Football News

Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea: Mykhailo Mudryk shines on debut but goalless draw hurts top four hopes

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:44, 21 January 2023

Liverpool and Chelsea look set to lose further ground in the race for the top four as they played out a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon.

Two teams very much out of form, this is the fifth consecutive game between Liverpool and Chelsea to have ended as a draw inside 90 minutes, and leaves them in eighth and 10th respectively.

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:

Liverpool

Alisson – 6 – Made a good save from Badiashile in the first half but really didn’t have much to do.

Andrew Robertson – 8 – Seemed to be one of the few Liverpool players actually up for the game in the first half, showing so just inside two minutes when he hacked at Conor Gallagher. Was a real nuisance to the Chelsea midfield and defence, even going on an advanced run through the middle. Great late tackle on Chukwuemeka.

Joe Gomez – 7 – Looked solid without having to do too much actual defending. That’s not a slight on him either, this just wasn’t a back-to-the-walls defending game.

Ibrahima Konate – 7 – Like Gomez, didn’t really look uncomfortable in defence throughout. Did he try to catch Kepa out with a shot just after half-time?

James Milner – 4 – Was fortunate to not be caught out for playing Silva onside in the build up to Havertz’s disallowed goal, having been slow to push up. Had a pretty easy game in the first half defensively but struggled as soon as Mudryk came off. Was booked for a challenge on Mudryk as he looked to be racing passed and was taken off shortly after.

Thiago – 7 – Couldn’t control the game in the first half, as his teammates struggled. But helped push Liverpool up a gear after half-time. It was a standard Thiago midfield match, and Liverpool so need him.

Stefan Bajcetic – 7 – Playing the deepest role, of all the academy stars on both sides, Bajcetic shone brightest and did not look out of place in the holding role of Liverpool’s midfield. He’s got a bright future in Klopp’s midfield three.

Naby Keita – 8 – The presser of the Liverpool midfield, he did well to make sure Chelsea’s back line had very little time on the ball, effectively taking Jorginho’s only attribute away from him. It was perhaps understated but a very good performance, which made it a bit of a surprise to see him come off for Nunez.

Cody Gakpo – 5 – Ended the game with seven shots but only one of those hit the target, with the rest mostly seeming to fly over the bar. The ideas are there, and so is the movement into dangerous positions, but his finishing really let him down.

Mohamed Salah – 6 – Got behind Cucurella inside six minutes and really should have thrived in the space left but this was an underwhelming game. He got into promising positions on a couple of occasions but didn’t do enough with the ball. Still Liverpool’s best attacker on the day.

Harvey Elliott – 3 – A really poor game from the youngster, who struggled to make much of an impact though not playing in his favoured position.

Substitutes:

Darwin Nunez (for Keita 63) – 6 – Had a good opportunity to break through Chelsea’s high line but he was marshalled out wide by Silva and then sent his shot straight at Kepa. Clearly not fully fit, which was why he didn’t start.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (for Milner 72) – 6 – Fared better against Mudryk than Milner did, not that it was too hard. Liverpool look a better team going forward with him on the pitch too, having more control.

Jordan Henderson (for Gakpo 82) – N/A – A late sub.

Fabinho (for Bajcetic 82) – N/A – A late sub.

Curtis Jones (for Elliott 82) – N/A – A late sub.


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Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6 – Held onto the ball when needed to, but largely a spectator.

Marc Cucurella – 7 – Up against Salah, there will have been Chelsea fans scared about how Cucurella would do, especially after letting him run behind. But it was actually a decent performance from the Spaniard.

Benoit Badiashile – 7 – Looking composed in the Chelsea defence once again. Tested Alisson with a header, perhaps should have done better, but we’re judging him on his defending. Kalidou Koulibaly may be watching on from the bench for a while.

Thiago Silva – 7 – Like his Liverpool namesake, this was another standard performance from Silva who continues to look ageless at the heart of Chelsea’s defence. His presence rubs off on Badhiashile too, which will only be beneficial for Chelsea.

Trevoh Chalobah – 7 – Kept Elliott quiet throughout his take on the left wing but had to come off, being the latest Chelsea player to suffer from their injury curse.

Jorginho – 4 – Not in the game at all, unable to get on the ball and pull the strings as he likes to.

Conor Gallagher – 8 – One of the best players on the pitch, particularly for Chelsea, and he looks so much better playing in a more advanced role. Got a fair few kicks as Liverpool didn’t know how to stop him.

Lewis Hall – 4 – Playing in a more natural position, the occasion seemed to have got the better of Hall this afternoon. His inexperience showed, losing the ball quite easily on more than one occasion and completing just 55% of his attempted passes, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him be the first to come off.

Mason Mount – 3 – You could be forgiven for forgetting that Mount was on the pitch, that was the extent of his struggles. The man just isn’t in form at all and was fortunate not to see some of his play result in a Liverpool goal when he was involved.

Hakim Ziyech – 8 – Probably one of his best matches for Chelsea. Pulled the strings from the right wing, and constantly looked to play that diagonal ball which causes Liverpool so many problems. Should have done better with a shot in the second half having broken through the Liverpool defence really well, or passed the ball at the end. Already showing signs of a good understanding with Mudryk. It will be interesting to see what this means for his future.

Kai Havertz – 6 – Still trusted to lead the line and was the quickest to react after Silva’s shot hit the post but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside as his leg was in front of the ball. Showed some nice link up play but then also slowed down the Chelsea attack at times, and was isolated a lot in the first half.

Substitutes:

Mykhailo Mudryk (for Hall 55) – 8 – Truly transformed Chelsea after coming on, making them look a much better side. Had a couple of good opportunities to score on his debut, first having danced through the Liverpool Liverpool before firing into the side netting and then ghosting in behind Milner but taking a touch when a first-time shot would’ve been better.

Cesar Azpilicueta (for Chalobah 81) – N/A – A late sub.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (for Havertz 81) – N/A – A late sub.

Carney Chukwuemeka (for Mount 82) – N/A – A late sub.

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