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Player ratings from Liverpool’s 3-1 thumping of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

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It was disjointed at times, even ugly for the first hour or so, but there’s little debating the emotion, frenetic and frankly desperate nature of Liverpool’s visit to Chelsea on Saturday.

The Blues and their boss needed three points badly, and the Reds wanted badly to assert that life was different under Jurgen Klopp.

[ MATCH RECAP: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool ]

The Klopp revolution is being televised, and probably just as visibly as Mourinho’s downfall. The score line read Normal One 3, Special One 1, as Mourinho was outfoxed (or maybe out-foxed himself), but how did the players rate?

LINEUPS

Chelsea

Asmir Begovic — 5 — Wasn’t going to do anything on Coutinho’s goals, and a big save on Moreno in the 77th minute, but there’s no good way to give up three goals, is there?

Kurt Zouma — 5 —  Couple pivotal first-half clearances, and clearly not a right back but deputized well enough. What was Mourinho thinking? Especially given how poor his center backs played.

Gary Cahill — 4 — Some good clearances through the first 45 gave way to some shaky stuff early in the second. And then total collapse. Woeful stuff from Chelsea’s center back pair.

John Terry — 3 — He hasn’t looked good dating back to the preseason tour, but the first half saw shades of his best defending. The second half… didn’t. It’ll be ironic if Jose Mourinho goes out giving two English center backs every chance to right his ship.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Off 75′) — 6 — Fantastic work on the left side was punctuated by his wonderful cross to Ramires for the early Blues goal.

John Obi Mikel (Off 70′) — 4 —A bit slow to react all day, but was dealing with an incredibly lively Liverpool midfield. Silly, silly yellow card foul against Lallana.

Ramires — 5 — Celebrated his new deal with a well-taken headed goal, but was duped by Coutinho’s faked shot right before the equalizer. (Can you believe he’s 28? Feels like we’ve known him forever).

Willian — 4 — One of Chelsea’s better players when lively and active, he was far from impactful.

Oscar —  4 — Aside from a nifty dribble or two, did little to give Costa a chance to break down the door. Almost caught Mignolet off his line with a long blast.

Hazard (Off 58′) — 3 — Can anyone explain Hazard’s dip from the precipice of truly elite to nearly invisible?

Diego Costa — 4 — A lack of service makes it hard for a lone striker to make things happen (aside from diving, scowling, and doing world-class awful things like kicking Martin Skrtel in the chest).

Subs

Kenedy (On 58′) — 6 — An immediate injection of life, a midfielder willing to run and dribble at the defense.

Fabregas (On 70′) and Falcao (On 76′) — 4 — These guys played in the game, huh? You’re sure?

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during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England.
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Liverpool

Simon Mignolet — 6 — Didn’t have much to do in the first 45, and perhaps you want your keeper to save the Ramires goal, not just get a hand on it… but hung a bit out to dry there.

Nathaniel Clyne — 6 — Lively on the wing in the first half, settled into a more defensive role as the match moved forward.

Martin Skrtel — 6 —  Not without his scary moments, but marshaled the back line in a big way.

Mamadou Sakho — 7 — He’s a player, making several big tackles and marking very well.

Alberto Moreno — 4 — Failure to pick up Ramires allows Chelsea to strike early is enough for a poor grade

Lucas Leiva — 7 — Clearly a critical part of Jurgen Klopp’s plan. In attack, the 28-year-old helped Liverpool’s possession with calm. In defense, he was cantankerous and on the edge. Did he deserve a second yellow card?

Emre Can — 6 — Steady. Did his job well enough that he barely stood out.

James Milner (Off 64′) — 3 — Struggled to start the match, and never found his rhythm.

Adam Lallana (Off 90+1′) — 7 — Good first half, and worked the Reds into a rare early second half chance before helping to cement the win on Benteke’s late insurance goal.

Coutinho — 10 — Yes that’s a 10. What a pair of goals from the Brazilian: the movement to get free, the reception of the ball, the curling shot. Gorgeous. The second was deflected by Terry, but slightly.

Firmino (Off 75′) — 7 — Looked dangerous early, and combined neatly with country-mate Coutinho on the equalizer.

Subs

Christian Benteke (On 64′) —  7 — How’s that for an injection of finish? Klopp goes from a myriad of wily attackers to a big target man who makes both Terry and Cahill look like rookies.

Jordon Ibe (On 75′) — 6 — Didn’t have much to go, as game was firmly in hand.

Dejan Lovren (Off 90+1′) — N/A

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

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With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.

In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

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This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.

Ex-England midfielder Gascoigne on trial for sexual assault

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LONDON (AP) — A prosecutor has alleged that former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne sexually assaulted a woman on a train by “forcibly and sloppily” planting an unwanted kiss on her lips.

Prosecutor William Mousley’s comments Monday came as Gascoigne, who has struggled with alcohol and mental-health problems, went on trial at Teesside Crown Court charged with sexual assault of the female passenger.

Mousley said the former England star “put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her forcibly and sloppily on the lips.”

The 52-year-old Gascoigne denies the charge.

The alleged victim has told the court that she froze when the man, who appeared drunk, kissed her in August 2018. She says she did not realize it was Gascoigne until after the alleged incident.