The Mauricio Pochettino era is off to a promising start in spite of a 1-1 stalemate with at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
There were plenty of positives to be drawn from the performance, with these two titans of the Premier League going toe to toe from the off. The Blues on balance may feel the most hard done by of the pair.
A sublime pass from former blue Mo Salah found Luis Diaz at the back post to put the visitors ahead, but the hosts battled back and got their reward when debutant Axel Disasi bundled home an equaliser in the 37th minute.
The second half was equally as swashbuckling as the first, yet neither side could find the goal that would have clinched three points on the Premier League opening weekend.
Here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the players’ performance in their opening game of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
Robert Sanchez – 5/10
Chelsea’s new man between the sticks perhaps could have got down quicker to Diaz’s stab at goal. Blushes spared a little by VAR after Mo Salah fired past him, too.
Axel Disasi – 7/10
Thrown in at the deep end on his Premier League debut and was unfortunately culpable for losing his man for the Liverpool opener. Yet he was the fox in the box when needed to scoop an equaliser and somewhat atone for his earlier error. Passing was also very good and definitely shook off the nerves and rust by the second half.
Thiago Silva – 6/10
Huge block from Salah kept the game alive midway through the first period – testament to his defensive nous and general wisdom in his advancing years. Seemed to struggle in organising the backline as the game wore on however. Trademark tackle on Darwin Nunez was a crowdpleaser.
Levi Colwill – 7/10
Aerially dominant and some picture perfect progressive passing on display throughout. Under the circumstances of a Trent-Alexander Arnold and Mo Salah double-up, the one-time Brighton loanee relatively thrived save for a couple of instances he was caught cold.
Reece James – 8/10 (75)
Wearing the captain armband on his sleeve for the first time and he played with his heart on it, too. Consistently exquisite in his crossing and bombed down the right flank with aplomb. Looking fit as a fiddle again.
Enzo Fernandez – 9/10
Some great runs into the box in a sign of attacking licence he was not afforded last season. His eye for a killer pass was readily apparent throughout proceedings, and he also won his battles. Switches and searching balls were divine. Bit of a midfield clinic if truth be told.
Conor Gallagher – 6/10
Like a fish out of water in the pivot in the first half. Little press resistance on show up against a typically relentless Liverpool press. With that said, there was a marked improvement after the interval. Deserves some plaudits for a well-timed last ditch tackle on Mo Salah in particular, which had the Stamford Bridge faithful serenading the midfielder.
Carney Chukwuemeka – 6/10 (81)
Silly yellow card early doors hamstrung him a little. Flashes of nice driving movement and one touch play.
Ben Chilwell – 7/10 (89)
Whisper it gently but there were shades of Marcos Alonso of Stamford Bridge past in the Englishman’s performance today. Constantly advanced and his assist with a header from the centre of the eighteen yard box about summed it up. So unlucky not to get a goal of his own. Yet for all of his attacking impetus he was somewhat liable for Liverpool’s success down the left, as he offered very little defensive support for Levi Colwill up against Trent Alexander-Arnold and Salah.
Raheem Sterling – 6/10 (81)
Frustrating in the early going but grew into the game. Chemistry and understanding with Reece James gave the Merseyside outfit a constant headache. Still guilty of overdribbling and questionable decision-making at times.
Nicolas Jackson – 6/10
Spurned a couple of good opportunities, including one in the dying embers of the first period that a striker of his quality should be converting. With that said, his work-rate will have been most pleasing to Pochettino. The former Villareal man was cute in his movement and found space in between Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate all afternoon.
Malo Gusto – 6/10 (75)
Looked composed and assured in spite of late Liverpool advances.
Mykhailo Mudryk – N/A (81)
Ian Maatsen – N/A (81)
Lesley Ugochukwu – N/A (89)