Maribor result is 'warning' ahead of Liverpool game, says Chelsea star

Branislav Ivanovic believes that Chelsea’s 1-1 draw in Maribor should warn them against Liverpool’s threat.

The Blues struggled to leave Slovenia with a lone point, with Nemanja Matic’s late strike enough to keep the West Londoners in control of their Champions League group.

Eden Hazard missed a late penalty that would have gifted Chelsea an undeserved victory, with the Blues failing to scale the heights shown in the early part of the ongoing season. Jose Mourinho’s men looked fatigued and complacent, and they will have to put in a much higher level of performance if they intend to continue their unbeaten run at the weekend - with fellow Champions League side Liverpool hosting the Premier League leaders at Anfield.

The Reds enter the game on the back of a defeat to reigning European Champions Real Madrid - although the performance was a promising indication of how Brendan Rodgers' side will improve this season - and they will be looking to claim revenge on Chelsea for last season’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Blues - the result which all but destroyed Liverpool’s title hopes.

Despite faltering in the Premier League this campaign, a win over Chelsea will move the Merseyside club to within nine points of the league leaders, and Blues full-back Branislav Ivanovic has warned his teammates to learn lessons from their performance at Maribor - with Liverpool a much tougher prospect to face.

Speaking to the Standard, Ivanovic said: “We know how our performance has to be to get the points from Liverpool away. I think if we play against Liverpool as we played against Maribor, we know it is not possible [to win].

“Of course this was a warning to the team and this is good. When you look on the positive side of these games, this is a reminder.

“It is a warning against complacency. We can't be relaxed. We have to learn from every game.”

If Chelsea do up their performance levels by Saturday lunchtime, they will extend the gap on Liverpool to 15 points - whilst also moving seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

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