In the Premier League, Chelsea and Liverpool fought to a thrilling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. In light of Romelu Lukaku’s recent statements, Thomas Tuchel made the courageous decision to keep him out of the Chelsea team.
Liverpool, the visitors, appeared intent on capitalising on the current tense atmosphere around Chelsea. Sadio Mane was cautioned for a raised elbow on Cesar Azpilicueta barely 15 seconds after kick-off, giving the game a raucous, high-octane start.
Several Chelsea players and fans likely thought the Liverpool attacker should have been sent off, but the referee issued a cautionary yellow card instead. In the ninth minute, Mane took advantage of a botched clearance attempt by Trevoh Chalobah to put Liverpool ahead.
In the 26th minute, Mohamed Salah increased Liverpool’s lead with an expertly-taken goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold put the Egyptian in behind, and he beat Edouard Mendy at the near post with a precise finish from a close angle.
Chelsea appeared to be headed for a hammering at home, but the game turned on its head. With a superb finish from outside the box, Mateo Kovacic halved the deficit for the hosts. Marcos Alonso’s free-kick was only cleared as far as Kovacic, who blasted a first-time volley that curled past Caoimhin Kelleher, hit the upright, and nestled into the nett.
Chelsea fans, as expected, rallied behind their team and upped the decibel levels at Stamford Bridge. Christian Pulisic scored the equaliser for the Blues soon before halftime, and the American made up for a wasted chance early on by blasting his shot past Kelleher and bringing Chelsea back into the game.
Both teams tried hard to score in the second half but could not do so due to excellent goalkeeping. Mendy, in particular, was brilliant in goal for Chelsea, making fantastic saves to deny both Salah and Mane.
Kelleher, who replaced Alisson, also stopped a thunderous effort from Pulisic out of the nett, ensuring the points were split in the end. Many fans, understandably, saw the match as one of the greatest in the Premier League this season.
Despite the match failing to produce a clear winner, the blockbuster action was well received. Following the result, Chelsea is still one point ahead of Liverpool in second place in the league table. The Reds, on the other hand, have a game in hand on both Manchester City (53 points) and Chelsea (43 points).