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Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1: First Thoughts

A stoppage time goal from Benteke cancels out Hazard's brilliant first-half goal.

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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Liverpool 1: Benteke 90+2'
Chelsea 1: Hazard 32'

  • Pre-game Thoughts: Klopp's first big win came against Chelsea thanks to some come-from-behind heroics from Coutinho and Benteke. In his 50th (!) game in charge, Klopp hopes to complete a double over Chelsea for the first time since 2011/12. A win will move the Reds to 7th, a point ahead of Southampton, a point behind West Ham, and two points behind Manchester United. Other than all that, it's arguably Liverpool's strongest XI out there tonight, and likely the same side that will take on Sevilla a week from tonight (please, please, please no injuries). 

  • New kit makes its debut tonight. Looks good, but we'll see how it looks after 90 minutes. 

  • Daniel Sturridge earns a free kick just outside the box within the first thirty seconds. Mikel was slow to react and caught the striker as he went by. On the ensuing free kick Sturridge puts the shot/cross/whatever well high and wide of the target.

  • Frantic pace in the first 5 minutes! Liverpool are pinging the ball around and looking very dangerous on the attack. However, they over commit, and Chelsea are quick to spring a counter. Shaping up to be a good one, this.

  • The air has come out of the game after the quick start. Liverpool have seen some joy down the left with Moreno helping in attack.

  • Firmino uncharacteristically wasteful after being set through on goal. The Brazilian takes one too many touches, is put off by Begovic coming out of goal, and can't turn the Chelsea keeper and put a shot on target. 

  • Mignolet called into action for the first time on the 22-minute mark. Hazard unleashes a low, driving shot to the far post, but Mignolet was up to the challenge, and Toure cleared the rebound. 

  • ***Goal*** Hazard found form at exactly the wrong time. He blew past several Liverpool "defenders" like they're standing still and then buried his shot perfectly into the far bottom corner. Brilliant goal, to be completely fair. 

  • Mignolet finds himself in no-mans land after deciding to come off his line, getting half-way there, and then deciding not to. Traore tries to punish him by blasting a shot at the far top corner, but perhaps a more composed effort would have found the target. 

  • Halftime Thoughts: Liverpool will be disappointed to go into the half trailing, though it could have been worse because of Mignolet's goalkeeping error. Sturridge, Lallana, Coutinho, and Firmino all had decent chances to open up scoring, but poor touches and weak efforts have let them down. The Anfield faithful don't seem to be doing much to help out the players tonight, particularly compared to the recent European showings. 

  • Sturridge tries to chip the keeper from his own half. Sorry, Danny, but you are no Xabi Alonso. 

  • Hazard continues to run circles around all comers in red. Once again he picked the ball up around midfield and drove straight at goal, and then tested Mignolet with a decent shot. 

  • Lallana managed to dispossess Hazard, which is as much as anyone has accomplished defensively against the tricky Belgian tonight. 

  • A couple of good chances to equalize for the Reds. Lallana plays in Sturridge, who forces Begovic to make a big save at his near post. On the ensuing corner Toure puts a headed effort on frame, but can't put enough power on it to really test the keeper. Still, better from Liverpool. 

  • On the next Liverpool corner, Begovic comes to punch the cross but fails to reach it. The ball comes out to a waiting Lallana, who can't put the volley on target into the open net. There are goals to be had for the Redmen tonight, if nowly they can show a bit of coolness in the attacking third. 

  • Seventy minutes on, and Liverpool have picked up the pace, but are still searching for a way through this Chelsea defense. 

  • Joe Allen and Christian Benteke on for James Milner and Adam Lallana. The two combined for a goal over the weekend, hopefully they have another one in them. 

  • Kolo! With a rampaging run into the box. Nothing comes of it, but if we're fully committed to not scoring tonight, we might as well get some more Kolo. 

  • Ojo comes on for Kolo, and the substitution almost pays immediate dividends. Allen plays a great cross to the far post, but Ojo cannot put his first-time volley on target. 

  • Hazard continues to create nightmares for Liverpool, as the midfielder sends Pedro through on goal, and Mignolet does well to keep the effort out. 

  • ***GOAL!*** Benteke heads home a cross in the second minute of stoppage time to equalize! 

  • Full Time Thoughts: It looked like Hazard's moment of brilliance was going to be the difference today, but his international teammate helped save a point for the Reds. 

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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