Proof: Chelsea & Mourinho EXPOSED Liverpool and Rodgers

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Chelsea nullified and frustrated Liverpool's fast-flowing attacking football at Anfield, a ground where the hosts seemingly had no Plan B…

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has widely been tipped to pick up manager of the year honours regardless of whether his club claim the Premier League title or not.

The Ulsterman, who has transformed the Reds from a team vying for a spot between fourth and seventh to one capable of winning domestic honours, has been praised for his man-management, for nurturing the supreme skill-set of Luiz Suarez, for developing Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling and for his flexibility with formations and tactical nous.

However, against Chelsea on Sunday, April 27, both Rodgers and Liverpool were upset. Their attack-happy approach, a formula that has won them the hearts of neutral fans, was counter-acted by Chelsea's defensive-strategy to such an extent that there may now be question marks over just how good Liverpool and Rodgers truly are.

Were they both exposed by Chelsea and Jose Mourinho? Is there now a blueprint for success against the Merseysiders when competing in front of their Kop?

"I think Mourinho knows you've got to stop the pace and tempo of Liverpool - it's not rocket science! He knows they literally have taken everybody apart," commented former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino when in the Sky Sports News studio earlier today, Monday. "He grabbed the ball and frustrated [Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho]."

Cascarino continued: "We talked about entertainment and football and Chelsea's duty… Bayern Munich, Barcelona even Manchester United have done it, but Jose Mourinho uses every tactic. We shouldn't be questioning whether that's wrong - he knows Liverpool are dangerous when they are quick - that's their biggest threat [but Mourinho took that threat away]."

Former Manchester United star and current Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville, meanwhile, asked whether Rodgers even has a Plan B and answered his own question - no, because they don't have enough players.

"When you watch a team play who have got a 'Plan A' if they haven't got a 'Plan B', which I don't think that Liverpool have because they've only got 14 players, they have to persist with playing the same way."

Neville contrasted Liverpool's one-dimensional approach to the variety we have witnessed from Chelsea in all competitions this year: "You sometimes see Mourinho teams or other teams in Europe where they can potentially go a little bit more direct, they can go for a crossing game. Liverpool, with the slight players that they've got up front, the small players - they have to persist the same way.

"I felt that when they got into the last third they didn't probe enough. Even with four minutes to go - and four minutes is a long, long time in a football match - they got a little desperate and they forced it a little bit.

"They should have just been probing the passes into Suarez in the box rather than going wide - that was probably the least number of touches I've seen him have in the box in a number of weeks. Instead they started to cross from poor areas and they also started to have lots of shots from unrealistic distances.

"What you saw [on Sunday] was a little bit of a lack of experience of how to handle a really big match with ten minutes to go when you just need to continue to probe and play the same way."

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