Spirited 10-man Chelsea hold Liverpool to a draw at Anfield amid flaring tempers!
Pitted as a must watch clash of the titans, Anfield was rather disappointed with the final outcome as 10-man Chelsea did well to keep Liverpool at bay in a 1-1 draw despite the relentless attacking intent shown by The Reds.
Surely, Thomas Tuchel’s side would have been the happier of the two teams despite losing their right back, Reece James to a red at the stroke of half-time and still holding their own in the second to see out a draw which in-truth seemed almost an away win for them.
Testament to their coming of age under the German!
Truth be told, this clash wasn’t only about on-field performance albeit also of raging tempers on either side when Reece James received the red having controversially kept the ball out with his hand which was headed into the back of the net and Salah scored as a result with the spot-kick.
Chelsea were surely unhappy with the decision and it showed as keeper Mendy kicked the ball away when Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson went to collect it after Salah’s penalty thereby resulting in a heated exchange between the two as their respective team members came in to diffuse the situation.
Having said this, on a more positive note for all Liverpool fans, despite this 1-1 draw, The Merseyside Maulers still continued their unabated run of not losing a single game in their last 13 league encounters having won 10 and drawn 3.
So, without further ado lets dissect this fixture that saw the small section of Blues supporters certainly being the happier bunch amid the sea of Red at Anfield:
Spoils are shared in the first 45 amid drama galore
Liverpool started the game as the more dominant of the two teams with their first chance coming in just the 4th minute as a sloppy display from Kai Havertz saw Salah get the ball and he in turn passed it to young Harvey Elliot whose strike went just inches off-target.
The Reds would continue to build attacks with a second chance coming in the 10th minute as Henderson volleyed the ball off-target with his first touch from a sumptuous Trent Alexander-Arnold cross.
Liverpool certainly looked up for this contest albeit much to their dismay, the opposition drew first blood when Kai Havertz loopy header found the back of the Liverpool net from a James corner in the 22nd minute. Truth be told, The Reds defence was in sixes and sevens as The German was given ample space to conveniently head the ball that beat keeper Alisson.
Chelsea led Liverpool by a goal to nil as the Kop and more importantly all of Anfield was in shock!
A comeback was more than the need of the hour.
Well, the comeback came in injury time as Mane’s strike was blocked by Reece James as the ball bounced of his leg inevitably onto his hand as it was going in.
The result, a penalty as VAR asked the referee to decide by looking at the pitch side monitor and Chelsea’s misery soared further after James was also shown the Red as a deliberate attempt to keep the ball out with his hand.
The Blues were furious amid the rather controversial decision and Mohamed Salah made no mistake in drawing The Reds level with his 99th Premier League goal.
As the first half ended there were ill-fated temper tussles between both the teams which also saw Blues’ defender Rudiger and keeper Mendy get a yellow.
Mendy keeps Liverpool’s attacking threats at bay in the second half
Having been reduced to 10-men and also scarred with two yellow cards, Chelsea as the second half began were all but emotionally drained. One would have expected Liverpool to capitalize on this situation and mount further misery on The Blues.
Well, The Reds certainly tried with mounting 24 shots with 7 of them being on target albeit Chelsea stood strong to keep the Merseyside Maulers at bay.
Liverpool had their first chance of the second half in the 51st minute with Jota’s header going just inches above the goal.
Minutes later keeper Mendy did well to keep a long Virgil Van Dijk shot out along with also standing tall to thwart Fabinho and Robertson’s efforts.
Truth be told, Liverpool were getting frustrated having not mounted a second despite having one additional player on the field.
As time went on so did Liverpool’s desperation to score with missing two more chances in the last 10 minutes as Jota and Salah were also denied by Mendy.
The Chelsea keeper had done fantastically well to deny Liverpool who had chances aplenty as the referee called time.
For a neutral and the small group of Chelsea fans at Anfield, this was almost a win for The Blues as they took an important point from this away fixture.
Not a dent but a learning for The Reds
For Jurgen Klopp and his team this draw which could easily have been a win as Chelsea were demoralized, being down to 10-men should not be seen as a dent but a learning.
Learning to capitalize better on opportunities when you have the opposition down and deflated.
Having said this Liverpool did try and had it not been for the stupendous efforts of Blues’ keeper Mendy, The Reds surely would have had a second.
Despite the draw, The Reds still sit pretty on third in the league table with seven important points and surely would hope for nothing less than a win when they lock horns with Leeds United next in the league before opening their European campaign against the Italian force A.C. Milan.
The season is still very open and all for Liverpool to make their own.
‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’
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