Chelsea vs Liverpool – Match Report
Despite a fifth consecutive Premier League draw between the two sides, Chelsea will walk away as the happier side of the two, following a positive performance in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool moved out of the blocks quickly, dominating the opening proceedings of the game, through their electric midfield debutants, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai. The biggest beneficiary from Liverpool’s new midfield creativity was Mohamed Salah, who controlled Mac Allister’s audacious through ball to assist Luis Diaz in firing the opening goal.
With Ben Chilwell occupying the left flank higher up the pitch, debutant Levi Colwill was made to be isolated by Salah, whose goal was deemed offside by VAR by the finest of margins, following Trent Alexander Arnold’s through ball. Cheslea had a lifeline.
However, Chelsea got themselves back into the game as debutant Alex Disasi bundled in their equaliser through Chilwell’s recycled header, following a corner. It was safe to say that Liverpool were caught off guard by the resurgent Blues. The tricky footwork of Enzo Fernandez resulted in Chilwell being through on goal, leaving Alisson behind in his wake as he seemingly slotted Chelsea ahead. However, VAR returned to the spotlight and ruled the English left back offside, diminishing their swift lead.
The game had turned on its head and this time it was the Reds who were longing to hear the half time whistle, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men were finally putting their possession to good use. Raheem Sterling was having a lot of joy against his former side, targeting the likes of Virgil van Dijk and an out of position Andy Robertson, while Nicolas Jackson squandered a fantastic goalscoring opportunity.
Pochettino will have been pleased to see Chelsea start the second half, much like how they ended the first, creating chances and grasping control of the game, something Jurgen Klopp’s men were unable to replicate in spite of their bright start to the game.
Another point of controversy was Liverpool’s denial of a penalty following Nicolas Jackson appearing to handle the ball in an attempt to block Diaz’s headed effort. Referee Anthony Taylor was supported by his officials in Stockley Park in ruling that Diaz’s attempt was too close in proximity for Jackson to react.
However, Liverpool’s defensive issues were apparent when their own corner led to a speedy Chelsea counter attack through Nicolas Jackson and Mykhailo Mudryk that confounded Alisson and his back line.
Despite both sides missing an established holding midfielder, Enzo Fernandez ensured that his side won the midfield battle. The World Cup winner excelled when given the freedom to attack and will surely be an imposing threat when partnered with Moises Caicedo in Pochettino’s favoured double pivot system. While there is work to do for both Chelsea and Liverpool, the home side displayed a more positive performance, while the visitors were arguably lucky to escape with a draw due to the gaps in their side being exploited. With the transfer window still open, it remains to be seen how strong either outfit will look as they look to build on previously underwhelming campaigns.