(Chelsea-Liverpool 2-2) This was the football match neither team could afford to lose – if they are still to have hope of fighting for the league gold. Manchester City is the “winner” after 2-2 between Chelsea and Liverpool.
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Now Chelsea have 10 and Liverpool 11 points up to Pep Guardiola’s sky blue men at the top of the table (Liverpool have played one game less than the other two).
– A result neither of these teams can live with, says TV 2 expert Petter Myhre live.
Liverpool stopper Virgil van Dijk to Sky Sports:
– It is a big lead. They are closest to the title at the moment, but anything can still happen, the Dutchman believes.
– Manchester City is on top. The more points we are behind them, the happier they become. It was up to us to cut the gap, says Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta to Sky Sports.
It was a fireworks display of a New Year’s match at Stamford Bridge. Both the blue hosts and the red guests had saved on the rockets since the New Year celebration and lit them regularly on Sunday.
VAR penalty, red card and overtime goal when City beat Arsenal
– Yes, of course, César Azpilicueta answers whether Chelsea are disappointed with a draw, reproduced by the BBC.
Liverpool led 2-0 until the 42nd minute of the first half:
- First, Sadio Mané had sent Liverpool into the lead after a particularly poor choice by Trevoh Chalobah, who tried to clear with his head – instead of using his legs. Thus, Mané caught the ball, pulled himself beautifully free and put the ball in the net.
- Mohamed Salah scored 2-0 – his 23rd goal this season – against his former employer. It was a perfectly timed run by Salah, who put the ball over the shoulder of goalkeeper Mendy and into the net. Mendy probably thought the end would come in the farthest corner, but instead the ball came “the kitchen way”.
Chelsea were thus below 0-2 – despite the fact that they largely controlled the match. But then they came back and scored two in 245 seconds:
- Mateo Kovacic got a star hit, despite the fact that he had to back four or five meters before he could thunder on the volley. Reduction to 1-2 on a great single man performance.
- After 45 minutes came 2-2. Chelsea played fast forward – from Antonio Rüdiger to N’Golo Kante, who sent Christian Pulisic through. The American achieved a beautiful finish as a substitute goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher. – It was strange to be below 0-2, Pulisic said after the match.
Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Sadio Mané (Senegal) both played their last match before the Africa Cup of Nations starts in a week. Barely half a minute had passed from the first half when Mané put his arm straight in the face of César Azpilicueta, but he escaped with a yellow card.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel stated:
“I’m not a fan of early red cards, and I do not like to say that, because I have a great sense of Mané, but that is a red card, I’m sorry,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.
– It is the elbow up in the face, and it does not matter if it has been 20 seconds or 20 minutes. It’s a red card. It’s tough to accept in a match like this, says Tuchel.
Tuchel also pointed out that referee Anthony Taylor was quick to give Chelsea a red card when the teams met at Anfield in August (showed Reece James in overtime in the first half).
“It was a clear red card,” Azpilicueta said afterwards, according to the BBC.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is also going to the Africa Cup of Nations. He made some saves out of another world, not least at the start of the second half.
Chelsea pushed for victory at the end, and Alisson substitute Caoimhin Kelleher was no worse than his colleague on the opposite side of the pitch.
Tuchel strikes back after Lukaku’s play: – I do not like it
– It was a bit frustrating that we did not get a winning goal, but all in all it was fair, said Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic to BBC Sport.
– It must have been an incredible match for the audience, says Pepijn Lijnders, the assistant who led Liverpool while corona-infected Jürgen Klopp had to follow the match from home.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had previously chosen to exclude Romelu Lukaku from both the team and the squad.
– It has become too noisy before the match. It is too close to the battle to make a decision on what to do. It’s easier if he’s not in the squad. It is a difficult decision to make, but in my opinion it was the right one, the German said in an interview shown on TV 2 before the match.
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The background is an interview that Lukaku did with Sky Italia a few weeks ago. There, Lukaku said he did not like the system that Tuchel has chosen.
The problem must also have been that the Belgian gave the interview with Sky Italia without clearing it with Chelsea in advance – something that is very common in large football clubs, even at the Norwegian level.
Tuchel said he had spoken to Lukaku twice.
“Lukaku could have made a difference in this match,” Karen Carney told the BBC.
Liverpool stated in advance that Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip were all out of action due to suspicious corona tests. Jürgen Klopp said on Friday that three players had tested positive – but that they had not received an answer to the PCR tests.
Caoimhin Kelleher guarded the Liverpool cage in Alisson’s absence. Ibrahima Konaté came on for Matip. Andy Robertson is still serving time after the red card against Tottenham.