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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020


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Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool

Chelsea v Liverpool. Klopp v Lampard. Challengers v Champions.

It’s a Super Sunday worthy of the name. Kick-off at Stamford Bridge is in a little over five minutes.

We’ll have the team news in a moment.

TEAM NEWS: Just one change for Chelsea — Kovacic starts in place of Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea: Kepa, James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Havertz, Werner, Mount.

TEAM NEWS: Liverpool new boy Thiago Alcantara is in line to make his Reds debut as he takes his place on the bench. Fabinho starts at centre-half with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip both injured.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

KICK OFF: Both sets of players and the match officials take a knee before kick off – and we’re underway at the Bridge.

3 mins – Werner tries to run at Fabinho in the Liverpool area but the Reds’ deputising centre-half gets his body position just right and forces Werner into a soft foul.

5 mins – Trent Alexander-Arnold tries to clip the ball around the corner to Salah, but Kepa is alert to the danger and scampers off his line to claim the ball as it bounces through.

9 mins – Andy Robertson gets down the left side on the overlap to win a Liverpool corner. He gets two bites at the cherry to get a good ball into the Chelsea box but both are headed clear.

11 mins – Salah wriggles his way towards goal and goes to ground in the Chelsea area. There’s a roar for a penalty but it sounded like it came from the Liverpool sideline rather than from anyone in the vicinity of the incident.

12 mins – Wijnaldum has a sighter from 20+ yards out but it’s always curling wide and Kepa had it well covered to boot.

14 mins – A bit of a rush of blood for Kepa who leaves his goal unguarded to try to mop up a ball which ricocheted into his area. Salah gets to it first out on the right and turns it back towards Firmino who is ready to slot it into the empty net, but Christensen is covering and gets there in the nick of time for Chelsea.

17 mins – Chelsea move the ball quickly on the counter but it’s Kante who is furthest forward in the box and he takes a moment before turning back to look for a team-mate, and whatever opportunity was once there is gone.

19 mins – Werner v Fabinho is shaping up to be a very intriguing battle. Chelsea move the ball up to the striker very quickly and once again, he’s one on one with Fabinho. The Brazilian stands his ground and wins this round as well.

23 mins – Kovacic splits the Liverpool defence with a chipped pass from deep. Mason Mount runs in behind but there’s just a fraction too much weight on it and it bounces into Alisson’s arms.

31 mins – It’s gone a little flat these last few minutes. Alonso switches the ball to James who has made a run forward on the right wing, but Robertson cuts out his cross.

32 mins – Chelsea’s best chance so far! Werner tries to clip the ball past Fabinho but it lands back at his feet in a much better position. He takes it on and tries to roll it past Alisson into the bottom corner. The keeper’s scrambling but it rolls a foot wide.

36 mins – Henderson picks out Robertson at the back post but he’s caught in two minds between smashing his volley and side-footing it. He picks the latter but sidefoots it into the ground and harmlessly wide. Should have done better.

38 mins – Havertz squares to Werner who fluffs his lines over a relatively straightforward chance. Whatever blushes there may have been are spared as Havertz is ruled offside once the move has come to its natural end.

41 mins – Havertz delivers a dangerous free onto the Liverpool penalty spot but Marcos Alonso is the only one who attacks it with any sort of conviction and it’s too high for him.

43 mins – Big moment here at the end of the first half. Christensen rugby tackles Mane and is shown a yellow card but Paul Tierney is having a second look at the monitor to see if it should be upgraded to red…

45+1 mins — RED CARD! Andreas Christensen is sent off. Kepa was racing out to clear as he committed the foul but it looks like Mane would just have gotten there first, which makes it a denial of a goalscoring opportunity.

The pass from Jordan Henderson to set that up was wonderful, for what it’s worth.

45+2 mins — Alexander-Arnold has a go from the resulting free kick but it’s just left and wide.

Substitutions: Chelsea are forced into a change following that Christensen red card; Fikayo Tomori replaces Havertz.

And for Liverpool, Thiago makes his debut in red, replacing Jordan Henderson; that change may be due to injury. 

SECOND HALF: We’re underway. How will Chelsea’s 10 men try to contain Liverpool now?

47 mins – Geoff Shreeves has the injury news on the touchline for Sky Sports: Henderson had a tight thigh which explains the Liverpool change.

48 mins – Liverpool have Chelsea pinned back in these first few minutes of the second half. Every time Chelsea get it clear, it’s back again just as quickly.


GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (Mane, 50)

And Liverpool’s breakthrough comes! It’s a lovely move involving all of the front three as Salah plays in Firmino behind the Chelsea defence, he clips the ball back towards the middle, and Mane makes a run across the front of Reece James before glancing a header into the far corner past a helpless Kepa.

53 mins – Liverpool are right back on the front foot again as they look to find a second and put this game to bed quickly.


GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool (Mane, 54′)

Oh, Kepa. If there was an accident waiting to happen, it’s happened.

It’s a disaster for the Chelsea keeper as Liverpool double their lead. Mane chases him down after losing possession and Kepa is far too casual with his clearance. Mane blocks it down with an outstretched leg and rolls it into the empty net. It’s great workrate and determination but when it comes to the finish, he won’t have many easier than that this season.

61 mins – The ball falls to Salah on the edge of the box but his shot is deflected off Tomori and goes behind for a corner.

And then another one.

63 mins — Substitution: Jurgen Klopp freshens things up in midfield as James Milner comes on to replace Naby Keita.

65 mins – Thiago tries to pick out Wijnaldum who makes a run in from his position on the right wing but the cross is just a fraction too high.

66 mins – Wijnaldum gets himself into another dangerous position and this time gets his shot away, forcing Kepa to save with his feet at the near post.


Werner is clipped by Thiago in the box and Chelsea have an opportunity to make this rather interesting for the last 15 minutes…

SAVED! It’s not a great penalty from Jorginho who takes a stutter step and puts it to Alisson’s left but it’s not in the corner and the keeper stops it.

79 mins – Salah and Alexander-Arnold appear to have a bit of debate about who is going to hit a free just outside the Chelsea area. In the end, Salah tips it, Alexander-Arnold curls it and it’s just off target.

Substitution: Double sub for Chelsea as Barkley and Abraham replace Kovacic and Jorginho.

82 mins – Liverpool come forward again and Alexander-Arnold hangs up toward the back post for Mane, but James gets there first at puts it behind for a corner.

The corner is only cleared as far as the edge of the box where Thiago is waiting. He backs himself and has a go but it zips wide of Kepa’s post without forcing a save.

84 mins – Another chance for Chelsea to make this interesting for the final few minute. Tammy Abraham goes across Alisson but the Liverpool keeper is equal to it and pushes it safely away. 

86 mins — Substitution: Another Liverpool change as Minamino replaces Firmino.

90 mins – There’ll be three additional minutes and then Liverpool will join Everton, Arsenal and Crystal Palace on top of the Premier League with six points apiece.

90+2 mins – Mane has a go for his hattrick from 30 yards — and he catches it well. It takes a nick off Tomori and Kepa does well to save it.

90+3 mins – And one last chance for Liverpool as Salah rolls Kante in the Chelsea box, fires a shot that hits Kepa in the chest, but the rebound comes to Wijnaldum too quickly for him to knock it into the net.

Liverpool can be very pleased with a job well done as they make it two wins from two in reasonably comfortable fashion.

Sadio Mane’s double early in the second half was more than enough to put the game to bed against a Chelsea side who, if they fancy themselves as genuine title contenders, were far too timid in their approach.

Even if Jorginho had converted his penalty to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes to play, the suspicion is that Liverpool would have had enough to see the game out.

That’s it from us for the moment. Thanks very much for reading.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly


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