Saturday 24 August 2019

Mignolet: Klopp’s Liverpool completely different from 2014 side

Chelsea stunned the title-chasing Reds with a 2-0 win at Anfield five years ago.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, a survivor from the 2014 team whose title hopes were ended by Chelsea, insists there can be no comparison with the modern-day side (Martin Rickett/PA)
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, a survivor from the 2014 team whose title hopes were ended by Chelsea, insists there can be no comparison with the modern-day side (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Simon Mignolet insists Liverpool’s multi-faceted threat this season mean comparisons with the 2014 title stumble at home to Chelsea are pointless.

Sunday’s visit of Chelsea, almost exactly five years since Jose Mourinho’s team derailed the Reds’ title bid with a 2-0 win at Anfield, has resulted in parallels being drawn with the last time the Merseysiders were in contention for the Premier League.

But Mignolet, in goal for that game and one of only three Reds’ survivors along with Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge, stressed the circumstances are entirely different.

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Liverpool saw their title hopes suffer a devastating blow when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Chelsea in 2014 (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The way we play now, after six years at the club, is completely different to what it was then,” said the Belgium international, who will watch this weekend’s game from the substitutes’ bench having been deposed by Alisson Becker this season,

“We had a big chance but we were relying on the quality of Luis Suarez’s goalscoring, whereas now we are more together.

“We don’t concede many goals, and the threat comes from different angles rather than just one player.

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Mignolet, left, is one of only three remaining Liverpool players from that defeat five years ago ( Peter Byrne/PA)

“In that sense we are more solid than when we were back then when we were relying on individual quality and individual players.

“We are confident of course, especially when we play at home as we have not lost here for a long time (37 matches: 27 wins and 10 draws) and haven’t conceded many goals.

“We are a lot more solid than we were back then so in that sense everyone is a lot more confident in getting the job done unlike back in the day against Chelsea.”

However, Liverpool’s record against Chelsea at Anfield is not the best, having not beaten them at home in the league since May 2012.

The Reds have not won any of the last eight encounters with the capital club in front of their own fans and the last three league meetings have all been 1-1 draws.

It is something Chelsea are acutely aware of as it was pointed out to Mignolet by his compatriot and Blues playmaker Eden Hazard recently.

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Liverpool have not beaten Chelsea in their last eight meetings at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I spoke to Eden when we were with the national team and he spoke about that (2014) game, not so much about his form and the way he played, but he said Chelsea at Anfield have always done well,” added the goalkeeper.

“It is down to us to stop that.”

Despite Chelsea being off the pace in the Premier League as they battle just for a top-four place, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is well aware of the threat they – and Hazard – pose.

Maybe we will take 13 players and two will play only against Eden! Jurgen Klopp on combating Eden Hazard

“Eden Hazard on his day he can be the world’s best immediately. He had a brilliant career, and it’s not over. He has a lot of things I like in football, his joy, his cheek, strong, quick, he’s a good player,” said the Reds boss.

“But like all good players, he has to play against us, and we try everything to deny at least a couple of his skills and that would help us. Maybe we will take 13 players and two will play only against Eden!

“The best way to try to make sure that he cannot shine is to avoid passes to him. React a little bit better than other teams did.

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Liverpool are well aware of the threat posed by Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It’s not easy, because when he has the ball it’s already too late. You try to read the game, read the passes, but in the end, in a one versus one situation you cannot defend him. You need help from somewhere else.

“I like footballers like this. If he plays his best game, we have to deal with that.

“But, come on, we are in good shape as well. It’s Anfield and I said it a few times, we have to create the power of Anfield and use it again.”

PA Media

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