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Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Mohamed Salah penalty equalises Kai Havertz header at Anfield

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Anfield
Chelsea
Chelsea were furious when defender Reece James was shown a straight red card

Chelsea frustrated Liverpool in a fast and furious Anfield encounter to claim a hard-earned point despite being reduced to 10 men after Reece James' first-half sending-off.

In the battle between two Premier League superpowers who are fully expected to contest the title this season, Liverpool pressed frantically throughout, but the Champions League holders were superbly organised and will ultimately be satisfied with the draw.

Liverpool started at a super-charged pace but Chelsea were composed and took the lead when Kai Havertz sent an angled glancing header beyond the reach of keeper Alisson from James' corner in front of the Kop in the 22nd minute.

Mason Mount wasted a glorious opportunity to double Chelsea's advantage before the game exploded in controversy in the closing moments of the first half.

Liverpool were awarded a penalty following a goalmouth scramble in which Joel Matip hit the bar and James swept Sadio Mane's shot off the line with his hand. Referee Anthony Taylor awarded the spot-kick after consulting VAR, adding insult to Chelsea's injury by showing the defender the red card.

Mohamed Salah drilled home the penalty to set up a second-half Liverpool siege but Chelsea were more than up to the challenge.

The Blues, who lost N'Golo Kante to injury, brought on Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic and held the hosts at bay with a superbly drilled defensive display, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy playing his part by saving well from Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, with Diogo Jota also coming close with a headed chance.

Mixed emotions for Chelsea

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will have been delighted with the way his team adapted to the blow of conceding a penalty and suffering a numerical disadvantage in those crucial seconds before the break - but he may still be left wondering what might have been.

For all Liverpool's pressing and the incredibly animated urgings of manager Jurgen Klopp, who even acted as a Anfield's cheerleader on occasions, Chelsea were comfortable in that opening period, apart from one golden opportunity that Jordan Henderson skewed wide on the volley.

Chelsea's shape and discipline limited Liverpool's chances and protected keeper Mendy while the threat at the other end brought Havertz's goal and that squandered opening from Mount.

So it will be a source of huge frustration to Tuchel that the course of the game changed in the incident that Chelsea contested so vehemently and which brought a red card for James and yellows for Mendy and Antonio Rudiger.

Tuchel will have sensed his second successive Anfield win until then, but he managed the situation in a proactive manner at half-time, compensating for the loss of James and the crucial Kante - the latter badly missed after taking a knock - to send on Silva and Kovacic.

The veteran Brazil defender cruised and commanded his way through the second half, a calming presence in front of the Kop's wall of sound.

Tuchel's Chelsea have maintained their unbeaten record, but he may have been thinking about more until that dramatic conclusion to the first half.

Liverpool miss big opportunity

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: 'Clear handball' by defender James, says Klopp

Liverpool had a big chance to strike an early psychological blow in the title race when it seemed they had Chelsea exactly where they wanted them at the start of the second half.

Liverpool were primed to sweep forward in front of the Kop, who had been in baying form from the first whistle. So it was to Chelsea's credit that, despite Liverpool enjoying so much possession, it was hardly a case of chances raining down on Mendy's goal.

Liverpool created openings but, with Salah and Mane quiet and Roberto Firmino lost to a first-half injury, they lacked the guile to open up Chelsea's magnificent defence and had run out of ideas before the final whistle sounded on a breathless game.

Klopp can take solace in the outstanding performance of defender Joel Matip, who was peerless throughout and kept Romelu Lukaku quiet, although Chelsea's £97.5m striker was left to play a lone hand in the second half with Chelsea down to 10 men.

Lukaku did have one opportunity in the second half but, inevitably, it was Matip who provided the vital block just as the Belgian shaped to swivel and threaten Alisson's goal.

In the end, the honours were shared between two outstanding sides but Liverpool will feel less satisfied by the draw with the backing of a full Anfield behind them and the chance to put Chelsea, with their reduced numbers, to the sword.

Klopp also showed his huge faith in 18-year-old Harvey Elliott, starting the youngster in a match of such consequence against the European champions. He showed some nice touches that promise so much for the future.

Liverpool, however, will feel there is an element of missed opportunity that they were only able to end the meeting against one of their title rivals with a draw.

Player of the match

HavertzKai Havertz

with an average of 8.53

Liverpool

  1. Squad number67Player nameElliott
    Average rating

    6.02

  2. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating

    5.96

  3. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating

    5.90

  4. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    5.83

  5. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    5.81

  6. Squad number32Player nameMatip
    Average rating

    5.81

  7. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating

    5.55

  8. Squad number10Player nameMané
    Average rating

    5.50

  9. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating

    5.49

  10. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    5.45

  11. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    5.35

  12. Squad number21Player nameTsimikas
    Average rating

    5.02

  13. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara
    Average rating

    4.99

  14. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    4.07

Chelsea

  1. Squad number29Player nameHavertz
    Average rating

    8.53

  2. Squad number16Player nameMendy
    Average rating

    7.38

  3. Squad number4Player nameChristensen
    Average rating

    7.27

  4. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger
    Average rating

    7.20

  5. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    7.06

  6. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta
    Average rating

    7.03

  7. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva
    Average rating

    6.96

  8. Squad number7Player nameKanté
    Average rating

    6.95

  9. Squad number3Player nameAlonso
    Average rating

    6.83

  10. Squad number19Player nameMount
    Average rating

    6.81

  11. Squad number5Player nameJorginho
    Average rating

    6.80

  12. Squad number9Player nameLukaku
    Average rating

    6.76

  13. Squad number14Player nameChalobah
    Average rating

    6.57

  14. Squad number24Player nameJames
    Average rating

    6.25

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32Matip
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forTsimikasat 86'minutes
  • 67Elliott
  • 3Fabinho
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 74'minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forJotaat 43'minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 5Konaté
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 8Keïta
  • 12Gomez
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 18Minamino
  • 20Jota
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 62Kelleher

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 16MendyBooked at 45mins
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4Christensen
  • 2RüdigerBooked at 45mins
  • 24JamesBooked at 45mins
  • 7KantéSubstituted forKovacicat 45'minutes
  • 5JorginhoSubstituted forChalobahat 87'minutes
  • 3Alonso
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forThiago Silvaat 45'minutes
  • 19Mount
  • 9Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 8Kovacic
  • 11Werner
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 14Chalobah
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 21Chilwell
  • 22Ziyech
Referee:
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home24
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home12
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Andreas Christensen.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

  5. Post update

    Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Édouard Mendy.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Trevoh Chalobah.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Konstantinos Tsimikas with a cross.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Trevoh Chalobah replaces Jorginho.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Konstantinos Tsimikas replaces Andrew Robertson.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Thiago with a headed pass.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

  17. Post update

    Jorginho (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Fabinho (Liverpool).

  19. Post update

    Jorginho (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Thiago replaces Jordan Henderson.

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