Chelsea emerged victorious from their pre-season encounter against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl.
Gary Cahill’s header in the 10th minute separated the sides in what was a fierce encounter.
Six players were booked and Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas was sent off for a poorly timed tackle on Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan. This certainly was a friendly with an edge.
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Both clubs are still finding their fitness ahead of the new Premier League season, which explains the lack of quality on show in the United States, but that didn’t take away from the excitement of the game.
It’s left us eagerly anticipating August 13, when the season begins.
Here are five things we learned from the game.
1. Jurgen Klopp must sign a left back
The Liverpool boss must have a plan if he’s willing to let Jose Enrique and Brad Smith depart in the summer, leaving Alberto Moreno as the team’s only clear left back.
If he doesn’t, then he needs to think of one. Quickly.
Moreno was his usual careless self; wasteful in possession and finding himself out of position on far too many occasions.
If another left back isn’t brought in before the window shuts, Liverpool fans have genuine cause for concern.
2. The Loftus-Cheek experiment needs work
Antonio Conte recently revealed his plan to turn Ruben Loftus-Cheek from a midfielder into a striker but it was clear that this needs a lot of work.
Though he shined in last week’s win over Wolfsberger in his new role, against Liverpool - must stiffer opposition - Loftus-Cheek looked out of his depth.
It’s pleasing to see Conte giving the 20-year-old an opportunity but if his plan backfires, it will hinder the development of a promising star.
Many fans are calling for Loftus-Cheek to be sent out on loan and it’s hard to see why that isn’t the best move for him.
3. Will the real Liverpool attack please stand up?
With Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum now on board, Liverpool have one of the most potent attacks in England.
However, with Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho all starting, the Reds could muster only three shots in total.
Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Christian Benteke have only been training for a week and neither featured against Chelsea, so this isn’t a huge concern for Klopp.
But time is running out for Liverpool’s vaunted attack to find some sort of rhythm.
4. Is Victor Moses primed for a breakout season?
Moses seems to do it every year; he performs impressively during the pre-season but months into the season, finds himself out on loan.
The Nigerian was full of energy against Liverpool and won the corner that led to Cahill’s goal. He definitely went about the right way of impressing his new manager.
But Conte isn’t to know whether he can rely on the winger to perform each and every week. History is, unfortunately, against Moses.
5. This was no friendly
As soon as they crossed the white line, Chelsea and Liverpool’s players forgot this was a friendly.
Within three minutes, Chelsea’s Ola Aina rattled Firmino. Moreno was booked in the sixth minutes for an unnecessarily rough challenge on Willian.
There were 37 fouls in total and Klopp saw five of his players receive yellow cards.
If this is a sign of what’s to come when competitive football comes around, both clubs should prepare to pay some hefty fines.
Liverpool and Chelsea fans: Are you confident heading into the new season?
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