The most important game of the season to date came at a bad time for Chelsea and Liverpool. The former lost the lead falling to him West Ham and chaining a run of three draws in their last four games. Grieved by COVID-19 casualties, Londoners were losing ground. And also his forward. Thomas Tuchel left Romelu Lukaku out of the call for the Belgian’s interview on Sky Italia in which he was dissatisfied with the German coach’s system. His urgency, facing the duel on Sunday, was the same as that of his rival. Those from Anfield had just added their last two league games, and traveled to the English capital with important absences. Caoimhin Kelleher entered the place of Alisson, Ibrahima Konaté in Joel Matip’s … and Pepijn Lijnders sat on the bench. Jürgen Klopp stayed home after testing positive for COVID-19.
That it was going to be an intense duel was sensed before starting. Confirmation arrived six seconds later, in the first controversial action of the duel. Mané jumped with Azpilicueta next to the band and hit his face with his arm. Saw yellow, although the locals asked for the red one. It was one of those games where things don’t stop happening. The two teams responding to the rival’s previous action. This is how Liverpool opened the scoring, with Sadio Mané taking advantage of an error by Trevoh Chalobah to open the scoring. The tenth goal of the ten in the season. The first in ten meetings. Christian Pulisic previously enjoyed a similar opportunity, remaining alone in the area after a poor clearance by Trent Alexander-Arnold. Kelleher, this time, threw himself at his feet to snatch the ball from him.
The initiative was local, but the hit was made by the visitors. Despite the initial so much, it was Chelsea who started better. His were the aerial duels and the divided balls. But nevertheless, when Liverpool began to discuss this dominance, they doubled their lead with an extraordinary goal from Mohamed Salah. Another one. He received a ball from Alexander-Arnold into space and faced Marcos Alonso. He shook off the Spaniard with a movement of the shoulder. He cheated on him. It made him think he would go one way and he went the other. The same thing happened to Edouard Mendy when he came out to cover the Egyptian’s shot, who scored from the short post. He could get a third goal, but Chalobah He made up for his mistake on the first goal with a successful low-level tackle to derail a new offensive action by Salah.
The team of Thomas tuchel, who only managed to get back into the game in the final stretch of the first half. Stylish and effective. Mateo Kovacic hooked a volley from the edge after a clearance by Kelleher. The Irishman avoided both Marcos Alonso in a lateral fault, but could not do anything before the auction of the Croatian. Pulisic, who missed a clear chance soon enough, he took advantage of the one he had very late. On the brink of rest. Nobody could get the ball down to the grass. Rudiger went ahead of Salah in the division, Kanté prolonged and Pulisic received inside the area. Without pressure, the American equalized the score. Boards.
And start over. More rhythm. More speed. More haste too. If in the first half Liverpool was always behind its rival, in terms of play and dominance, in the second it was more alive than its opponent. His were the first occasions, the clearest. Salah he shot from afar at goal in 56. Mendy, who was also far from his goal, was able to deflect the trajectory of the ball at the last moment. Then it was Mané who put his compatriot to the test after two walls to penetrate from the left to the center. In the other background, Kelleher took out a half volley from Pulisic, who was the one who tried the most in the local box. Chelsea grew when they took control of the center of the field after the entrance of Jorginho. Marcos Alonso looked for the goal in a direct free kick, and Antonio Rüdiger heading a corner already in the last stretch of the match. The duel went on. It caught fire in the last minutes. A draw was almost as valuable as a loss, so both teams threw the rest. Without fear of losing, with fear of not winning. A league match disguised as a knockout tie. A tie, between Londoners and Liverpool, that Manchester City won. The advantage of Pep Guardiola’s men is now ten points over him. Chelsea, which has the same parties, and eleven on the Liverpool, who has played one less duel.
Oxlade-Chamberlain (68 ‘, Diogo Jota), Naby keita (68 ‘, Milner), Jorginho (69 ‘, Trevoh Chalobah), Callum hudson odoi (78 ‘, Kai Havertz), Curtis jones (89 ‘, Mane)
0-1.8 ‘: Mane, 0-2, 25 ‘: Salah, 1-2, 41 ‘: Kovacic, 2-2, 45 ‘: Christian pulisic
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR Referee: Darren England
Mane (0 ‘, Yellow) Christian pulisic (16 ‘, Yellow) Ibrahima Konate (82 ‘, Yellow
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