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Chelsea 1, Liverpool 3: Coutinho Sparks Comeback

Reds fall behind early before thrashing Chelsea in electric second half.

Ian Walton/Getty Images
Chelsea 1: Ramires 4'
Liverpool 3: Coutinho 45' Coutinho 74' Benteke 83'

It started with a mistake. Cesar Azpilicueta whipped in a cross and Ramires bolted past a herd of Liverpool defenders to head the hosts up a goal within five minutes. At Stamford Bridge that's almost always game over, at least under Jose Mourinho. But Philippe Coutinho, who notched stunning goals on either side of half time, reignited Liverpool to send the Reds on their way to a famous away victory and Jürgen Klopp's first Premier League win.

After conceding early, Liverpool settled in and chipped away at Chelsea with organized pressing and controlled possession. The first half was extremely physical, as Liverpool's intense pressing led to frequent hack-downs and fouls. The Reds committed 21 fouls in the match with many of them coming against Willian, a key pressing trigger, which seemed to push the normally imposing hosts off their game.

Nonetheless, Liverpool looked set to enter the break down 1-0 until Coutinho performed a Suarez-esque cut at the edge of the box to lose his defender before unleashing a left-footed curler around Asmir Begovic. Jose Mourinho exited down the tunnel in disgust and Liverpool were back in contention for all three points.

Liverpool's attacking band dominated a Matic-less Chelsea in the second half. Of the initial attacking group, which included Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Philippe Coutinho, only Milner had a bad game, and even he improved as the match progressed.

Simon Mignolet made a great save to deny Oscar and preserve the deadlock. Oscar won the ball in the midfield and looked to chip Mignolet from long range, but Mignolet scrambled back to bat the ball away.

Milner made way for Christian Benteke in the 64th minute with Firmino dropping back into the attacking midfield. The change paid near-immediate dividends, as just 10 minutes after the substitution Benteke flicked a header onto Coutinho's path to set up the Brazilian's second goal, another curler from the top of the box.

Just before that, both teams could have gone down to 10 men. Diego Costa stomped on Martin Skrtel and somehow avoided any punishment, while Lucas easily could have seen a second yellow after tripping Ramires in the midfield.

Up 2-1, Liverpool pushed for a third goal to put Chelsea away. Moreno forced a tough kick save from Begovic after flying down the left wing past Chelsea's plodding defense. Minutes later Benteke finished the game off, drilling a low shot past Begovic after Lallana freed him up with a dummy move.

Last weekend I wrote that if Liverpool were to turn the season around, a big step forward against Chelsea was a necessity. A 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge does the trick. The elation around this result isn't just for the vital points that Liverpool earned. The confidence and belief that this result inspires changes the tone of the football club. The task now is to strengthen that belief with additional positive performances, starting midweek against Rubin Kazan and continuing into next weekend against noted happiness killer Crystal Palace.

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