Sunday 30 April 2017

David Luiz focus

David Luiz is back at Chelsea
David Luiz is back at Chelsea

David Luiz made his first appearance for Chelsea since his shock return to Stamford Bridge on deadline day against Liverpool.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses the Brazil defender's performance in the Blues' 2-1 defeat.


As expected Luiz lined up at centre-back alongside Gary Cahill in the absence of injury captain John Terry. Luiz can also play in midfield but boss Antonio Conte insists he signed him primarily as a defender.


Questions were constantly raised about Luiz's concentration levels during his first spell at the club. He cannot be held solely accountable for Liverpool's opener, but you'd like to think Terry, the man he replaced at the back, would have noticed four unmarked opposition players at the far post.


The man whose performance once prompted pundit Gary Neville to say that he looked like he was being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation tried to keep things simple at the back. Gone, it seems, are the marauding runs forward. However, Chelsea's back four lost their shape too often and that can be no coincidence.


Certainly gave the Chelsea faithful a lift and was warmly applauded before kick-off. Obliged when fans urged him to shoot from 30 yards, to no avail, and had Chelsea's best chance of the first half with a header. Also had an impact on the back of Sadio Mane's head, which left him with a bloody nose.


Not the second debut Luiz would have liked. Although he was directly not culpable for either of Liverpool's goals, Luiz was part of a Chelsea defence which was overwhelmed by Liverpool's pressing and direct running. Perhaps his presence also contributed to Cahill's nervy display.

Press Association

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