Liverpool made it six wins out of six in the Premier League this season as they edged past Chelsea on Sunday.
We round up all of the goals, stand-out manager quotes, injury updates and key Fantasy talking points from the game at Stamford Bridge in our Scout Notes article below.
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
- Goals: N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) | Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m), Roberto Firmino (£9.5m)
- Assists: Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m) | Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Andrew Robertson (£6.9m)
- Bonus: Robertson, Firmino x3, Kante x1
Sadio Mane‘s (£11.6m) owners face a further wait to see if the knock that forced the Senegalese winger’s substitution at Stamford Bridge renders him a doubt for Gameweek 7.
Jurgen Klopp cited two problems that Mane was suffering from before his 70th-minute withdrawal, saying:
It was a knock on the bone, around the knee, and a dead leg – that’s an awful combination.
He tried everything but I think you saw, there was one counter situation when he really tried and I would say on a non-dead-leg day he will get that ball, but no chance and then we say ‘come on, now we have to do it’ and changed. That’s it.
The positive news is that we will get a bonus Klopp press conference on Monday or Tuesday ahead of the Reds’ Carabao Cup third-round tie in midweek, which may be able to shed light on Mane’s issue long in advance of the German’s usual Thursday/Friday presser.
It wasn’t a productive day at the office for Mane, who blanked for the first time away from home this season and who had only one headed goal attempt to show for his afternoon’s work.
It wasn’t a red-letter day for Liverpool’s attackers, in truth, with Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) similarly quiet – although the Egypt international did get a somewhat fortunate assist for teeing up Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m) at a free-kick for the visitors’ opening goal.
Despite being up against the much-maligned Marcos Alonso (£6.2m) for much of this encounter, Salah’s only shot of the entire game was a blocked effort in the first half and he had the second-worst pass completion rate in the final third among the players on show in west London.
Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) was, on the eye test alone, the pick of Liverpool’s front three and he capped off his busy display with a headed goal to put the Reds 2-0 up, later going close to doubling his tally when forcing Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.5m) into a fine save just after half-time.
Firmino’s selfless displays up top have perhaps made him less of an appealing option on the Fantasy front in recent seasons but he is continuing to keep pace with Mane and Salah from an underlying stats perspective this time around, besting his teammates for attempts on goal, shots in the box and efforts on target so far in 2019/20.
The Brazil international is, indeed, the best-value Liverpool player based on points per million spent so far this campaign.
Not far behind him is Alexander-Arnold, who is the second-highest-scoring FPL defender of the campaign despite only registering one clean sheet.
Always threatening an assist from set plays, the England right-back was on the scoresheet himself here when lashing in a 13th-minute free-kick to give Liverpool the lead.
Alexander-Arnold has created ten more chances than any other FPL defender this season and his Fantasy potential is frightening, considering Liverpool will surely tighten up at the back at some point.
Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) has been in the shadow of his fellow full-back this season but he made it three matches without a blank when crossing for Firmino to head home the Reds’ second goal.
The Scot has had more touches in the final third than any other Premier League player this season and he remains a potent threat in attack, despite lacking the obvious advantage that Alexander-Arnold boasts from dead-ball situations.
Being one of Liverpool’s designated free-kick and corner-takers is certainly more of a boon than it is for other clubs: Klopp’s troops have already scored four goals from set-piece situations this season, having scored more than any other top-flight team in 2018/19.
Klopp said after full-time that the goals were no flukes:
It is of course from the training ground. The Robbo one is from the training ground, the Trent one I really think the boys have the best view on the pitch. It is their job to see the best opportunity to score. It was a direct free-kick, so we could have shot with that, but this little move changed the whole angle, changed the view and made it pretty impossible for Kepa to make a save. It was a brilliant goal, yes.
I have said it before and it is no problem to say it: Pete Krawietz and the analysts do a really brilliant job around set-pieces, but especially corner-kicks and stuff like that. But direct free-kicks is the boys’ job, we cannot show them how to shoot that ball. You have to do it very often and then you will be good at it.
I loved the corners in the second half as well when we probably should have scored twice, that would have been great. It was not a set-piece game, we were really in the game and played a lot of good stuff and in the end, you have to score. That’s what we did, all good.
While Joel Matip (£5.5m) had an excellent game at centre-half, it’s fair to say that Liverpool aren’t looking quite as watertight as they were last season – a belief that is borne out in their clean sheet count.
Nine clubs have conceded fewer big chances than the Reds in 2019/20 and the clear-cut opportunities were in abundance at Stamford Bridge, with Tammy Abraham (£7.4m) firing straight at Adrian (£4.6m) when clean through on goal, substitute Michy Batshuayi (£6.6m) heading wide when unmarked and Mason Mount (£6.5m) blazing over the bar just before full-time.
Frank Lampard was rightly proud of his team’s efforts and there was much to encourage owners of Chelsea’s attacking assets heading into their forthcoming fixture run, with the Blues sitting top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 7-17.
Abraham could have had a couple of goals on another day, with the in-form FPL forward also flicking an effort wide in the second half.
While he may have misplaced his shooting boots for this clash, the fact that he was getting into such promising positions despite being up against a defender of the calibre of Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) bodes well for the weeks ahead.
Mount recovered from an ankle knock to play in this encounter and perhaps the injury was still hindering him to some extent, as he wasn’t quite at the levels we have seen in the opening month of the season.
Lampard was asked why Christian Pulisic (£7.4m) remained an unused substitute as Mount and Willian (£7.0m) failed to really shine and replied:
He has played a few games. Willian has come back in and been sharp and looked good. I decided to go with Mason today because we needed to stay strong in midfield and play Mason higher up the pitch. Those are my choices to make. He will get ample opportunities as well.
There’s him on the bench, Pedro, Ross Barkley, Batshuayi who deserves more minutes for the way he’s training at the moment, and those are unfortunate choices I need to make.
While Chelsea’s attack looks inviting for the next 11 Gameweeks, the usual shortcomings at the back are still being exposed.
Budget FPL defender Fikayo Tomori (£4.5m) had a decent game and Chelsea did indeed limit Liverpool to relatively few chances but collectively the familiar failings at set plays ultimately cost the Blues.
Lampard said in his post-match presser:
Set pieces are a different animal to other goals. There are times where we haven’t defended well as a team and moments where we have switched off during a game.
The return of N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) is a massive plus from a defensive point of view but the combative midfielder is the not the answer to Chelsea’s zonal marking problems or vulnerability to crosses.
Kante scored a fine solo goal to halve the deficit and Lampard namechecked both he and Tomori after full-time, saying:
We end up being not surprised with Kante, which is not fair on him really. He did it in the Super Cup without training, he did it today with probably not match-fit training, but he’s so important for us you put him in the team and he showed his qualities.
I have to single out Tomori. For a young player like him to go up against Mo Salah, who is lethal, and deal with him for pace and in the mind, I thought was class. Everything he did was. Those are the signs I’m looking for individually.
Those comments about Tomori perhaps suggest he can become a regular starter and a £4.5m-rated option for Fantasy managers to consider (the lack of clean sheets being the huge disclaimer), particularly as Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) was the latest centre-back to pick up an injury.
Both the Dane and Emerson Palmieri (£5.5m) failed to see half-time as they limped off with injuries, with Lampard saying later:
Emerson is a similar injury to what he had, with a muscle. When you do that it means you’ve come back too soon. That’s not a slight on Emerson, everyone wants to play this game, fair play. Those things shouldn’t happen.
Christensen is a bang on the knee which we will assess. The first thought is it’s not that bad.
Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen (Zouma 42), Tomori, Emerson Palmieri (Alonso 15); Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham (Batshuayi 76), Mount.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson (Lallana 83); Salah (Gomez 91), Firmino, Mane (Milner 71).
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Lessons learned from Gameweek 6:
- Southampton 1-3 Bournemouth
- Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Burnley 2-0 Norwich City
- Everton 0-2 Sheffield United
- Manchester City 8-0 Watford
- Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United
- Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
- Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool