Five things we learned from Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool in the International Champions CupPublished July 28, 2016
A first half Gary Cahill header was the difference between Liverpool and Chelsea during their International Champions Cup tie, with the Blues registering a 1-0 victory in a tightly contested affair in Pasadena.
Despite the game being billed as a pre-season friendly, the matched ended on a rather sour note, with Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas sent off on 72 minutes for a dangerous lunge on new Liverpool signing Ragnar Klavan, but despite the one-man advantage Jurgen Klopp’s side rarely troubled the Chelsea backline.
With a host of first team regulars on show for both sides, we at Free Bets, take a look at five things learned from this pre-season encounter as Liverpool and Chelsea prepare for the start of the new Premier League season in just over two weeks.
Set pieces still an issue for Klopp
Despite the additions of Joel Matip, and Ragnar Klavan, it seems that Jurgen Klopp still has a lot of work to do in terms of how his side defend set pieces.
Liverpool were guilty of conceding a number of sloppy goals from set pieces last season, and that was once again their undoing against Chelsea, as Marko Grujic lost his man, allowing Gary Cahill to score the only goal of the game.
Liverpool boss looks right about Ragnar Klavan
Jurgen Klopp took to the media last week to dismiss suggestions that Estonian defender Ragnan Klavan was signed as a back-up defender, claiming people should wait to see him play before making such assumptions.
It seems like Klopp was right, as the 30-year-old centre-back performed well and looks like he may have the attributes to succeed in the Premier League, and could end up pushing for a starting spot in Liverpool’s defence next season.
Conte counting on Terry
There has been plenty of speculation that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is looking to sign a defender this summer, with many linking these rumours to John Terry’s lack of future at Stamford Bridge.
But Chelsea’s new boss has so far publically backed Terry, and judging by the 35-year-old’s impeccable performance against Liverpool, the Blues captain could end up being an important first team regular once more in West London.
Antonio Conte’s hunt for a new defender could suggest the Italian boss would like to switch to a 3-5-2 formation next season, with Terry playing alongside a new summer signing.
Chelsea toothless in attack
Despite Chelsea looking compact and defensively organised, there was a real lack of attacking threat on show, with the Blues looking uncreative in pre-season so far.
Antonio Conte will be counting on the return of Eden Hazard, coupled with the signing of Belgium talent Michy Batshuayi to spearhead his side’s attack next season.
Chelsea will need to get going upfront quickly come the middle of August if they want to send a serious title statement to their Premier League rivals.
Anything but a friendly
Despite this game being billed as a pre-season friendly, it was anything but.
With six yellow cards and one red card, shown to Cesc Fabregas, American fans were treated to a bad-tempered encounter.
There has been bad blood between these two clubs for some time now, and it showed no signs of letting up, even during pre-season.
Bring on the new season!