Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea: ‘Blues can be confident of top four but Reds floundering’


The scenes could not have been more different, the emotions more contrasting – and they encapsulated the current conditions of resurgent Chelsea and a Liverpool side now making a mockery of their Premier League title defence.

Chelsea were in charge and a goal up after 62 minutes when Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, searching for answers and looking to avoid an unwanted place in history with a fifth straight Anfield loss, decided it was time for change. To the general astonishment of most observers, and to the very obvious fury of the player involved, the man Klopp chose to remove was top goalscorer Mohamed Salah.

Salah departed in what might be politely termed a huff complete with full-on head-shaking, wrestling furiously with a large coat when he got to the bench, as Diogo Jota returned after being absent since early December because of injury. The Egyptian forward was clearly bemused and unhappy.

He would hardly be beaming with smiles at being hooked in such unceremonious fashion so the reaction was no great surprise, but it was a sign of Liverpool and Klopp’s current struggles – and perhaps some muddled thinking – that it was their leading marksman who was removed when they needed a goal so badly.


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