[Chelsea 1 – 1 Liverpool].

I was quite looking forward to this one, and not only because it’s the start of a new season and hope springs eternal. Many changes in the squad, with some very promising fresh talent and a necessary reconfiguration of the side to account for some gaps which will hopefully be filled soon. Chelsea’s remake under Poch is even bigger, and so today’s game was destined to be unpredictable. Will we see a new style emerge under the direction of Szobo and Mac Allister in midfield? Will a 3-box-3 see Trent delivering a big impact in midfield? How is the team with new weapons going to gel under the leadership of Van Dijk? Is our defense going to from hole-y to, uhh, mold-y? (sorry)

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It ended with the most predictable of outcomes as far as these two teams are concerned – a draw.

But the game itself was quite exciting and exhibited some of the anticipated differences already. For one thing, Chelsea dominated possession, and the Reds seemed happy to absorb the pressure. But even though Liverpool only had one shot on goal – the actual goal – we had the better chances. These same chances would be converted a few games into the season, and it could easily have been one of those 4-3 thrillers. I, for one, very much enjoyed seeing the options that our new midfield offered, and I suspect that the Szoboszlai and Mac Allister pairing will cause plenty of headaches to teams down the road; they are clearly very clever players who can do the unexpected at any moment. With that said, it was painful to see how much they needed a true number 6 to allow that creativity to flourish.

Mo was outrageous in the first 30 minutes, and for that slight patina of early-season rust, he could have had two in the back on the net. Even so, he got as close as the crossbar off a gorgeous right-footed effort, and his disallowed goal was a confident beaut. His assist to Lucho was downright ridiculous, as was the finish. It all started with a lovely set of passes initiated by Alisson (who had his usual tremendous game) and a peach of a pass to Salah from Mac Allister. Mo was visibly and unusually upset at being replaced 75 minutes in, and one couldn’t blame him as he had constantly tormented Levi Colwill. It did, however, seem planned in advance – and gave Ben Doak another premier league appearance.

Perhaps oddly considering he was taken off, Mo was my player of the match.

This was a big game to start the season. Stamford Bridge is always a somewhat intimidating venue, and the way Chelsea looked today, they aren’t going to drop many points there. A good and fair result for both sides and lots of intriguing potential is already showing. Let’s hope we can build on that (and we’re still waiting for Darwin Nunez to show up big time). 

Now… can we sort out this Caicedo nonsense?

Another Monday of looking for answers as we look at the recent struggles but put all of it in perspective as we talk about the 35th anniversary and what it means to us
  1. The Drought
  2. Let's Stare At The Eclipse
  3. Generational Dutch Oven
  4. Build-A-Manager
  5. Patreon Days