Without much warning, Maurizio Sarri played Eden Hazard as a false 0 against Liverpool.
Olivier Giroud has been doing well recently, and looked certain to play for the Italian in this vital game. But in the end, the former Napoli boss reverted to the concept he’s tried several times already this season, with his star player leading the line.
It didn’t really work out. It gave Chelsea no more control in midfield, where the creative and shape-breaking influence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek was stifled by so many Liverpool shirts.
Their front three worked hard and dropped deep, as did our attacking trio of non-strikers. That meant a congested game, where after threatening on the counter; Chelsea couldn’t find the pass they needed when attacking a Liverpool team able to sit deep and defend a considerable lead.
The fact is though that we looked more dangerous the moment Higuain came on, and it would probably been wiser to have started with a striker all along.