Free-kick to order
news Wed 1 Feb 2017
‘Chelsea scored an outstanding goal. I know probably after not talking about our goalkeeper for one month people are ready to talks about him again, but I thought the free-kick was really smart, it was really clever and it was really well done.’ Jurgen Klopp - Liverpool manager
Last week, speaking to former Chelsea goalie Mark Schwarzer, who was at Cobham in his new role for Australian TV, David Luiz was asked when he would score his first Chelsea goal since his return in the summer. He replied he was saving it for Liverpool. At Anfield last night, he delivered.
‘Sometimes the dream comes true,’ David Luiz said with a smile when speaking to Schwarzer again after the game.
‘It was great. I cannot train too much because of my knee but sometimes God helps. I saw he [Simon Mignolet] was not in position so I try to surprise him.’
It was speaking to this website last month that David Luiz first revealed he has been unable to hone his free-kick skills as much as he would normally in training, a legacy from the Sergio Aguero red-card foul at Man City. He has to be wary of too many stop-start actions and planting his foot as the injury recovery is managed.
That suggested the firing of the ball into the Liverpool net while everyone was waiting for a Willian attempt was an inspired, off-the-cuff decision rather than a routine he and his compatriot had painstakingly perfected at Cobham. Gary Cahill added further evidence to that:
‘Between the two it was smart thinking,’ said the man who captained the team to the important point earned.
‘He [David Luiz] used his initiative, saw an opportunity to take it quickly and smashed it in. That was just sharp, bright play. Sometimes you have times in a game when you can make a decision and catch a team unaware, that’s exactly what it was.’
A quarter of the Brazilian’s 12 goals for Chelsea before last night were direct free-kicks, and he has form when it comes to a crucial one. Though direct strikes in a 4-0 away at Nordsjaelland in Denmark and in an 8-0 against Aston Villa can’t be classed in that category, the one he slotted in the 94th-minute of a Europa League semi-final first leg at Basel can. That made it 2-1 to the Blues and although a Stamford Bridge game still awaited, we were odds on to make the final.
David Luiz netted in open play in the second leg of the Basel semi-final too, back in May 2013. That was his most recent Chelsea goal before his strike past Mignolet, as he did not score in the season prior to his two years in Paris.
Few would bet we have to wait anything like as long for the next.