Late comebacks to beat Wigan and Middlesbrough at home are one thing, victories at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford are another. Liverpool face an extremely stiff of their credentials in West London on Sunday, especially as Chelsea have scored nine goals without reply in their last three league matches. Can the Reds get something from the match and keep their unbeaten run going?
One thing’s for sure, they’ll have to tighten up defensively against a team which scored five for fun at Middlesbrough last Saturday. Going a goal down to Phil Scolari’s team will leave them with the proverbial mountain to climb, and there will be no Fernando Torres leading the line. Sky Sports reports that Rafael Benitez is all too aware that Sunday’s match will be a yardstick as far as his team’s title credentials are concerned.
“A Premier League season is very long and we now have a tough game coming up at Chelsea, which will show where we are headed,” said the Spanish tactician.
“To win the title you have to do well against your direct rivals – we failed to do that last year. It goes without saying that it will be difficult against Chelsea if they take the lead,” he said.
“But we will take the right conclusions from the games against Manchester City and Wigan. It would be nice for our fans if we could lead by two or three goals at the break and they could enjoy the match.
“If it continues like this I will have to seek a neurologist,” he quipped. “I don’t like these late comebacks. Yet we demonstrated the will to win. The will makes us strong!”
Imagine going in at half-time leading 2-0! Many Liverpool fans would surely accept a repeat of last season, where the two teams bored spectators when drawing 0-0. It’s important for the Reds not to let Chelsea steal even the slightest advantage, while they have to demonstrate that Torres is not essential when it comes to playing their biggest rivals and taking the game to them.