Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Stalemate in reds first top table clash

Premier League
Saturday 28 August 2021 - 5:30 pm
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21'⚽️ Havertz
Firmino off, Jota on ↔️42'
⚽️ Salah45'
45' Rudiger
45' Rudiger
45' Rudiger
45' James
46'↔️ Kanté off, Kovacic on
46'↔️ Havertz off, Silva on
Henderson off, Alcantara on ↔️74'
Robertson off, Tsimikas on ↔️86'
87'↔️ Jorginho off, Chalobah on
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Liverpool and Chelsea played out a tight 1-1 draw at Anfield in a game of two halves.

The first half was pulsating with high energy as two of the Premier League's top sides went to battle in the early season clash.  But a red card for Chelsea on the stroke of half time rendered the second half a more negative affair as Chelsea showed little adventure and the reds failed to break through the European Champions' defence.

After going a goal down the reds can take solace from the point, but will feel they should have done something to make the one man advantage work out in the second half.

Klopp had welcomed back Fabinho, Andy Robertson and Roberto Firmino into the starting XI.  Harvey Elliott kept his place for only his second Premier League start for the reds.  His early season form, and his hard work in this game meant he was more than deserving.  But he, along with the rest of the reds attackers were unable to breach the strong defence of the away side.

Liverpool had started brightly and put Chelsea to the sword in the opening 15 minutes before their energy levels quickly faded.

LFC Team: Becker, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Elliott, Fabinho, Henderson, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Subs: Kelleher, Konaté, Alcantara, Keïta, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Tsimikas, Jota

Mid-way through the half, Kai Havertz opened the scoring from a corner.  He met the ball at the near post, losing Andy Robertson in the process, and heading a looping ball over Alisson and into the net near the back post.  A well taken goal from one of Chelsea's heroes under Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea should have made it 2-0 when Mason Mount drilled a chance across the face of goal shortly after.

The reds increased their intensity towards the end of the first half and Joel Matip's header off the post began a goalmouth scramble which saw Reece James claw the ball off the goalline with his arm.  Protests from the Liverpool players and the referee consulted the pitchside monitor to correctly award a penalty.  James, under the rules of the game, was sent off for his save.

Salah converted the penalty and as the half time whistle went Chelsea's players surrounded the referee.

Tuchel used his 15 minute half time team talk to instruct his players that the point was to be salvaged and he brought on Thiago Silva to bolster the defence.

Liverpool started the half well but with 8 defenders well positioned, were limited to attempts from outside the area.  Mendy making a couple of saves from perhaps the people we wouldn't want lining up the shots - Henderson, Robertson and Fabinho all having shots from distance.

Chelsea mounted a couple of quick counter attacks to the lone Lukaku up front, but the reds continued to knock on the door with no success.

Even Thiago Alcantara looked powerless to fashion a chance when he came on in the later stages.  The reds ran out of steam and ideas and lacked the intensity that perhaps would have been there if they had been a goal down.

The Anfield crowd who had been so lively in the first half, also perhaps sensed this was a futile mission and when the final whistle eventually went it was Chelsea who will have been the happier side at their point away with a one player inferiority.

It's still early days for the reds who also remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season, but they still appear to have some grounds to improve to hit the heights of two seasons ago.  One thing is for sure though, Chelsea are a far more formidable outfit than they have been in the past few years and its hard not to consider them as genuine title challengers.

International football now awaits before the reds return in September to a complex fixture list of Premier League, domestic cups and the return of the Champions League.

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