Premier League Match Report: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool preserved their perfect record in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as Jurgen Klopp’s side maintained their five-point lead over reigning champions Man City atop the standings.
Having gone down 2-0 away at Napoli in an energy-sapping midweek fixture in the UEFA Champions League, the onus was on the Liverpool to get back to winning ways against Chelsea and goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in the first half damned Frank Lampard’s side to their second league defeat of the campaign.
Chelsea, who were also looking to regain momentum after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Valencia in the Champions League, started on the front foot and showed a lot of energy in the opening stages of the game, although it was Liverpool who drew first blood.
Mo Salah laid it off for Alexander Arnold from a free-kick just outside the area and the right-back absolutely thumped the ball into the top right corner to open the scoring in the 14th minute. Kepa Arrizabalaga was caught wrong-footed by the unorthodox free-kick but he probably wouldn’t have saved it anyway.
Chelsea, though, showed a lot of character after going 1-0 down and Tammy Abraham, who came into the game on the back of a hat-trick against Wolves last week, had a golden chance to restore parity for the hosts, only for Adrian to deny the striker with a fine save after Andreas Christensen had found him clear with a long ball from the defensive third.
Minutes later, the Blues thought that they had finally got themselves a much-deserved equaliser when Cesar Azpilicueta fired home from close range after a scramble but the goal was ruled out for an offside on Mason Mount, with replays showing that his left leg was marginally ahead of the line.
And, to rub salt on the home side’s wounds, Roberto Firmino doubled the advantage for Liverpool just at the half-hour mark. Andrew Robertson crossed the ball into the box from a free-kick on the left and found the Brazilian, who was left completely unmarked by Chelsea’s defence and headed it home comfortably to make it 2-0.
Trailing by two goals to nil, Chelsea had it all to do in the second half and Lampard’s words of advice during the interval certainly seemed to have a positive influence on the team’s performance after the restart.
The Blues pushed the visitors on the back foot and enjoyed a lot more possession, while also getting enough men forward to cause concerns for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Kepa reacted brilliantly to prevent an own goal off Cesar Azpilicueta and, despite all their territorial dominance, the Blues struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities.
However, the stage was set for an edge-of-the-seat finish to a fascinating encounter when N’Golo Kante brought the hosts back into the contest with a superb strike into the top corner at the 70th-minute mark following a driving run at the defence.
Liverpool, though, did just about enough, in the end, to hold on to their lead, albeit with a lot of help from Mason Mount and substitute Michy Batshuayi, as both of them missed pretty straightforward chances to grab a late equaliser for the Blues.
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To that end, Jurgen Klopp is likely to be a relieved man after his team came away with all three points from a fixture that was one of the main attractions of match week 6.
Here’s how some of the joyous Liverpool fans reacted to the victory:-