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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Refreshed Sterling strikes with solo effort to leave semi-final on a knife edge

Eden Hazard had put Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot before a brilliant second half equaliser.

Britain Soccer League Cup Source: Jon Super

AN EXCELLENT STRIKE from Raheem Sterling gave Liverpool a deserved 1-1 draw with Chelsea in tonight’s first leg of the League Cup semi-final at Anfield.

The home side dominated possession throughout much of a high-intensity affair, but struggled to break down a stubborn and well-organised Chelsea outfit who were well backed up by the fine goalkeeping of Thibaut Courtois.

Having started brightly, Liverpool fell behind in the 18th minute when Emre Can fouled Eden Hazard inside the penalty area.

And the Belgian picked himself up to calmly tuck away the resulting spot-kick.

Source: ChelsVines/Vine

Liverpool pressed hard for an equaliser thereafter, and it duly came just before the hour through Sterling, who turned and sped away from Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill before finishing smartly.

Source: Ale Padin/Vine

Steven Gerrard went close to a winner midway through the second period, but the Liverpool captain’s measured left-footed shot struck the outside of the post.

With Chelsea seemingly content to head into the return leg with a draw, the hosts continued to go in search of an advantage to take to west London but one was not forthcoming, meaning both sides have work to do at Stamford Bridge.

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