Chelsea star Nemanja Matic has reopened old wounds for Liverpool ahead of the Reds’ home-game against Jose Mourinho’s high-flying Blues side this weekend.
For the first time since the infamous clash which saw a Steven Gerrard slip cost Liverpool their shot at winning the Premier League title, Brendan Rodgers’s side will line-up against Chelsea at Anfield, but Matic has been keen to remind them that they face an arduous task if they want to take anything from the game.
The Daily Mail today carries quotes from the Serbia international which confirm that confidence is high in the Chelsea camp ahead of their trip to Merseyside. Thus far this term Mourinho’s charges have avoided defeat, which is thanks in no small part to their tremendous defensive efforts.
In stark contrast to the hap-hazard, often unpredictable, defending displayed by Liverpool, the Blues have looked an impregnable force, but Matic knows the dangers of starting a match on the back-foot. After all, ‘parking the bus’ was what Rodgers attempted to do when Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners the last time around, and it didn't go to plan.
"Nobody's happy when you lose a game and they weren't happy after that game,' said Matic.
"Many teams have tried to park the bus in front of the goal against us, but we win. It's not easy. If you defend you have to know how to defend. It was 2-0. We showed we have quality."
"Many teams have tried to park the bus in front of the goal against us, but we win"
Despite having only managed a 1-1 draw with Slovenian minnows Maribor in the Champions League last night Chelsea will go into the fixture on Saturday as the obvious favourites. Eight wins and two draws have allowed them to establish a healthy league at the summit of the Premier League, and Liverpool’s form has hardly been anything to write home about.
A heroic display in Spain spared their potential blushes against Real Madrid, where they ran out 1-0 as opposed to being hammered into the ground as expected, but overall the side which looked so rampant on the attack last year appears to have been blunted by the loss of Luis Suarez.
In Chelsea they will come up against an organised unit which has conceded just ten times so far this season, and figures like Matic and the ever-reliable John Terry will certainly be difficult to navigate.
That point is particularly driven home when it’s considered how poor Mario Balotelli has been so far this campaign, and the fact that Daniel Sturridge has yet to return to full fitness.