Reds: Keita 23’, Alexander-Arnold 38’, Wijnaldum 43’, Firmino 55’, Oxlade-Chamberlain 84’
Blues: Giroud 45+3’, Abraham 61’, Pulisic 73’
All about that trophy lift today. But lifting the big shiny thing after a win over Chelsea sure would feel better than the alternatives. So, let’s do that, Liverpool. The line-up is as you’d expect. The only exception is Naby Keita coming in for the injured Jordan Henderson.
The referee holding his whistle after a clear foul on Mohamed Salah? Drink. Ignored penalty shout aside it’s a pretty evenly matched and cagey opening few minutes between the two sides. Chelsea is doing well at beating the press with big switches, and the Reds have nearly gotten in behind with quick counters and balls over the top.
GOAL! Naby Keita wins the ball off Willian high up the pitch, takes a couple of touches and then fires a shot from about 25 yards out. Kepa’s outstretched arms can do nothing to stop the well-struck shot from kissing the underside of the crossbar on the way to hitting the back of the net.
Things are getting surprisingly testy between the sides. Mané seems to be in a fight with the entire Chelsea defense, and Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard exchange some words after Mané wins a free kick in a dangerous position.
GOAL!! Speaking of, Andre Marriner reluctantly blew for the free kick after multiple fouls by multiple players on Mané. Trent Alexander-Arnold places it, and curls it perfectly up and over the wall.
GOAL!!! Liverpool win a corner, and a Chelsea defender appears to handle it in the box. Gini Wijnaldum doesn’t wait around for the VAR check, and decides instead just to volley it into the roof of the net.
Goal. Giroud pulls one back just before the break, after a kind rebound falls his way. Alisson—who does great for the first effort—is pissed, probably because that goal officially sinks his hopes of winning the Golden Gloves.
Liverpool, and Mo Salah in particular, will be annoyed that they haven’t made it 4-1 to start the half. Salah was clear through on goal after a brilliant flick from Bobby, but seemed to get caught in two minds and couldn’t hit the target with his weak effort. The Reds start the half well on top, and are absolutely carving Chelsea open to start the half...and...
GOAL! Trent has acres of space to look up and pick out a pass, and he puts it on a plate for Bobby Firmino, who heads it home like an old school center forward! And Bobby gets his Anfield goal. GET IN!
Goal. The goal fest continues! Christian Pulisic links up with Tammy Abraham, who both just came on, to create a goal. Pulisic skins Gomez, and sets it on a plate for Abraham.
This game has flipped on its head after the subs. Jurgen Klopp responds with some subs of his own. James Milner and Curtis Jones come on for goalscorers Gini and Naby. This appearance also ensures a Premier League winners medal for Curtis.
Goal. This would be a hell of a match to a neutral, but we’re not that here. We could do without this bullshit frankly. Anyway, goal for Pulisic. The game is wide open, and Liverpool could really do with a quiet 10 minutes.
Klopp brings Salah off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with about 12 minutes of regulation to go. Mo is clearly upset not to score tonight, despite his many opportunities.
GOAL! It’s a brilliant counterattacking goal from the Reds! Chelsea send in a cross from a free kick, but it’s headed away, and Liverpool were off to the races. It’s played to Robertson out wide, and he beats his man down the line, before sending in a dangerous cross for Ox to drive home.
Tonight always promised to be a mad night. How can we concentrate on a football match with a big trophy lift waiting for us? It ended up being especially mad. Goals everywhere! Fireworks outside the stadium! And no one inside it! Anyway, it’s yet another win, and a sneak preview to Chelsea attempting to recreate Liverpool 13/14 next year.