Liverpool v Chelsea: Pictures
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Liverpool have been urged to solve their defensive woes by looking to Chelsea and signing one of their stars that has been compared to AC Milan and Italy legend Paolo Maldini. Jurgen Klopp’s outfit has struggled to keep clean sheets this season, though recorded back-to-back shutouts in Saturday’s goalless draw with Chelsea and the 1-0 FA Cup replay win over Wolves on Tuesday.
The Reds were able to keep the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech at bay at Anfield though they could not find a way past Graham Potter’s defence themselves. Cody Gakpo has yet to score since completing his January transfer from PSV, as he was stopped by the centre-back duo of Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile.
The 37-year-old Brazilian was at his usual best at Anfield, prompting high praise from former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino as he compared the centre-back to Maldini and urged Liverpool to make a move for the defender. “Thiago Silva’s performance was just extraordinary at the back,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“You just laugh at someone who is 37 who gets in a one-on-one with [Darwin] Nunez who is lightning quick and OK he might catch after you, but he doesn’t get away from Thiago Silva. Which is extraordinary, brilliant defending.
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“He was outstanding again for Chelsea yesterday, Thiago Silva. He has got the Maldini in him, [can] play until 40 quite comfortably. If Chelsea didn’t offer a contract to him at the end of the season, there will be plenty that would without a doubt, because I would. If I was in a management position, I would be saying ‘I will take him for a year’, absolutely.
“Yeah [I would take him at Liverpool], if I could get him for nothing I would get him in absolutely, he is a fabulous footballer. He is so composed, rarely gets in trouble, everybody talks about his age and people think you can get behind him and run him, I can’t think of many who have actually outran him and got in behind, he seems to read the game so well.”
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Virgil van Dijk has missed the last two Liverpool clean sheets through injury, as Joel Matip also dropped to the bench while Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate partnered each other in the heart of the defence and James Milner deputised for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
Liverpool, alongside Chelsea, have struggled to keep goals out as both sides began Saturday’s clash in ninth and tenth in the Premier League table respectively, but Silva has not been to blame for the Blues’ woes and alongside young French centre-back Badiashile, Potter may have found a solution to their defensive issues.
However, Silva’s contract at Stamford Bridge does expire at the end of the season and he does not appear close to signing a new deal, perhaps prompting Chelsea’s rivals and possibly Liverpool to tempt him away from Potter’s outfit.
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