Chelsea earn deserved draw in thriller at Anfield
Chelsea battled back to win a point at Anfield in an exciting game which could have gone either way.
The Blues started well, sitting deep to counter the threat of Mohamed Salah and looking composed and compact. They relied on Eden Hazard to move the team forward, and the Belgian was sensational in the first half, breaking the lines and losing his marker time after time.
Danny Drinkwater was great in the first period, picking out Eden Hazard with a superb first time pass and then busting into the box twice but not quite managing to convert. In one goalmouth scramble it looked certain that Chelsea would take the lead, but Liverpool somehow kept them out and created some chances of their own as the half wore on.
Chelsea’s dominance faded through the second half and Liverpool grew in threat. The game got ever more stretched, and Chelsea began to tire, and finally Mo Salah found his way into shooting position at last. He made no mistake, sliding the ball under Thibaut Courtois to give his side the lead.
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Now the tide changed again as Antonio Conte threw on his substitutes and his team found another gear. Cesc Fabregas’ arrival added a new dimension to the game, allowing Chelsea to get closer and closer to the Liverpool goal.
It looked as though Marcos Alonso had wasted Chelsea’s hopes of a point as he was found free at the far post, but the Spaniard blasted over and the clocked ticked ever closer to full time. But not long after coming on, Willian found space on the right and floated a tempting cross to the two free men at the far post. It flew over them both, and over Simon Mignolet, and Chelsea found themselves deservedly level.
Both sides had late chances to win it, and Thibaut Courtois was the hero at the end, diving to make a smart stop to deny Salah a second.
It’s a point which sees Chelsea fall further behind in the title race, but one that was well deserved and entertainingly earned.