Such a strange game.
That's my first thought after it all ended today. It was all so goofy that I guess a draw is probably the right result. Let's review all the strange:
-First, Liverpool's formation. It made some sense once Skrtel was ruled out with illness. Because if I'd told you that Skrtel couldn't go, would any of us have been comfortable with Carragher or Coates or Wisdom pairing with Agger? No. So I get giving both Carragher and Wisdom the extra security, despite what it may say about Rodgers's confidence in Sebastien Coates. And having wingbacks kept the unholy Chelsea troika from stretching Liverpool too much and pinned inside. Still, it's always odd to see Liverpool with a back three. And it certainly didn't create that much.
-None of Liverpool's midfielders were any good, with Joe Allen especially awful. And yet, it never felt like Chelsea were running roughshod right over them. Why?
-The man of the match was Jose Enrique, or so I'm told. And while he was active and was inches away from a winner, his afternoon consisted of losing the ball on the wing when given no option to pass and closed in on by two Chelsea players, being ok defensively for the most part, and spending the final third of the match without a position. Goofy.
-Juan Mata and Oscar were both presented with chances they've been burying all season, and missed.
At least there was a sense of normalcy with Torres missing the two chances he got. While Rodgers's initial plan pretty much kept Chelsea at bay, the Blues were also pretty happy to let Liverpool have it and try and strike on the counter off mistakes. So I don't know how much credit goes to Rodgers or not.
But he did change things around and it did somewhat cause Liverpool to get back in it and eventually equalize. The strangest thing of all was that for most of the time I never thought Liverpool would draw level, and then once they did I was disappointed they didn't win. Just as strange occasion.
-Suso once again changed the game by being brought on as a sub and being put at the head of midfield, and I wonder if his best use for the team right now isn't exactly that. He hasn't been bad when on the right in the front three and there aren't many alternatives now, but the way matches pivot upon his insertion, maybe that's where he's best served. All these goals Javier Hernandez has scored off the bench haven't earned him many starts, has it? There's a reason for these things.
-While Sterling wasn't bad as a central striker, and again there aren't many options, I can't help but fear that it's over-burdening a 17-year old with another position and role. He's had success playing wide on the left, and maybe should be left to do just that before he's shuttled all over the pitch with new responsibilities.
-I forgot to mention how terrified I was of set-pieces against Chelsea. Still got proven right anyway. Liverpool look shaky on ever set piece. That needs to stop.
-I think Joe Allen just got caught on the ball again. If it's fatigue, he shouldn't be needed against Wigan at home next week. Get him a rest when you can. If it's something else? Hurry up, Lucas.
-I think we may have overestimated how long it will take Sahin to get his feel back after basically sitting out a whole season. At least I hope that's the case, because otherwise that means he just sucks.
In the end, it's hardly a terrible result. And most of the time we lament good performances with poor results. So for today, I'll settle for a wonky performance that got a fair result. Such is the way for us these days.