Struggling Premier League heavyweights Liverpool and Chelsea played out a goalless draw at Anfield in Jurgen Klopp’s 1,000th game in management.
The clubs find themselves level on points in mid-table and Saturday’s 0-0 result does neither side’s hopes of challenging for the top four any good.
Kai Havertz thought he had given Chelsea the lead inside three minutes, only for VAR to rule it out for a tight offside, while Benoit Badiashile wasted a good opportunity.
New signing Mykhailo Mudryk was handed his debut in the second half and also went close for Chelsea, but there was to be no breakthrough at either end.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 21, 2023
Havertz turned the ball in from close range after Thiago Silva’s shot had hit the post and cannoned into his path, but his left foot was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Liverpool, who handed a full league debut to Stefan Bajcetic, survived another scare when Badiashile headed too close to Alisson from a few yards out.
The visitors turned to Mudryk before the hour mark after Cody Gakpo sent a number of attempts off target for Liverpool, and the big-money signing made a quick impact.
Some slick footwork allowed him to get a shot away, albeit into the side-netting, and an even better chance fell his way when failing to control a pass at the back post.
Shots on target proved hard to come by, though, with substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold also blazing over late on as the sides could not be separated in 90 minutes for a fifth successive meeting.
What does it mean? Familiar tale at Anfield
This showdown between Liverpool and Chelsea – teams more accustomed to battling it out at the top of the table – showed how far both sides have fallen this season.
Tenth-place Chelsea have now won just two of their past 10 matches in all competitions, while for eighth-place Liverpool it is one win in five games this calendar year.
A third successive league draw between the sides for the first time ever leaves them nine points off fourth-place Newcastle United, with Chelsea having played a game more.
Gakpo’s wait goes on
Liverpool forward Gakpo remains without a goal for his new club across four starts, during which time he has had 12 shots without scoring – just three of those on target.
Indeed, no Premier League player has had more shots without scoring than Gakpo when taking in all competitions into account since his debut on January 7.
Rare shutout for Reds
Klopp would have wanted nothing more than a morale-boosting win in his milestone match, but it just was not to be as Liverpool’s – and Chelsea’s – frustrating form continued.
If he is to take any positives out of this, it is that his side kept a first league clean sheet in nine games, and back-to-back shutouts in all competitions for only the second time this season.
There was again little between these two teams, who in addition to their league draws went all the way to penalties in the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals last season.
Key Opta Stats: Ten draws for Klopp against Chelsea
– Ten of Klopp’s 20 career games against Chelsea have been drawn, more than against any other side in his 1,000-match career.
– Since his first season in the Premier League in 2019-20, no manager has overseen more goalless draws than Potter (16), at least twice as many as any other boss.
– Bajetic (18y 91d) is the youngest player to start a Premier League game for Liverpool since Ben Woodburn against Stoke City in April 2017 (17y 175d), and the youngest Spaniard for any Premier League side since Cesc Fabregas against Birmingham City in May 2005 (18y 11d).
– Cesar Azpilicueta made his 500th appearance for Chelsea in all competitions, becoming the first non-English player to reach that milestone for the club.
– Chelsea are now without a win in their last six Premier League games on the road (D3 L3), their longest run in the competition since September-December 2015 (D3 L4).
Liverpool travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup fourth round in eight days’ time, while Chelsea have a two-week break ahead of hosting Fulham in the league.
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