|Image via www.theguardian.com|
Whilst I'm so glad I acted upon my sometimes questionable impulse, I also ended up regretting it somewhat because going all that way but not really being able to celebrate a 3-1 win over Chelsea with anyone you know... Bit naff! Haha.
Jurgen Klopp started the game without a recognised striker as Roberto Firmino had to take up the position. It wasn't that surprising that Christian Benteke was left on the bench but it definitely felt like we were going to need him.
It took just four minutes for Chelsea to get on the score sheet and I immediately began to regret travelling to Liverpool. Mourinho looked smug as hell, the whole of Stamford Bridge were acting like it was game over, chanting "Jose Mourinho" at the top of their voices, it was horrible I won't lie.
The goal for Chelsea was aided by a defensive lapse from the Reds, a cross from Azpilicueta found its way far too easily to Ramires who headed home.
Klopp looked frustrated but he held his nerve, he could have decided to bring Benteke into play a lot sooner than originally planned but he took his time. He could see that Liverpool had a grasp of the game here, possession levels were rising and Chelsea were far from threatening. Klopp stuck to his guns and watched the first half unfold.
As the clock pushed closer to the end of extra time, Mourinho was waiting to waltz down the tunnel, job done he must have thought but up popped the magical Philippe Coutinho. A stereotypical cut inside on the edge of the box granted him just enough space to curl home an equaliser and what an equaliser it was!
Liverpool don't get many chances to play well at Stamford Bridge, let alone go on to win a game and after the perfect timing of that goal, you had to feel the momentum was with the visitors on Saturday.
At the start of the second half both teams remained the same and neither manager appeared to have any intentions of making a change. Klopp had clearly set up this side to be protective and he now knew he could wait even longer before introducing the trick up his sleeve.
For Mourinho, he must have been left wondering what happened to his side. I can't pretend to like Chelsea but you'd be an idiot to deny the fact that they have some quality players within their side but just lately their defence has been atrocious. There's zero confidence in their back four and at times they look like they are just waiting for the inevitable.
Even some of their flair players have gone missing whilst Diego Costa who is heavily reliant upon intimidation tactics had his hands completely full with Martin Skrtel who gives just as good as he gets. (I don't want to dwell on the kick from Costa on our defender other than to say action should have been taken.)
At the 73 minute mark and now with Christian Benteke on the pitch Liverpool took the lead. Coutinho is a very strange player, just lately he's been absent from games and a quick search through Twitter on Friday would have surfaced several fans discussing whether to drop Coutinho for Firmino who put on a great performance in the League Cup. For me though, no matter how many times he fails to stamp his mark in games, it's a massive risk not starting a player like Coutinho, he's a match winner and you just never know when he's going to unleash that magic.
His second goal was a mirror of his first, again cutting inside but this time placing his effort to the right of goal. Taking a slight deflection off John Terry, there was no deflection on the celebrations as the Reds basked in what looked to be an important win over Chelsea.
At 82 minutes, Benteke sealed the deal for Klopp's side after picking up the ball in the box. He had way too much time on the ball in my opinion, there was zero pressure from the Chelsea defence and he confidently finished scoring in his first game after returning from injury.
Jose Mourinho's face was a picture, he'd already made a fool of himself attempting to coax the ref into sending Lucas off earlier in the game after a light challenge. Now he had to deal with being embarrassed by a Liverpool side who played the majority of the game without a striker.
It was just fantastic!
I didn't have much time to revel in the glory because I had to get back to Lime Street for my train but I had such a good laugh in Liverpool and after that result I think I might have to travel up there to watch games more often!
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@LFCKirstyLFC we were f***ing awesome 😝✌️— Suki (@sukimann) November 1, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC Slow start then took over the match! Tactics were spot on as was the Milner change! And we are only going to get better!! YNWA— Nick Doughlin (@NickDoughlin) November 1, 2015
Next up for Liverpool is Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.@LFCKirstyLFC progress but still needs some more time and a transfer window.— Andrew Whitenburgh (@Jacar71) November 1, 2015