Chelsea and Liverpool drew in a game that shows the importance of defensive midfielders. In the first 20 minutes Liverpool had control of the game playing Trent Alexander-Arnold as inverted full-back with Mac Allister, Szoboszlai and Gakpo in midfield.

The problem with Chelsea’s press was that despite protecting the midfield and being narrow, Liverpool overloaded the right side allowing Salah to get 1v1’s versus Colwill.

When Chelsea recovered the ball, Enzo Fernández was too high, playing Conor Gallagher as a defensive midfielder, losing the ball quickly, allowing Liverpool to hide their defensive weaknesses.

Klopp’s men used this to score the first goal. Sensational long pass from Mac Allister to Salah taking advantage of Chelsea’s weakness and from the other wing Luis Díaz runs into the box to finish, not getting in time to defend him Reece James.

From the 20th minute, Enzo Fernández began to play deeper, with turns and good combinations, looking Chelsea much better. This role playing as a second phase midfielder, having a defensive midfielder behind is where he stands out the most. That’s why it’s so important that Chelsea have a good defensive midfielder in the squad, since Gallagher suffers a lot in that position playing under pressure.

With the improvement of Chelsea, the weaknesses of Liverpool appeared. Mac Allister isn’t a lone 6 & Liverpool suffered from that, but another huge problem is that neither Gakpo nor Szoboszlai are comfortable dropping alongside Mac Allister, being Gakpo the deepest or second deepest player.

Sterling played a great game with clever movements off the ball. Thanks to that threat, Reece James found so much space on the right with Robertson and Van Dijk keeping an eye on Sterling.

Chelsea’s goal comes after winning a 2nd ball and a defensive mistake by Liverpool leaving Disasi free to score.

Those defensive errors were also seen in several transitions in the second chalf with a defensive line that suffers when its midfielders are too vertical leading the game to a frenetic pace.

An interesting game that shows the need for both teams to sign a defensive midfielder if they want to fight for the Premier League.

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