Date: 13th August 2023 at 7:35pm
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It was an impressive start to life for Mauricio Pochettino in the ‘Moises Caicedo derby’ as his new side played out a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday. 

Despite not picking up the three points, Chelsea were impressive after the first 30 minutes and dominated the game, causing Liverpool significant problems throughout the game.

Considering the high turnover of players, it felt like a more unified performance than what was served up last season and had the likes of Nicolas Jackson and Raheem Sterling been more clinical, the outcome of the game may have been different.

Who caught the eye against Liverpool?

It took Pochettino’s players 30 or so minutes to get into the game, with Liverpool dominating the first third of the game.

Thereafter, it was Chelsea causing the problems. The amplify their dominance, the West London side had possession of 65.4%, their highest in a Premier League game against Liverpool since 2003.

The most impressive aspect of the display was Chelsea’d productivity down the flanks with Ben Chilwell and Reece James. Chilwell got in behind Liverpool several times and even had a goal correctly chalked off by VAR.

There was uncertainty with the back three to begin with, something to be expected considering Pochettino opted for a back four throughout pre-season. But once Chelsea grew into the game, the wing-backs were excellent, as was Levi Colwill and Thiago Silva.

Nicolas Jackson looked lively and had the beating of whoever he came up against but just lacked that end product at times.

What also needs to be pointed out is the age of the players that gained minutes in the game. Ian Maatsen, Carney Chukwuemeka, Malo Gusto, Lesley Ugochukwu and Levi Colwill were all under 21 which points to an exciting future beyond this season should they continue to develop.

Also highlights the commitment from Poch to getting game time for young players.

Where would Moises Caicedo fit into this Chelsea team?

What was apparent was how easy it was for Liverpool to break through the central areas against Chelsea.

Trent Alezander-Arnold benefitted from that lack of protection in the midfield and it would be expected that Caicedo would bring that much-needed assurance in the middle of the park.

However, it was an impressive display and one that provides plenty of optimism heading forwards. Chelsea were entertaining, vibrant and vulnerable and if this is what Pochball 2.0 will bring going forwards, then it’s sure to be exciting.


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