Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table with a brilliant 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday evening.
With Manchester City winning 3-1 against Crystal Palace earlier in the day, Jurgen Klopp’s men were frustrated throughout the opening-half as Chelsea remained firm. It was a different matter after the break however as Sadio Mane headed home in the 51st minute before Mo Salah scored a stunner only minutes later to secure what could potentially be a vital win in the race for the league title..
Rare opportunities in the first-half
Salah did have a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring early onas he volleyed Andrew Robertson’s cross towards goal but Kepa was equal to his effort and held well.
Eden Hazard also had a chance as he wriggled away from the Liverpool defence but could only put a tame effort straight at Alisson. Mane was then the next to go extremely close as he was picked out by Salah but curled his effort marginally wide of the post.
Mane nudges Liverpool ahead and Salah blasts in the second
The forward was not to be denied though as the Reds found a route beyond the stubborn Chelsea defence just after the break. Jordan Henderson did excellently to win the ball back in the Blues’ penalty area and dinked the ball to the far post where the unmarked Mane was waiting to nod the ball into the unguarded net.
The advantage was doubled only a few minutes later and it was Salah once again who stepped up. The Egyptian picked up the ball on the right-flank and drove inside before unleashing an absolute thunder bolt into the far corner and beyond the reach of Kepa.
Hazard could potentially have halved the deficit for Chelsea as he ghosted in behind the Reds’ defence and took the ball down with an exquisite touch. The Belgian just failed to score though as his effort bounced back off of the post. He then went close again but was denied from close range by Alisson.
Liverpool close out wonderful win
By this stage, the game was beginning to open up and Liverpool pushed for a third as both Salah and Mane continued to test Kepa in the Chelsea goal. As it happened though, the Reds did not need another as they picked up another three points and reclaim their position at the top of the Premier League.
This game really could have been difficult at various points for the Reds. They were frustrated by the visitors but kept to their game plan and eventually got the lead that all of their play deserved. Following that, Chelsea really did push but credit has to go to Klopp’s men for holding firm and closing out what could be an historic win.
Liverpool: Alisson (6); Robertson (7), van Dijk (8), Matip (7), Alexander-Arnold (7); Keita (7) (Wijnaldum (), 66′), Fabinho (7), Henderson (8) (Milner (N/A), 77′); Mane (8), Firmino (7), Salah (7) (Shaqiri (N/A), 89′).
Chelsea: Kepa (6); Emerson (6), Luiz (7), Rudiger (6) (Christensen (6), 40′), Azpilicueta (7); Loftus-Cheek (6) (Barkley (N/A), 76′), Jorginho (6), Kante (7); Hudson-Odoi (5) (Higuain (6), 56′), Hazard (7), Willian (5).
Goals: Mane (51′), Salah (53′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Azpilicueta (44′)
Red Cards: N/A
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