Chelsea were close to defeating Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, after Eden Hazard scored a brilliant opening goal in the 25th minute, though Daniel Sturridge equalized the match with a stunning last-minute shot from long distance. With this 1-1 draw, which comes just three days after Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the EFL Cup, the Reds are now tied on points with leaders Manchester City, while the Blues are in the third spot, two points down.
Jürgen Klopp’s side on Saturday was quick to go on the offensive, but Mohamed Salah’s and Sadio Mane’s early shots were of no concern for Chelsea’s Kepa.
The Blues did not need to dominate possession of the ball to feel comfortable, as they relied on fast counterattacks to attempt to take the lead.
In the 22nd minute, Chelsea’s David Luiz made a brilliant long-distance pass to Willian, who surged into the box only to find Liverpool’s keeper Alisson Becker well positioned to make the block.
Just three minutes later, Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic made a precise pass from the middle of the pitch to Hazard, who ran into the box practically without opposition, scoring from the left with a left-footed shot that neatly entered the bottom-right corner of the goal.
Salah was close to equalizing in the 32nd minute, as he managed to surge into the box and take the ball to the right of the goal, around Kepa, though his shot from a tight angle was blocked by defender Antonio Rudiger.
The two teams did not change their game plans in the second half, as Liverpool continued to dominate possession of the ball, while Chelsea kept relying on quick counterattacks. As time went by, the Reds put more and more pressure on Chelsea, but none of their attempts came to fruition.
In the 58th minute, Mane bypassed two defenders and fired the ball toward the bottom-left corner of the goal, but his close-distance shot was blocked by Kepa. In the 70th minute, Xherdan Shaqiri wasted a great opportunity, as his shot from the middle off a cross from the left by Andrew Robertson was wide of the post.
Two minutes later, the Reds were once again close to tying the match, but Roberto Firmino’s header off a pass by Alexander-Arnold was denied by defender David Luiz.
Just as the clock was starting to run out, Sturridge tied the match with a stunning and unexpected long-distance shot, placing the ball neatly into the upper-right corner of the goal.
Liverpool will now start preparing for their Champions League match against Napoli on Wednesday, while Chelsea will face off against Videoton on Thursday in a UEFA Europa League match.
(With IANS Inputs)