100% Tackle Success: How Chelsea’s Defensive Duo Silenced PL’s Most Lethal Striker
Any side facing Liverpool this season is faced with one of the most obvious, yet hard to answer questions in the Premier League: How do you stop Luis Suarez? It’s a question most sides fail to answer yet on Sunday en route to a 2-1 victory, Chelsea’s defence by-and-large kept the free scoring Uruguayan quiet.
Suarez was restricted to just two shots all afternoon, neither of which got past Petr Cech, in what turned out to be a frustrating game for a player who’s running his own Premier League top scorer competition such is the gap between him and his nearest rivals in the goalscoring charts.
Part of the problem Suarez faced against Chelsea, was the home side’s ability to marshall him, wherever he roamed. The Liverpool striker is not averse to dropping deep when he needs to in order to gain possession and start attacks, yet on Sunday he found it much more difficult as David Luiz, often picked up where the defensive duo of Gary Cahill and John Terry left off.
Suarez may have drifted deep in search of the ball but he didn’t find it easy to come by as Luiz was joined by Frank Lampard and then John Obi Mikel who often filled in the gap between defence and midfield admirably.
While Lampard and Luiz may have given Suarez little joy dropping deep, the Liverpool hit man found the Chelsea defence even less accommodating as Gary Cahill and John Terry stuck to their task of keeping him quiet. Both Terry and Cahill made sure that when it came to clearing their lines, Suarez was given no opportunities to pounce on errors, thanks to a perfect clearance record from both Chelsea centre backs.
Suarez and his manager Brendan Rodgers felt aggrieved at some of the attention the striker received from John Terry- and Samuel Eto’o- with decent penalty claims waved away by Howard Webb. When it came to tackling as they did with their clearances the Chelsea duo made sure Suarez had little to take advantage of- regardless of the complaints the striker may have had. The pair each won 100% of their tackles, thus nullifying the threat of Suarez.
It was a culmination of the Chelsea side’s willingness to pick up Suarez, no matter how deep he dropped, as well as the defensive pairs ability to clear the ball, which may have contributed to the Liverpool striker enduring a torrid time and missing out on the chance to really hammer home his side’s title credentials.