3 Things from Chelsea v Liverpool: Including Filipe Luis v Azpilicueta

Filipe Luis playing for Chelsea
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1. Filipe Luis needs to play football
We’ve seen precious little of Filipe Luis during his first season at The Bridge but yesterday provided a glimpse of the quality he can bring to a back four. Granted Liverpool never looked particularly potent but his efficiency in nullifying the threat of Sterling showed just how he might fit in as a regular starter against top opposition.

His lack of matches this season are no fault of his own. As we’ve mentioned previously, only the consistent form of Cesar Azpilicueta has prevented him getting more time on the pitch.

Unfortunately I feel the end of the season heralds a decision point. Filipe Luis knows that he needs game time at the age of 29, if not just for his club career but his international career too, and I foresee him making his long-rumoured return to Atletico Madrid where he won the La Liga title last year and it would be hard to begrudge him that move.

Filipe Luis v Azpilicueta in the Premier League this season:

Filipe Luis Cesar Azpilicueta
Minutes 759 2394
Pass Completion 86% 83%
Tackles (per game) 2.9 3.1
Interceptions (per game) 0.8 2.1
Fouls (per game) 1.1 0.7
Clearances (per game) 1.2 3.2
Blocks (per game) 0.1 0.4

2. Loftus-Cheek can be the next generation destroyer

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was the nice surprise on the teamsheet yesterday and didn’t he just make the most of his opportunity. Earning praise from Jose and likely earning another start at West Brom in the next fixture, he has set a high bar for himself which is no bad thing.

When we look at players like Claude Makelele who were genuine destroyers (win the ball and play an easy pass) it’s easy to see where his game was left wanting. What Loftus-Cheek has the opportunity to become is the next generation of destroyer. A player that has technical and athletic ability in abundance to complement a natural ability to win the ball. In an hour of football yesterday against a good Premier League side, Loftus-Cheek didn’t give the ball away once (100% pass completion from 27 passes) and made 3 tackles and 3 interceptions. If he is to be moulded into the next generation destroyer, he’s going the right way about it.

3. Rickie Lambert to Chelsea rumour is laughable
In a world where no transfer rumour is a shock anymore, most people were suitably surprised when Rickie Lambert was linked with a move to Chelsea as a replacement for Drogba only 6 days ago. Yesterday’s game showed how laughable that rumour is and whichever journalist created it should probably hang their head in shame.

Dragged off after 67 minutes, Lambert never looked likely to genuinely threaten the best defense in the league and the fact that Liverpool have had to turn to him so often this season in the absence of Daniel Sturridge probable exaplains why they’ve been so poor in front of goal.

Lambert’s statistics from yesterday are an insult to Didier Drogba’s contribution in a blue shirt that he could even be mentioned in the same breath, never mind as his replacement.

Shots: 0
Shots on Target: 0
Dribbles: 0
Offsides: 2
Passes: 15
Pass Completion: 80%
Crosses: 0

Even Simon Mignolet attempted (17) and completed (82.4%) more passes than Liverpool’s target man. If the papers could begin writing less laughable fiction then it would be greatly appreciated by the whole team here at Chelsea FC Blog.