Liverpool vs Chelsea
Liverpool: Salah 45+3’
Chelsea: Havertz 21’
Andy Robertson makes a surprise start with Kostas Tsimikas. Harvey Elliott also earns himself a place in the midfield along with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. Finally, Roberto Firmino gets his first start of the season with Diogo Jota on the bench.
The match began at a very high intensity. Both sets of players were clearly up for this big match. Harvey Elliott immediately rewards Klopp’s faith in him, looking smart and effective in the center of the pitch.
Anthony Taylor was certainly making some interesting refereeing decisions in the first 20 minutes of the half, which both Fabinho and Henderson both respectfully pointed out to him at various times.
Chelsea get the first goal off of a corner. Kai Havertz gets his head on the ball and lofts it over Alisson’s head and into the corner of the net. That’s a shame after Liverpool had done very good and had the best chances up until then. Almost immediately on the other end. the Reds attack. It leads to a corner, but it’s easily cleared.
As positive as Liverpool began the match, things became nervy as the half progressed, with the players misplacing passes and just looking a bit sloppy.
In a surprise move at 42 minutes, Firmino got subbed off for Jota. It must have been a fitness issue, because Firmino seemed to expect the switch.
In a truly insane couple of moments, there’s a scrum in front of the goal that ends with Reece James batting away a clear goal with his hand. Anthony Taylor checked VAR and quickly determined that James deserved a straight red and Liverpool a penalty.
Salah was cool as anything, slotting the ball past Édouard Mendy and evening up the match on the stroke of halftime.
Liverpool began the second half with their one-man advantage as they seek to find another goal. Jota nearly got it for them in the 50th minute, but his header is too high. Van Dijk tried his hand at a low shot from distance. It forced Mendy into a save, and then Alexander-Arnold saved it from going out. However, that attack eventually fizzled out with an errant cross from Salah.
Liverpool continued to attack, but Chelsea held them off for the first 25 minutes of the half. Chelsea were stuck desperately defending and then looking to pull off a miracle on the break. Frustrations mounted and in the 73rd minute, Thiago Alcantara replaced Henderson in the midfield. The captain struggled a bit today.
Liverpool’s final change of the match was to take off Robertson and bring on Tsimikas for the final five minutes of normal time.
The whistle blows and Liverpool somehow missed out on a chance for three points against Chelsea. Hopefully they don’t live to regret it.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs. Brentford