Jürgen Klopp’s vaunted Liverpool was given a difficult task on matchday one during their visit to Stamford Bridge to clash with free-spending Chelsea to open their 2023-24 Premier League campaign and can possibly be thankful for coming away with a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw in West London.
Venerable wide pair Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah combined for the opener inside the first twenty minutes, with Salah seemingly extending that lead to 2-0 later before being pulled back for offside. Chelsea responded before the breakthrough via debutant Axel Disasi who leveled matters in the 37th minute, and from then on, Chelsea was arguably the better side on the day after stemming Liverpool’s early push away from home.
It certainly was not a terrible result, and new central pair Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister comported themselves admirably in midfield on their full debuts, but it is still abundantly clear that the Reds are in dire need of a new 6 after Fabinho and Jordan Henderson departed for Saudi Arabia.
A weekend clash against an improved Bournemouth under Andoni Iraola will offer a stiff test given the pace-filled direct football the Cherries are capable of on their day, which could potentially expose Liverpool in certain phases of play. Failure to secure three points on hallowed ground at Anfield could have alarm bells blaring across Merseyside.
Jürgen Klopp comes into matchday two with the same concerns surrounding the senior squad, which, both thankfully and unfortunately, is isolated to the center of the park as midfielder pair Thiago and Stefan Bajčetić are due to miss out on account of injury.
This has been compounded by Liverpool missing out on both Moisés Caicedo and Roméo Lavia after the pair chose to join domestic rivals Chelsea instead, but the Reds are on the cusp of sealing a deal for highly-reputable Japanese international midfielder Wataru Endō, though he will likely not feature in any capacity unless a deal is completely wrapped up by tomorrow. Expect Curtis Jones to be drafted into midfield alongside the aforementioned Szoboszlai and Mac Allister.