the opening 5 minutes following the interval.

Marcos Alonso was first beaten too easily by a one-two, allowing Roberto Firmino to dink a lovely cross onto the head of Sadio Mane – who had no issues directing his effort into the Chelsea net.

Liverpool continued to press following their opener, and soon forced the latest mistake out of the error-prone Kepa.

The Spaniard dwelt on the ball for too long, allowing Mane to sprint forward and intercept a loose ball from the Chelsea shot-stopper, before making it 2-0:

The error no doubt came as little surprise to the Chelsea faithful, who have become accustomed to Kepa’s sub-par displays over the course of the last 12 months.

Such poor form actually resulted in Lampard dropping Kepa across two separate spells last term, and it certainly wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see that happen once again following his display on Sunday.

Even before Liverpool’s 2nd goal, Kepa had made a number of risky decisions.

Had Christensen not pulled down Mane just before half-time, for example, questions would likely have been asked as to why the Spaniard was so far out of his goal in the first place.

As for Liverpool, they will no doubt be thrilled with their display this evening,

Granted, it did take Chelsea going down to 10 men for them to carve out an advantage, but, even before that, it was clear that Jurgen Klopp’s side were in the ascendancy.

The Merseysiders will also be pleased with just how quickly Thiago Alcantara has settled in at the club.

The Spaniard only joined Liverpool on Friday, but his first 45 minutes of action painted the picture of an individual who had been plying his trade in Liverpool’s midfield for some time.

Thiago controlled the pace of the 2nd-half with his quick, sharp passing – causing the hosts all sorts of problems.

Perhaps the only bright spark for Chelsea on Sunday, as was largely the case vs Brighton, on the other hand, was Timo Werner.

The German had a couple of decent chances in the first-half, and though his opportunities were limited after the Londoners went down to 10 men, Werner still managed to win a late penalty.

Jorginho’s ensuing effort was saved by Allison, making sure of a clean sheet for Liverpool.

But Werner’s display will nevertheless no doubt have pleased the Chelsea faithful – who should be looking forward to seeing their new hitman line out alongside the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

See also: Wolves vs Manchester City betting tips: Premier League preview, predictions & odds

Aston Villa vs Sheffield United betting tips: Premier League preview, predictions and odds

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 2 4 6
2 Arsenal FC 2 4 6
3 Crystal Palace FC 2 3 6
4 Leicester City FC 1 3 3
5 Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 2 3
6 Chelsea FC 1 2 3
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 2 3
8 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 2 1 3
9 Liverpool FC 1 1 3
10 Leeds United 2 0 3
11 Newcastle United FC 2 -1 3
12 Aston Villa FC 0 0 0
13 Burnley FC 0 0 0
14 Manchester City FC 0 0 0
15 Manchester United FC 1 -2 0
16 Sheffield United FC 1 -2 0
17 West Ham United FC 2 -3 0
18 Fulham FC 2 -4 0
19 Southampton FC 2 -4 0
20 West Bromwich Albion 2 -6 0
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 4
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 3
Costa, Helder Leeds United 2
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 2
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 2
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 2
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 2
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 2
Mitrovic, Aleksandar Fulham FC 2
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 2
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 2
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 1
Townsend, Andros Crystal Palace FC 1
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 1
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 1
Hendrick, Jeff Newcastle United FC 1
Jorginho Chelsea FC 1
Praet, Dennis Leicester City FC 1