Chelsea held out with 10 males for the complete second-half to frustrate Liverpool as the primary heavyweight conflict of the Premier League season between two title contenders ended 1-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
Kai Havertz’s looping header put the guests in entrance earlier than Reece James was sent-off in first-half stoppage time for handball on his personal purpose line and Mohamed Salah transformed the ensuing penalty.
But Jurgen Klopp’s males did not make their man benefit rely within the second-half because the European champions confirmed resilience to dig out a treasured level that strengthened their title credentials.
READ ALSO: Manchester City Thrash Arsenal 5-0
Both sides and Manchester United, with Cristiano Ronaldo again at Old Trafford, are anticipated to pose Manchester City a a lot harder problem to retain the Premier League this season.
And the primary assembly between these 4 sides of the marketing campaign didn’t disappoint with a raucous Anfield environment the accompaniment to 90 minutes of excessive drama.
Liverpool’s title defence was knocked off target by a sequence of long-term accidents to key gamers final season.
However, with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip restored in central defence, permitting Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to play their extra acquainted midfield roles, the Reds’ mix of intense urgent and counter-attacking was again to its greatest early on.
Klopp made the daring name to present 18-year-old Harvey Elliott simply his second Premier League begin with Thiago Alcantara left on the bench.
Elliott fired the primary shot inches extensive earlier than Henderson then missed an excellent likelihood to open the scoring when he volleyed extensive on his weaker left foot from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inch-perfect cross.
Chelsea had barely threatened till they hit the hosts with a sucker punch on 22 minutes when Havertz’s header brilliantly guided James’s nook into the far nook.
The Blues then might have put the sport past Liverpool earlier than the game-changing incident on the finish of the first-half.
Romelu Lukaku introduced his return to English soccer by scoring on his second Chelsea debut in a routine 2-0 win at Arsenal final weekend.
The Belgian struggled when up in opposition to Van Dijk, however obtained the higher of Matip to ship Mason Mount by means of on purpose and the England midfielder’s shot flashed throughout purpose.
Elliott skied one other superb likelihood properly over on the different finish, however Liverpool had been struggling to select holes within the Chelsea again 5 till a nook deep into first-half stoppage time.
Matip’s header got here again off the crossbar and within the goalmouth scramble that ensued James stopped Sadio Mane’s effort crossing the road along with his hand.
There appeared little intent from the England worldwide, however as soon as referee Anthony Taylor awarded the penalty following a VAR overview, he had little choice however to ship him off for denying a transparent goalscoring alternative.
Chelsea gamers had been livid on the determination with Edouard Mendy and Antonio Rudiger booked even earlier than they surrounded Taylor at half-time.
Thomas Tuchel needed to take care of one other blow on the break as N’Golo Kante was pressured off with a knock he picked up within the first-half.
Tuchel additionally despatched on Thiago Silva for his first look of the season for Havertz to shore up his defence forward of the anticipated Liverpool siege.
But the house facet had been largely restricted to efforts from lengthy vary as Van Dijk, Fabinho and Robertson examined Mendy, whereas Henderson curled a shot inches extensive.
Chelsea might even have stolen all three factors late on when Alisson Becker made a meal of stopping Mateo Kovacic’s strike on the break.
Salah had one final likelihood for a winner on the different finish however by no means appeared snug on his proper foot as his weak shot was simply gathered by Mendy.