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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

Point apiece but lots of work needed by both sides if either are to produce a title challenge


Chelsea v Liverpool team sheet Picture: Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge


Chelsea 1 v Liverpool 1

Axel Disasi scored on his Premier League debut for Chelsea, giving the west Londoners a point against a Liverpool outfit who will be ruing their early missed chances to kill the game off in their favour.

They went ahead on 18 minutes through Luis Diaz before defender Disasi found himself in the Liverpool six-yard box and deftly glanced the ball home.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino had said both sides were in transition, with Chelsea more in transition, and so it felt throughout the game.

A few late flurries of activities in front of each goal at the death never seriously gave way to a creditable goal threat, and while Liverpool will be the more grateful for the away point, I think they will regret not demonstrating enough ambition to take all three.


First effort of the game came after two minutes when Diogo Jota's clipped header went wide.

While the first yellow card of the season fell to Carney Chuckwuemeka for a needless kick out at Ibrahima Konate on five minutes.

But against a sense of trepidation from the home fans on this new-look Chelsea's a dose of realism smacked them in the face on 18 minutes when Liverpool took the lead.

A simple ball to Mohamed Salah on the right, saw the winger cut in on his left-footed, before sending a defence-splitter of a pass to in-running Luis Diaz, who, got between Reece James and Thiago Silva and stuck the ball past a prone Robert Sanchez.

Chelsea responded with a bit of attacking flair, albeit individual flair rather than team work.

Nicolas Jackson tried to shimmy his way through the Liverpool rearguard on 23 minutes but struck his edge of the area left-footer well wide of Misson Becker's goal.

Conor Gallagher produced a fine last-gasp dive to stop Salah scoring the second on 25 minutes as Chelsea looked desperately out of sorts all over the pitch.

The travelling Liverpool supporters thought they were cheering a second goal on 29 minutes when Salah thought he had beaten the offside trap set by Chelsea and he clipped the ball over Sanchez travelling Liverpool supporters thought they were cheering a second goal on 29 minutes when Salah thought he had beaten the offside trap set by Chelsea and he clipped the ball over Sanchez.

But after several minutes deliberation by VAR, he was adjudged to be offside.

Buoyed by this left off, the Blues played some of the best football and were ultimately rewarded on 37 minutes when when a corner which Liverpool failed to clear effectively the ball was headed back onto the six-yard line and Axel Disasi was on hand to lung and clip the ball past Becker.

Then sensationally the the Chelsea fans thought they had gone in to the lead in 39 minutes when Ben Chilwell latched into the ball, rounded Becker and coolly slotted home.

But the left wing back was offside and VAR confirmed it.

A wonderful passing move by the home side should have seen Jackson smash home from a right-sided James cross, but he arrowed the ball instead into row z of the Shed.

There were no changes by either side at half-time. Liverpool started as they did the first, in attack and Virgil van Dijk can count himself unlucky with a wonderfully curled right-footer that just edged past the crossbar on 48 minutes.

A shout for a penalty on 53 minutes for the Reds after Disasi appeared to handle the ball was dismissed by VAR as the visitors piled on the pressure.

But a quick counter attack on 54 minutes saw Becker parry away a powerful Chilwell angled slot.

Jurgen Klopp was the first manager to blink, bringing on Darwin Nunez and Curtis Jones on 65 minutes for Cody Gakpo and Diago Jota.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was given a yellow card for apparent time-wasting while taking a thrown-in.

Malo Gusto entered the fray for Chelsea on 76 minutes – off went Reece James.

He was quickly followed by Mykhailo Mudryk an Ian Maatsen – they replaced Chuckwuemeka and Raheem Sterling.

Lesley Ugochukwu then replaced Chilwell.


Teams

Chelsea, Sanchez, Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell, James, Gallagher, Enzo, Chuckwuemeka, Sterling, Jackson

Subs: Curcurella, Mudryk, Ugochuckwu, Dos Santos, Gusto, Maaten, Burstow, Bergstrom

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konte, Can Dijk, Robertson, Szoboszial, Mac Allister, Gakpo, Salah, Jota, Diaz

Subs: Gomez, Nunez, Jones, Elliott, Tsimikas, Matip, Doak, McConnell, Kelleher

Referee: Anthony Taylor

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