Chelsea faced Liverpool in their first Premier League match of the season Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, and the game ended all square for both teams. The game would be remembered as one of the best games of 2022 due to the quality of both teams on the day. Liverpool were at their best, and Chelsea matched them in enthusiasm, resulting in a fierce and tactically excellent encounter between the two teams. The strength of Chelsea’s team without star Romelu Lukaku was one of the first things Chelsea fans noticed after yesterday’s game.
Some fans were pleased with the performance and praised the team’s attacking flair against Liverpool the day before, claiming that Chelsea performed better without the Belgian. Paolo Di Canio was the first to make this assertion to the media, and following yesterday’s performance, some Chelsea fans have agreed with him. To be fair, Chelsea looked sharp upfront, unlike the Chelsea team we saw in the tail end of 2021, thus I agree with these Chelsea fans.
Thomas Tuchel put Havertz, Pulisic, and Mason Mount in the front row, and while none of them had the finishing ability of Lukaku, their movements were fantastic. Much less so for Havertz, who was marked by Konate and Van Dijk, but the other two, Mount and Pulisic, were fantastic to see. I’d go so far as to claim Pulisic surpassed Mo Salah yesterday, with Sadio Mane the only winger rated higher than the American star.
It has to be noted that Kovacic and Kanté’s fantastic midfield play was responsible for a large portion of Chelsea’s attacking fluency. Overall, it felt like watching Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel in early 2020, which is a big bonus for the Blues. It demonstrates that they are not as reliant on Lukaku as many fans initially believed.