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  • By Paul Lagan

Hazard hits a beauty but Sturridge scores a worldly as Chelsea are held 1-1 at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Liverpool draw 1-1 at Stamford Bridge Photo by Paul Lagan

Daniel Sturridge broke the heart’s of 40,000 Chelsea fans as he struck a world-class equaliser seconds from time to salvage a point at Stamford Bridge to preserve both the side’s unbeaten start to the season in a pulsating 1-1 draw.

Chelsea had looked as though Eden Hazard’s beautifully constructed first half strike would be enough to down Liverpool who had an unblemished 100 per cent record.

But the Scousers, easily the best side the Blues gave faced this season kept themselves in the game, hoping for something special - and they were rewarded with Sturridge’s beauty of a curling 35-yarder which was perfectly angled high and wide of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Mohamed Salah had the first chance in a game of extraordinarily high tempo. A flick off N’golo Kante sass the ball fall to the ex-Chelsea striker, but his powder puff left-footer, from the edge of the Chelsea penalty area was easily held by Kepa Arrizabalaga on four minutes.

A similar effort on 10 minutes saw the Egypt hit-man sky his effort into row Z of the Matthew Harding Stand.

All the early chances fell to the visitors with Chelsea’s defence just about holding guard.

A sensational 50 yard defence-splitting ball by David Luiz, on 22 minutes, found in-running Willian. The Brazilian zipped into the Liverpool penalty area but his effort was blocked by Alisson, who had raced to the edge of the area, sensing the danger.

That set up Hazard three minutes later to score with a brilliant counter-attack, of blistering pace, verve and skill. It was started by Kante, involving Luiz, a brilliant flick by Hazard onto Jorginho then onto Mateo Kovacic who returned the ball to Hazard, who had cut loose from his marker. He was all alone as he arrowed into the Liverpool penalty area, but struck a beauty of a low, left-footer across Alisson and into his left-hand corner of the net.

Salah should have equalised on 32 minutes when he cut free from Marcos Alonso, rounded Arrizabalaga and clipped the ball towards goal. But up popped Antonio Rudiger to hack the ball off the line, much to the delight of the Chelsea fans.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

But the high tempo employed by both sides was unrelenting with Liverpool on top. Arrizabalaga made an excellent save at the base of his right post as Liverpool piled on the pressure.

A Willian 2-yard run relived some pressure and he forced a corner in the process on 59 minutes.

A quick free kick set Hazard free but Alisson brilliantly blocked his goal-bound effort for a corner.

Maurizo Sarri decided on a change, and once again, on 65 minutes Giroud was taken off and Alvaro Morata came on.

Klopp replaced misfiring Salah for Xherdan Shaqiri a minute later.

Kovacic forced Alisson into a smart save as the Blues dug deep to get themselves back in to the game - possession-wise.

Substitute Shaqiri missed a sitter on 70 minutes, side-footing a byline cross, from the left, wide of Arrizabalaga’s left post.

David Luiz was then Johnnie on the spot, thwarting Roberto Firmino’s unchallenged header from six yards out.

Sarri injected more pace in the side by bringing on Victor Moses for tired Willian on 72 minutes.

Morata took the ball off Luiz head as the striker stretched to get to a Hazard free-kick on 76 minutes.

Henderson was replaced Naby Keira and two minutes later, 80 minutes Chelsea’s third replacement saw Ross Barkley on for Kovacic.

A Shaqiri free-kick was well held by Arrizabalaga as the Blues tried to see out the game.

Ex-Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge came on for James Milner with five minutes left on the clock.

And with a minute left he produced a wonderful strike from 30m yards to curl the ball high and wide of Arrizabalaga outstretched lefty hand and the ball flashed in to the top corner of his net.

A late surge by the Blues almost saw them steal it but both sides will have to be content with a point.

Teams: Chelsea, Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, kante, hazard, Kovacic, Giroud, Willian, Azpilicueta, Luiz.

Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, barkley, Moses, Zappacosta, Cahill, Morata

Liverpool: Alison, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Milner, Firmino, mane, Salah, Gomez, Henderson, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold

Subs, Mignolet, Fabinho, Keith, Sturridge, Moreno, Shaqiri, Matip

Referee Andre Mmariner

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