At Anfield, Liverpool and Chelsea have a long history of producing exciting moments and memorable contests. Not one of them was this.
The near-silence at Anfield after referee Michael Oliver blew his final whistle was a cruel reflection of the truth that this game wasn’t even close to being as enjoyable as the 0-0 result may imply.
Anfield was actually muted the entire time as two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs—currently through a period of mutual struggle—delivered vivid proof of why their separate campaigns have been underwhelming.
In their defense, Liverpool and Chelsea can point to injuries and—in the case of the visitors—a stunning transfer-market binge that resulted in an almost coachload of newcomers showing up at Stamford Bridge and needing integration.
Chelsea and Liverpool struggle to a scoreless tie.
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However, there was still enough talent on the field to construct something more than the 90-minute monument to mediocrity that Liverpool and Chelsea built.
The Premier League chart illustrates how the two teams, who have been relentlessly vying for major awards in recent years, have fallen short of their prior standards.
After a miserable match in which only five shots were on target, Liverpool was in eighth place and Chelsea was two spots behind them, nine points off the top four and the crucial Champions League spots.
Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool could not have celebrated his 1,000th game as a manager in such a manner.
Due to the bleak anticlimax of the game, the general consensus was that both Klopp and Graham Potter of Chelsea would energetically shake your hand if you given them a spot in the top four at the conclusion of the season.
In every game, Klopp and Potter will look for positives and encouraging signs, and Chelsea can at least point to one of their numerous recent additions as a significant takeaway from this deadlock.
When it became evident that the dynamic 22-year-old attacker would be acquired by Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, Mykhailo Mudryk was sought after by both Arsenal and Chelsea.
Arsenal believed it had the player in hand, but Chelsea snuck in, and if his 35-minute cameo is any indication, you can see why.
James Milner of Liverpool experienced terror when Chelsea’s £89 million striker Mudryk gave his opponent 15 years and several yards of speed while playing in an unfamiliar right-back position.
Mykhailo Mudryk (far left) and James Milner (centre-right)
new £89 million signing Mykhailo Mudryk (right), who made his debut off the Chelsea bench, was energetic.
When Mudryk sprinted by Milner and Milner was forced to take a yellow card for tripping him, Klopp promptly replaced Milner with Trent Alexander-Arnold.
One energetic run resulted in a shot into the side netting, while a few ghosting runs that left him unnoticed near the far post did not quite pay off. It was still very early, but the indicators were encouraging.
Benoit Badiashile, another newcomer for Chelsea, was a strong defender but also guilty of squandering his team’s finest opportunity by allowing Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to save a header in front of The Kop when he could have scored.
The team that chased four trophies last season—winning the League Cup and FA Cup by defeating Chelsea on penalties after goalless draws—is undeniably far from its peak when judged on quality and effort. Klopp could take pride in a clean sheet without defensive stalwart Virgil van Dijk.
This is understandable in part because Liverpool is playing without forward trio Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Roberto Firmino as well as injured Van Dijk, but there isn’t the same vigor in the team right now in any capacity.
Cody Gakpo, a £45 million addition to Klopp’s team, is still settling in and getting used to the Premier League’s expectations. Apart from one shot on the turn that Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa stopped in the second half, he struggled to have any influence, but Klopp will handle his introduction with care now that he was able to reintroduce Darwin Nunez as a second-half substitute after injury.
However, the actual conflict between Liverpool and Chelsea is unusual.
Liverpool has lost its previous three Premier League games, and this is the first time since March 2021 that they have dropped successive league games.
Chelsea, on the other hand, has gone six games in the Premier League without an away victory, which is their worst stretch since September to December 2015.
Anfield’s coldness at the final siren was a logical response to what the large crowd had experienced, with little to keep them warm in Merseyside’s bitter cold.
It seemed like a mid-table match in this game. It appeared to be a mid-table contest. This is due to the fact that the game is currently, roughly, a mid-table match.