The draw between Liverpool and Chelsea gave supporters a New Year classic after watching a near-perfect game between the two teams in one of the Premier League’s games of the season.
The two teams approached the game with several absences; Jürgen Klopp was suspected of having a positive Covid-19 test, so his assistant Pep Lijnders took over. That was in addition to the three players, Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, and Roberto Firmino who also tested positive.
Thomas Tuchel’s team on the other hand began the game without Reece James, who is out for eight weeks, and Romelu Lukaku, who was omitted by the German following his prior statements two days before the game about regretting his move to Chelsea. Timo Werner and Ruben Loftus Cheek were also withdrawn due to injuries.
Stamford Bridge Thriller Played Out in Draw Between Liverpool and Chelsea
Manchester City Profit
The game got off to a fiery start with Sadio Mane escaping a red card after hitting Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with his arm. VAR did check the incident but no red card was issued with Tuchel left fuming on the sidelines.
Mo Salah had an opportunity to put Liverpool ahead in the fifth minute after collecting a fantastic ball from Mane but Edouard Mendy produced an unbelievable stop to retain his clean sheet.
Trent Alexander Arnold attempted to grab the ball but was unable to do so after it was intercepted by Kai Havertz and passed to Christian Pulisic who attempted to dribble past Caoimhin Kelleher, but the Irishman was alert and batted the ball away with his hand to prevent Chelsea from taking the lead.
Mane’s goal came in the ninth minute following a blunder by Trevor Chalobah, who failed to handle Jota’s ball which fell to Mane who dribbled beyond his countryman and put the Reds ahead.
Chelsea started to become more aggressive, which earned Pulisic a yellow card for a dangerous shove on Diego Jota. Two minutes later, Alonso tried his luck with an effort that sailed wide of Liverpool’s goal as the game went from one end to the other.
Mo Salah Strikes Again
Right-back for Liverpool Alexander Arnold attempted a volley that resulted in a corner kick and seconds later he provided a fantastic long ball to Mo Salah who controlled the ball and sprinted into the box, dribbling past Antonio Rudiger and placed the ball into the very tight angle to beat Mendy and make the score 2:0.
Mason Mount was fortunate to avoid a yellow card after colliding with Tsimikas, and Mo Salah had another chance to score the third goal, but Thiago Silva brilliantly stopped his attempt.
Alonso took the freekick and crossed it into the box but Kelleher blocked it out of his area, landing on Kovasic’s right foot, who fired a superb volley into the right upper corner of the Irish goalkeeper’s net to make it 2-1 to Liverpool and it was game on.
The Blues’ surges continued, as Pulisic equalised after collecting a short ball from Kante. Mason Mount had an opportunity to put Chelsea ahead but his attempt went just wide of the right post, before Anthony Taylor whistled the first half to a close. It was chance for everyone, players, fans and officials to take a breath after what was a breathless first 45 minutes.
Second Half Ends Goaless But No Less Incident
The second half started as the first half ended. Sadio Mane had an opportunity to put the Reds ahead but he was offside before Marcus Alonso tried his luck with a right-footed shot that went wide. Jota made another appearance with a fantastic left foot volley but Mendy made a quick response to deny him before the Referee blew for offside on Jota.
In the 57th minute, Mo Salah tried to fool the Senegalese goalkeeper with a clever long shot, but Mendy reacted quickly and made a spectacular save. One minute later, Sadio Mane dribbled past Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva and hit it with his right foot to find Mendy, who kept Chelsea’s chances alive.
On the other hand Alonso sent another cross to Pulisic, who shot with his first touch into the middle of goal where Kelleher was waiting to save it. Another chance for the American international went inches wide of the crossbar. Chelsea continued to attack, and Mason Mount tried his luck, but Kelleher was there in time to save his shot.
Chelsea pushed forward in the last ten minutes, and Konate was punished for fouling Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 83rd minute. Five minutes later, Antonio Rudiger had an opportunity to seal the win for the blues, but his header sailed just wide of the right post.
The referee added four minutes to the game, but it was not enough to break the stalemate and for both Liverpool and Chelsea it was two points dropped as Manchester City take a commanding a lead at the top of the Premier League into the final months of the season.
Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images
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