How Sarri’s ignorance saw Liverpool make a fool out of Emerson

Considering Maurizio Sarri has stuck stubbornly to his possession principles this season and tension was high inside Anfield, Chelsea were curiously defensive against Liverpool on Sunday.

That spell of Chelsea pressure shortly after Liverpool’s second goal, when Eden Hazard should have scored twice, betrayed a certain giddiness among Jurgen Klopp’s understandably emotional players.

It would surely have made more sense to press Liverpool and confront them higher up the pitch, as in the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, rather than sit back and attempt to absorb pressure.

Instead of testing their hosts’ nerve, Chelsea allowed Liverpool to grow into the game and build momentum; Sadio Mane’s opener was a long time coming.

Klopp deserves credit for targeting Chelsea’s Achilles heel, Emerson, who could not handle the pace of Mohamed Salah and received little defensive support from Willian.

An overlap down Chelsea’s left led directly to the first goal, before Salah too easily cut inside Emerson ahead of his stunning strike.

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