10-man Chelsea hang on to earn a respectable point at Anfield.
With both sides winning their opening two games, Saturday evening’s kick-off featured the standout match of the day as Liverpool hosted Chelsea at Anfield.
With both sides winning in each other’s stadium last season, the game looked to be one of high importance and value as both teams looked to stamp their authority early on in the season.
For Chelsea, it was a week of success, with Thomas Tuchel, Édouard Mendy, N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho receiving respective UEFA awards in the midweek.
César Azpilicueta also made his 300th Premier League appearance on his 32nd birthday.
The game began with the hosts on the front foot as the Reds looked to start the game positively. There was an early attempt from 18-year-old Harvey Elliot, who drilled his shot from outside the penalty area just wide of the post.
On the 9th minute, Liverpool had a glorious chance to take the lead as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross found the round of Jordan Henderson. The skipper looked destine to score yet fluffed his lines and saw the chance go begging.
Klopp’s side were made to pay just over 10 minutes later, as Kai Havertz gave the Blues an early lead.
The German was first to Reece James’ cross from a corner kick, where he was found at the near post. The 22-year-old then looped his header over Alisson and into the far corner – giving Tuchel’s side an important lead in Merseyside.
Minutes later, there was a chance at either end as both sides continued to look dangerous. There was a high tempo to the game, with both Liverpool and Chelsea refusing to back down.
On the 34th minute, a counterattack led by Romelu Lukaku saw Chelsea come close once again. The Belgian had Mason Mount and Kai Havertz as options – opting with the Englishman. Mount then went on to put his effort wide as the Blues came close to a second.
The talking point of the first half then arrived in stoppage time, as Liverpool was awarded a penalty through VAR.
Chelsea defender was penalised for handball as he cleared the ball off the line, and was awarded a red card in the process. Mohamed Salah converted the penalty with both Mendy and Rüdiger receiving yellow cards for their disapproval.
With Chelsea now having to change their game plan, Tuchel made a double change at the break.
As excepted, Liverpool remained on the front foot, with early attempts from Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk forcing the Blues on the back foot.
The hosts then continued with a barrage of attacks. Jordon Henderson, Fabinho and Andrew Robertson all continued to cause problems by coming close to scoring.
Édouard Mendy was called into action on multiple occasions as he became a very busy man at Anfield.
On the 63rd minute a rare attack from the visitors lifted Chelsea forwards, reminding Liverpool, that they was still in the game.
In the final 10 minutes, there was shots on target from Kovačić, Salah and Alexander-Arnold, with the game beginning to open back up once again.
However, as the game rolled on, Tuchel’s side continued to keep their shape and composure – frustrating Liverpool who struggled to break down the Chelsea backline. The Blues weathered the pressure from their opponents, and was able to hang on to a valuable point at Anfield.
After the whistle:
A point against Liverpool is never a bad result – especially given the circumstances of Chelsea’s trip to Merseyside.
Tuchel’s side did a great job in frustrating Liverpool, who was simple unable to break down a stubborn Chelsea defence. The hosts would’ve hoped for more from the game, but was forced to settle for a point.
With the international break looming, both sides will now take the time to reflect of a positive start to the season whilst looking forward to their next games in September.
Next up for Chelsea is a matchup with Aston Villa, whilst Liverpool take on Leeds at Elland Road.
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea.
- Havertz (22’).
- Salah (45+5’ pen).
BBC Sports player of the match:
Kai Havertz (Chelsea).
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson (86’); Elliot, Fabinho, Henderson © (74’); Salah, Firmino (43’), Mané.
- Subs: Jota (43’), Thiago (74’), Tsimikas (86’).
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta ©, Christensen, Rüdiger; James, Kanté (45’), Jorginho (87’), Alonso; Havertz (45’), Mount; Lukaku.
- Subs: Silva (45’), Kovačić (45’), Chalobah (87’).
Liverpool (66%) vs Chelsea (34%).
Liverpool (24) vs Chelsea (6).
Shots on target:
Liverpool (7) vs Chelsea (3).
Liverpool (12) vs Chelsea (3).
Liverpool (13) vs Chelsea (4).
(credit | BBC Sport).
- (credit | Sky Sports Football).
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).