RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: CHELSEA V LIVERPOOL
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Sunday's sharing of the spoils with the Merseysiders that caught his eye…
1. Chelsea could have lost the game in the second half and we should have won the game in the first half. Neither side had the tempo they would have wanted in the first half but we were by far the better side and although Liverpool had more of the possession, a lot was in their own half. We should have got the second goal although of course the injury to John Terry was a major blow. We suffered after half-time from a change of tactics by Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers had to do something, it put us on the back foot a little, and we can't seem to keep a clean sheet at the moment.
2. By changing his formation for the start of the game, Rodgers took a small gamble that we would play only one up front, which we did. He probably felt three defenders could deal with Fernando Torres and anybody running on from midfield. However in the Liverpool midfield Joe Allen didn't look comfortable and he was under pressure all the time. By changing formation back to their normal one second-half there was more space for Allen and Gerrard to be creative. Gerrard started to dictate with his passing which he didn't show at all in the first half. Rodgers was prepared to accept that his original game plan didn't work which is why we really should have taken them to the cleaners during that spell.
3. When it is a flat game with neither side penetrating and neither goalkeeper in trouble, dead-ball situation are the game-changers. We have been good from dead balls this season and Terry's goal was excellent. It needed a great delivery which we know Juan Mata can supply time and time again. You expect him to hit certain areas and Branislav Ivanovic had a part to play in the movement that gave JT a free header. That is all down to practice on the training ground.
4. On this occasion however our goal didn't change the performance level by much. Liverpool's set-piece goal came from a corner delivered to the near post and there we have a small problem we need to sort out when Frank Lampard is not available. Over the last 10 years that near-post area has been his territory to clear and to beat him there it has to be an excellent ball in. The movement of Jamie Carragher to get the flick-on was good and Ramires was pushed and may have switched off a little when marking Suarez, but we need to find a way of dominating at the near post when Lampard is not there.
5. Petr Cech made two interventions near the end and it was the first one when he came out to challenge Suarez that was the hardest. To come outside of your penalty area is a massive gamble for any keeper - one mistake and it is a red card. He had to get contact on the ball, there were no if, buts or maybes. The shot by Jose Enrique he saved at the near post was the worst decision the Liverpool player made. He was their man of the match for me, but he should have hit the shot across the goalkeeper to the far post so that if it was saved there may have been a tap-in. Although it looked dangerous I couldn't see Cech being beaten at his near post.