Liverpool played a good game, they knew exactly what to do and that was shut off all traffic to the front man.
It wouldn't matter if your front line consisted of Pele and Maradona, if there was no decent service you still wouldn't score. Liverpool stifled this.
The most disappointing part of all this was that it was a battle of midfields, there's was stronger than ours. Their defence, when rarely probed, looked tentative at best.
Carragher made an exceptional block on Torres in the first half, but aside from that when we did press it didn't look like it would be difficult to break them down.
Even more disappointing is we lost to a team who basically didn't have an attacker, our defence shouldn't have been as tested as it actually was.
It was in the centre of the field where Lampard, Mikel and Essien combined to put in the worst collective performance of a midfield this season.
Essien's passing was once again frustratingly astray constantly, and Lampard was quiet and ineffective - his repertoire limited to annoying little chips that ended either above our player or short at the feet of a man in red.
Mikel, not the same player I was praising at the start of the season, basically made himself null and void for the rest of the game by getting a booking within 30 seconds.
This is where Carlo needs to accept some responsibility, Mikel should have been replaced at half time with Essien reverting into the holding role and Malouda coming on as a creative spark.
I'm often criticised for my opinion that Essien should play in the holding role, because we would otherwise be holding back his attacking prowess. Essien does not have attacking prowess, he has physical brute force that allows him to make the runs forward, these can still happen if we have somebody to cover for him when making a rare foray upfield.
Mikel has gone back to the old Mikel, and it appears that Essien has also turned into the old Mikel. Between them they cannot string a good pass together. It is intensely frustrating to watch two players who can't even find their own players.
I'm waiting for a backlash as Mikel has been picked by many managers therefore he must be good etc etc. This is just my opinion, Essien is a far better option in the holding role, physically strong and usually decisive on the ball.
My judgement isn't only reserved for them though. Lampard was caught wanting in midfield once again, there are games where teams know they can stifle him. I can't remember anything positive coming from him yesterday, and that is a criticism for a player who I personally think is Chelsea's best in history.
Jose Bosingwa. Where do I start with him? The question is, what does he bring to the team? He certainly doesn't bring any defensive ability, which is baffling as a right back. And he also struggles to create chances. He does have pace, which is useless without any end product.
It's as if he is a makeweight, it was a relief when the excellently haired David Luiz came on and pushed Ivanovic out to right back. This has to be the way forward, having Bosingwa on is a waste of a place in the eleven.
Before I move on to Torres, the showing by David Luiz in his short time on the pitch was fantastic. Two exceptional blocks to break down attacking play from Liverpool and a few good passes to try and invoke some attacking spirit. He looks incredibly promising and is the only positive to take away from yesterday.
Now, the big story. Torres. Currently being slated in the press for having a torrid debut. One even had the cheek to compare him to Chris Sutton.
Chris Sutton if you remember played his debut in a 4-0 win against Sunderland and missed around 5 clear cut chances. Torres missed no clear cut chances and was part of two bits of play that accounted for our only threats in the game.
He looks amazingly sharp on the ball, his passing - apart from a sliced attempt to Lampard - was quick and will play a big part in making us a much bigger attacking threat in the future.
All eyes were on him, and we got stifled. Therefore Torres is being shouldered with the blame for not being able to anything. It is confusing that the press can see it that he was a major flop. Perhaps they expected him to single handedly win the game and take on the Liverpool defence and midfield that was resolutely, and intelligently, camped in their own half for much of the game.
In summary. Poor performance, not one player or one manager to blame. Collectively disappointing, but at least now we can safely say we are out of the running for the league title. Perhaps it is better to know sooner rather than be disappointed later on.
The Champions' League can't come round any sooner, we really need some positive performances to make up for lots of disappointing ones and nothing could salve the league pains more than a decent Champions' League run.
Rant over. KTBFFH!!!
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