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Chelsea 1, Liverpool 2: First Thoughts

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Liverpool survive a Chelsea comeback and earn a huge win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea: Costa 62’

Liverpool: Lovren 17’, Henderson 36’

  • Pre-match thought: The big pre-match news is that Roberto Firmino is out with a slight groin pull. So, I’ve started drinking. Sorry if this thing gets a little funny in the following comments. Regardless, having Philippe Coutinho to bring on for Firmino isn’t the worst thing in the world. Nor is having Origi to bring off the bench. Also, Ejaria gets a surprise inclusion in the squad!
  • Liverpool get two shots on target in the first two minutes. Wijnaldum’s first effort doesn’t really test Courtois, but Sturridge’s venomous left-footed strike nearly forces it’s way—literally—through the Belgian number one.
  • Liverpool’s pressing game is on-point in the first quarter of an hour, but Chelsea isn’t giving Liverpool a lot of room to operate when in possession, as can be expected.
  • GOAL! Lovren marks his return with a perfect side-footed finish after he was left wide open at the far post on a free kick. The kick was thanks to a harsh Ivanovic challenge, which probably should have been his second yellow. As it stands, he’s caution free.
  • The goal has energized Liverpool and the Reds are buzzing. Wijnaldum just played Matip through on goal and the center back wins a corner. Are we having fun, yet?
  • As we approach the half-hour mark, the Reds have backed off the crazed gegenpressing, instead forcing Chelsea to try and break us down in possession.
  • GOAL! JORDAN FUCKING HENDERSON! The skipper picks up a poor clearance about 25 yards from goal and doesn’t think twice about burying it in the far corner with an inch-perfect curling finish. You don’t hit them much better than that.
  • Halftime thought: 2-0 at the half to the good guys? Can’t ask for much more than that. Liverpool really kept Chelsea off-balance by alternating a hard, high press, and sitting deeper to soak up pressure. The scary part is that Liverpool haven’t even hit top-gear going forward, instead scoring the two goals from flukey situations.
  • Only 10 minutes into the second half and Divock Origi comes on for Daniel Sturridge, who goes straight into the dressing room. Please don’t be another injury.
  • Goal. Chelsea tear Liverpool to shreds, as Matic is played through and cuts it back for Costa, who finishes the move with an easy finish. It’s going to be a terrifying last thirty minutes.
  • Liverpool have responded well in the first five minutes after the Chelsea goal, finding their feet once again in attack. Earning a free kick and a corner in quick sucession.
  • About 15 minutes to go and the game as slowed a bit, with neither team really threatening goal in the last few minutes. It has been an intense affair so far, and maybe that is starting to show.
  • Origi with the best chance for Liverpool of the half! He gets on a header at the back post, but Courtois is up the challenge. Immediately thereafter Coutinho comes off for Papa Lucas, who will, Fowler willing, help the Reds see this one out.
  • Chelsea with the rarely seen triple switch. Moses, Fabregas, and Pedro on for Willian, Matic, and Oscar. About 5 minutes of regulation time left. COME ON YOU REDS.
  • Lucas gives away a free kick at the edge of the area on a close decision. Nervy moment, but the Fabregas kick is hit straight into the wall.
  • As the clock strikes 90 minutes Kevin Stewart comes on for Gini Wijnaldum.
  • Final whistle thought: Liverpool couldn’t see out their two-goal advantage without drama, because of course they couldn’t. But. But the Reds held out for a big win and rare win at the Bridge. Liverpool move up to fourth, tied with Everton and Chelsea on points.

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.