(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.
Now Chelsea have 10 and Liverpool 11 points up to Pep Guardiola’s sky blue men at the top of the table.
– A result neither of these teams can live with, says TV 2 expert Petter Myhre live.
– It is not impossible to catch up with Manchester City, but it is difficult, his colleague Erik Thorstvedt agrees.
– It is Manchester City that celebrates tonight, writes BBC.
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.
– There are three teams in the Premier League that hold a higher level than the others – Manchester City and these two, states an impressed TV 2 commentator Øyvind Alsaker.
VAR penalty, red card and overtime goal when City beat Arsenal
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 Mendy’s shoulder 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.
- Therefore, the reduction to 1-2 was deserved. 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.
- 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.
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 match when Mané put his arm straight in the face of Cesar Azpilicueta, but he escaped with a yellow card.
Manchester City 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.
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.
The numbers that should worry Klopp: – City have to have a proper form float
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.
– A selection from Thomas Tuchel, states Øyvind Alsaker on the TV 2 broadcast.
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.
Assistant Pepijn Lijnders led the red-clad while corona-infected Jürgen Klopp had to follow the match from home.