Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: player, hero and villain ratings as Man City lone winner in title race

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The pair have not been able to close the gap with the current Premier League leaders.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 02, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by John Powell / Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

But the result did neither side any good in an attempt to catch runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

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The first half turned out to be a frenetic affair, with all four goals scored.

However, Chelsea responded superbly and made sure to get into the interval level.

Matteo Kovacic scored a goal for the candidate of the season when his diving 30-yard volley left visiting goaltender Caoimhin Kelleher with no luck.

And the home side was tied in stoppage time thanks to the compound finish of Christian Pulasic.

Both teams had chances in the second half, but a point each was a good result.

This means Man City’s grip on first place has now tightened. Liverpool, third, are 11 points behind with one game less and Chelsea, second, are behind Pep Guardiola’s side by 10 points.

Heroes

– Matteo Kovacic: what a strike from Chelsea midfielder. After the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge turned flat and frustrations started to kick in, they needed a bit of sparkle to get them back into the game. The Croatia international provided just that. It’s as good a volley as you’ll ever see.

– Sadio Mane: It has been a difficult time for the Liverpool forward and his performance against Leicester in the last game was the low point. But Mane’s goal would have been a burden on his shoulder and he was the Reds’ sharpest forward throughout. It’s a shame that he now travels to the African Cup of Nations have apparently rebounded.

– Coimhin Kelleher: The Irishman is still a relatively new keeper given his lack of senior appearances. But in Alisson’s absence, Kelleher got up superbly. He smartly sidelined Pulisic when the scores were tied and made several other smart saves. No luck with both goals.

Sadio Mane celebrates his first goal in Liveprool’s draw with Chelsea. Photo: DRIAN DENNIS / AFP via Getty Images

The villains

-Trévor Chalobah: only he will know why he leaned down to clear his head which gave Mane a chance on a plate. A costly mistake.

– Fabinho: particularly in difficulty in the first half, made the Brazilian. He was too passive and allowed the Chelsea midfielder to attack in numbers. A rare day off.

– James Milner: the veteran midfielder made a stupid foul which led to Chelsea’s free kick ahead of Kovacic’s goal. He should know a lot better given his experience.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Mendy 7, Chalobah 5 (Jorginho 70; 6), Silva 6, Rudiger 7, Azpilicueta 6, Kante 7, Kovacic 8, Alonso 6, Mount 6, Havertz 6 (Hudson-Odoi 79), Pulisic 7.

Liverpool: Kelleher 7, Alexander-Arnold 6, Van Dijk 6, Konate 6, Tsimikas 6, Fabinho 5, Henderson 6, Milner 5 (Keita 69; 5), Mane 8 (Jones 90), Jota 5 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 69; 5) , Salah 7.

What’s next for Liverpool?

The Reds face Arsenal in the semi-final first leg of the Carabao Cup.

Klopp’s team will travel to Emirates Stadium on Thursday, January 6 (7:45 p.m.).


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