Calum Chambers started and completed the full 90 minutes in Middlesbrough’s 3-0 away defeat against Liverpool.
He was busy defensively for large periods during the fixture but the hosts’ attacking power proved too much for Steve Agnew’s side to hold out for a goalless draw, especially as they failed to create too many goal-scoring opportunities of note themselves.
It was an unsurprising result given Boro’s shortcomings this season, especially having already been relegated after a defeat away to Chelsea recently.
Their team managed to hold firm for large periods in the first-half but there were alarming tendencies to rush into challenges, vacating space within the backline and Jurgen Klopp’s side were never going to squander all their chances.
Chambers was regularly seen giving instructions when his side were out of possession, whilst remaining aware enough to isolate Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge. However, he couldn’t do the defensive work for everyone and Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener highlighted this.
Boro’s backline have often been too passive in letting their opponents dominate possession but they were collectively careless with regards to their positioning. George Friend was too far out of his position, giving Wijnaldum a free run at goal and he slammed past Brad Guzan from close-range.
Chambers could do nothing about the second strike either – neither came from his side of the pitch. A poorly-timed challenge gave Phillipe Coutinho a golden opportunity from a set-pieceand within a flash the ball swerved past Guyana into the bottom corner.
The only goal that Chambers may have been disappointed with was Adam Lallana’s effort from a counter-attack. Having pushed players forward in search of a much-needed goal, Boro left themselves open at the back with only Fabio in support.
His headed clearance was enough to partially delay Liverpool but their numerical advantage meant Chambers, who had sprinted back to help, was overwhelmed with both Nathaniel Clyne and compatriot Lallana to contain.
Clyne’s deft dummy left Chambers helpless as Lallana managed to fire goalwards into the far corner.
It was a frustrating end to an eventful season for Chambers who has impressed defensively and benefited from regular minutes in the Premier League.
Chambers’ individual match statistics (source: WhoScored)
– One interception, two blocked shots, three aerial duels won and nine clearances
– Two completed dribbles, one unsuccessful touch, dispossessed twice and poor overall passing (accuracy of 47.1%)