Chelsea: Kante 71’
Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold 14’, Firmino 30’
Liverpool have a chance today to take back that five point lead at the top of the table, so hopes are high at Stamford Bridge. Especially after the disappointing result during the week, the Reds will be looking for any bit of encouragement they can get against a Chelsea looking for their feet. Frank Lampard’s Blues sit in seventh place and are pinning a lot of their hopes on their youngsters, so we might see our Reds break some hearts today.
Things start off quickly and Liverpool take control early on. A bit frantic, the Reds get into Chelsea’s half pretty easily and are doing all they can to find that finishing piece they need to open the scoring. Liverpool seem to be moving through endless space, with Chelsea stretched out - lots of space to make good moves, but also lots of space to make bad mistakes and that’s definitely what they’re counting on. Andreas Christensen takes down Sadio Mane just outside the box to win Liverpool an advantageous free kick -- THAT ENDS IN A GOAL! Mohamed Salah steps over it for Trent Alexander-Arnold who whips it over every Blue head to put the Reds ahead.
Frank Lampard makes his first change shortly after (fifteen minutes in? Sure, go with that) bringing on Marcus Alonso for Emerson. Chelsea look suitably rattled, though, and here’s hoping we can use it to our advantage again to make the gap a little wider earlier rather than later. Adrian puts his whole body on the line when Chelsea breakthrough and makes an incredible save to protect that lead around the 23rd minute and both teams look to be settling in a bit.
VAR makes it’s first appearance in a Chelsea equalizer - what looked like a defensive slip up by Liverpool that ended up in a lucky tap in for Azpilicueta is ruled out by VAR as offside. Liverpool take advantage of Chelsea and get the ball back to the other end of the pitch, winning another free kick close to the box. This time it’s Andy Roberston whipping it in and Roberto Firmino gets a head on it and it’s another GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! It seems Chelsea has forgotten the basic rules of where your team can be to attack...
This is your obligatory “Jordan Henderson is having a good game” comment from me, even though he just skied a shot into the stands when he was clear on goal (but being hounded by a Chelsea defender). Salah also has a great chance smothered by Christensen, but the defender goes down injured after taking the ball to his knee. He barely hobbles off and Chelsea are forced to make another change in the dying minutes of the half.
As usual, Liverpool haven’t made any changes going into the second half, and with a first half that ended up like that, why would we? The Reds look sharp and suitably ruthless, running over a team of primarily academy graduates.
Liverpool have a promising attack in the 50th minute come apart after Kepa makes a save off the line, but the effort is ruled offside anyway. Chelsea look a bit more threatening in the opening minutes of this half, picking up the ball when we’ve perhaps been a little more sloppy than we should’ve been.
Chelsea have a decent chance at the 58th minute off a corner, but the ball gets shot wide. Trent Alexander-Arnold, already on a yellow, almost earns a second for... whatever reason, but somehow Hendo is able to talk the ref out of it. There’s been quite a bit of postering between both teams today, especially from Hendo himself, as things have gotten a bit more desperate on the Chelsea side of things. There’s definitely the potential for another goal, even on the home side of things, but a clean sheet would be quite nice at this stage.
Chelsea have decided that the only way to play the ball in is with the long ball over the top, but considering they only have children up top that don’t know how to control stuff like that, it’s not ending well for them. Liverpool have been able to pick up the second balls fairly well and regain control, but it’s their inability to properly finish when things are going quickly that’s undoing them right now. Chelsea are finally able to pull one back, with N’Golo Kante scoring just past Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip, to halve the deficit. A lucky shot through the needle.
Jurgen Klopp makes his first change of the day at 70 minutes, bringing on James Milner for Sadio Mane, in what might be one of the weirdest changes but sure, we’ll go with it. One more goal for the Reds is surely coming up, as they’re able to keep regaining possession and showing these young Blues who’s boss. Adrian makes another incredible save to keep Chelsea from going level around the 80th minute and this battle is coming to its end, we just need to hold onto the lead with everything we can. Klopp makes his second change, bringing on Adam Lallana for Jordan Henderson in the last ten minutes of the game.
This is gonna end messy, however it does, as both Liverpool and Chelsea are throwing everything they have in an attempt at getting one more goal. Four minutes of stoppage time and Liverpool make their last change of the match, bringing on Joe Gomez for Salah, hopefully to score one of those miraculous free kicks.
Liverpool thankfully, did indeed do the thing, coming away from a hard fought battle at Stamford Bridge against a desperate Chelsea, with three points. They go five points clear at the top of the table once again, and continue breaking records. Even when things look wild, these soldiers know how to win.