Liverpool fell to a disappointing 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, and there were plenty of talking points to take from the game.
The Reds were the better side in the first-half and nearly took the lead through Sadio Mane, with the winger forcing a good save from Thibault Courtois with a rasping drive.
The Senegal international then had another chance to open the scoring but could only toe poke straight at Courtois after a square ball from Roberto Firmino.
Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea the lead against the run of play after 32 minutes when he leapt well to glance home a header at the near post after Victor Moses’ cross.
Liverpool pushed for an equaliser in the second-half but failed to fashion any clear chances as they fell to a damaging defeat which puts their top four place in jeopardy.
The Reds are now just three points above the Blues, who have a game in hand, and they must win their final two games to guarantee that Champions League spot.
This is Futbol have picked out three things we learned about Liverpool v Chelsea, including one superstar who is badly out of form.
Alexander-Arnold is wasted in midfield
The vast majority of Jurgen Klopp’s team selection against Chelsea was self-explanatory, and the one decision that stood out was placing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield. It was an experiment that Klopp attempted against Stoke, and did so again at Stamford Bridge. It is now clear that this is not a ploy which works. The flyer’s talents are wasted in the cramped spaces in midfield, with Alexander-Arnold putting in a subdued display v Chelsea. The 0-0 draw against Stoke was hardly a ringing endorsement for the move, and the Reds’ mediocre performance against the Blues confirmed this.
Salah is horrifically off form
Earlier in the season it had looked like Mohamed Salah was invincible, with the Egyptian finding a way through to goal in impossible situations and finishing every chance that came his way. In recent weeks however the 25-year-old has struggled to make that kind of impact, with the same happening against Chelsea. The speed machine was a peripheral figure in attack for the Reds, with Mane providing the most impetus. Liverpool must hope that Salah finds his best form soon, as they will need him in full swing for the Champions League final.
Keita will be brilliant addition
Naby Keita is set to arrive at Anfield this summer for a fee exceeding £40million, agreed before this season. The midfielder has been a revelation for RB Leipzig since their promotion to the Bundesliga, and many are excited about his impending arrival on Merseyside. The Guinea international is known for his combative abilities in the middle of the park, and that is exactly what Liverpool were missing against Chelsea. They lacked a player like N’Golo Kante who was snapping into challenges and being a general nuisance, and that is what Keita will no doubt bring.