Chelsea and Liverpool face more Champions League misery ahead of Salzburg and Ajax ties | Football | Sport
Liverpool and Chelsea have been handed a statistical blow after just one round of Champions League fixtures. The two Premier League outfits both lost their opening match of the competition, which does not bode well for their overall chances in the competition.
Liverpool were comfortably beaten 4-1 in their opening match of the competition, with Jurgen Klopp’s side keen to gain revenge for their second-place finish last season. Though their performance left a lot to be desired, with their defenders, in particular, heavily criticised.
Chelsea, too, were a shadow of their former selves in their 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week, with former Burnley transfer target Mislav Orsic scoring the all-important goal. The loss proved to be Thomas Tuchel’s final one as a Blues boss too, as he was sacked the following day – and has now been replaced by Graham Potter.
Both sides will feel they have enough time to bounce back from the defeats and get their Champions League journeys back on track, though they are unlikely to win the competition now statistically. According to OLGB, no team in Champions League history, starting from 1982, has lifted the trophy after losing their opening match.
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Some teams have drawn their opening match of the competition before going on to be victorious overall, including Chelsea in 2020 after they drew with Sevilla before beating Manchester City in the final – with Kai Havertz scoring the winner. The Manchester United side that won the treble in 1999 also drew their opening match.
Liverpool will be hoping that a return to form will give them a fighting chance of being the first to break the trend, with their match against Ajax on Tuesday night their soonest opportunity to right the wrongs of their defeat to Napoli. Though Klopp will be without Andy Robertson for the match, who is sidelined with a knee injury.