Football   |   January 11, 2022

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Premier League Rivals Provide a Premier League Classic, Handing the Advantage to the Champions – Manchester City

Match reports and free highlights as Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic secure a draw for Chelsea after Liverpool silenced Stamford Bridge with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah; advantage Man City continue to lead the Premier League by ten points with 21 games remaining.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool has scored four Premier League goals against Chelsea, the joint-most of any player who has played for them in the tournament, together with Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea’s two first-half goals, netted by Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic, were separated by just 245 seconds, allowing the Blues to equalize Liverpool’s two-goal advantage at the interval (2-2 at half-time).

Sadio Mané of Liverpool earned the early booking (15 seconds) in a Premier League match on record (since 2006-07) for his tackle on César Azpilicueta.

Second faced third at Stamford Bridge, with the victorious side claiming the status of significant rivals to Manchester City’s Premier League crown.

Chelsea, determined to ensure the apparent lack of striker Lukaku did not derail their challenge, started as if they were possessed, immediately trapping Reds in their defensive third.

Sadio Mane congratulates himself on scoring the first goal at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s effort might’ve been wrecked within 15 seconds had Sadio Mane been handed red rather than yellow to collide with Chelsea captain Azpilicueta with a leading elbow.

Mane took advantage of referee Anthony Taylor’s merciful reprieve eight minutes later, when he pounced on Trevor Chalobah’s clumsy defensive header around Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy and converted Liverpool into an early lead.

The hosts fought but were two goals behind after 26 minutes. Due to Kai Havertz’s failure to control play, Trent Alexander-Arnold floated a pass up to Salah, who went past Marcos Alonso and produced an exquisite finish at Mendy’s near post.

Chelsea was stunned and on the verge of losing the game. The hosts owe a goal-saving challenge to Chalobah, who made amends for his earlier error by stopping Salah from scoring a treble on the counterattack and placing the visitors out of reach.

Highlights From Chelsea’s Draw Against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League

Chelsea staged an incredible first-half comeback to earn a 2-2 stalemate against Liverpool, as Manchester City’s challengers delivered a Premier League classic that did nothing to help either side’s championship hopes.

Liverpool appeared to be on pace to threaten Man City’s title as goals from Sadio Mane, who survived a first-minute red card for elbowing Cesar Azpilicueta. Mohamed Salah propelled the visitors to a two-goal lead and silenced Stamford Bridge within the opening 26 minutes.

However, Chelsea, who were without club-record signing Romelu Lukaku, mounted a valiant comeback in the first four minutes of the second half, when Mateo Kovacic’s magnificent volley and Christian Pulisic’s exquisite lob leveled the exciting encounter on the stroke of half-time.

However, just as Chelsea appeared to be running out of options, a lifeline was supplied by Kovacic. Kovacic’s exquisite shot from the outside of the box deflected away from stand-in Reds goalkeeper Kelleher and volleyed in off the post.

Chelsea staged the most remarkable comebacks before half-time, with N’Golo Kante looping a cross behind the Liverpool defense that Pulisic seized onto before flinging over Kelleher and igniting wild jubilation inside Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool was pleading for the referee’s whistle after appearing to be in control, with a surging Blues denied a third as Mason Mount blasted a drive sliding inches into first-half stoppage time.

Liverpool rallied at the interval and established three clear-cut chances to reclaim the lead but was denied by Mendy’s brilliant performance. The Chelsea goalkeeper thwarted a fine Diogo Jota volley within seven minutes of the restart. He also brilliantly tipped Salah’s attempted lob over after the Liverpool forward noticed him off his line before Mane was denied a second following a one-touch move involving Salah and James Milner.

Whatever Mendy can do, Kelleher could still do better, with the Liverpool goalkeeper creating a breathtaking save at point-blank range to deny Pulisic’s hooked effort after the hour, proving to be the ultimate transparent opening of a Premier League masterpiece. Mateo Kovacic was the man of the match.

Player Ratings

Chelsea 3-4-2-1 Line- Up: Mendy (8), Pulisic (8), Kovacic (8), Silva (7), Havertz (7), Mount (7), Kante (7), Rudiger (6), Azpilicueta (6), Alonso (6), and Chalobah (5)

Substitutes: Jorginho (6), and Hudson-Odoi (5)

Liverpool 4-3-3 Line-Up: Salah (8), Mane (8), Kelleher (7), Jota (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Van Dijk (7), Konate (7), Henderson (6), Tsimikas (6), Milner (6), and Fabinho (6) 

Substitutes: Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Keita (6), and Jones (N/A)

What Comes Next 

Chelsea visit Spurs on Wednesday at 7.45 pm, while Liverpool faces Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Thursday at 7.45 pm.