EPL Season 2016/2017
And it got worse for the Blues as Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson doubled the lead in the 36th minute. The English midfielder curled a brilliant unstoppable long distance shot. The strike stunned the Blues’ supporters and even shocked the Liverpool bench. Even after the goal, Conte – surprisingly – did nothing to stem the superiority of the Reds.
Second half meandered on the same lines with Liverpool trying to assert their dominance while Chelsea struggling to make a comeback. They did get a life-line through Diego Costa’s strike in the 61st minute. The Spanish striker was anonymous till that point but came to life in a moment of inspiration raising hopes of a comeback.
But it was not to be, as Liverpool made sure they hung on. In the end, the dominant first half performance of the Reds was more than enough to win the game for the visitors. They are now level on points with Chelsea and Everton and look set for a dash at the top four. All is not rosy though as the team looks lost in certain situations – as was evident in a spell of dominance by Chelsea in the second half.
For the hosts, the defeat raised difficult questions and their lack of teeth in the final third putting a question mark on their ability to come back and win games like these. Conte too didn’t help himself by not making an effort to change the formation or personnel. He chose to make his three substitutions only seven minutes before the final whistle raising a cloud of suspicion. But the silver lining for the Blues is that it is still early in the season and gives them a lot of time to come back.