Reds rule the roost at Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
Reds boss, Jurgen Klopp was triumphant at Chelsea last season and looked to repeat the same feat at Stamford Bridge and inflict the first defeat for new Blues boss, Antonio Conte in a Friday night encounter mid September. Liverpool started on the front foot, after Georgino Wijnaldum’s effort was saved by Thibaut Courtois from a cross by Nathaniel Clyne. On his return to face his former Blues, Daniel Sturridge tested Courtois in the opening minute and a half from an assist by Sadio Mane. Following a foul by Blues captain, Branislav Ivanovic on Wijnaldum, Liverpool opened the scoring in the seventeenth minute, as after build up play from a set piece with James Milner, a precise cross from Philippe Coutinho, fell to Dejan Lovren on the right, whose volley from the centre of the box was fired into the bottom left corner, past a despairing dive by Courtois. In the twenty fifth minute, from a quick throw in by Milner, the ball was blasted across the face of the goal by Sturridge. On the half hour mark, the Blues pressed forward with a through ball by N’Golo Kante which was struck against the outside netting of the right post from Willian. Three minutes later, after Eden Hazard was pushed into the advertising boards by Clyne, a whipped in free kick by Willian, was headed on by David Luiz, but safely caught from Reds keeper, Simon Mignolet. But Liverpool surged further ahead in spectacular fashion on thirty six minutes, when from Milner’s throw in, the ball was only half cleared by Gary Cahill, and from the outside of the box, Reds captain, Jordan Henderson hit an unstoppable strike into the top right corner with power and precision. It was all to do for Chelsea as from Willian’s corner, Luiz rose to head the ball over the upright, three minutes later. In the forty fourth minute, Mignolet made a save from a header by Ivanovic, following a headed pass by Diego Costa. On fifty one minutes, an in swinging cross by Willian, was palmed away with a flying dive by Mignolet. Liverpool then made the first change of Sturridge with Divock Origi. But on sixty one minutes, the Blues pulled a goal back, as Hazard brought the play in from the left, and from a ball over by Nemanja Matic at close range, Diego Costa had the simple task of turning the ball over the line from a short distance. Five minutes later, Costa had another chance but shot straight at Mignolet, from a knock on by Oscar after a long delivery by Ivanovic. But on eighty one minutes, the Reds could have added a third from a cross by Milner and then a downward header by Origi which produced a spectacular save by Courtois under the foot of the post. Liverpool then switched Coutinho with Lucas, before a triple substitution by Chelsea with Victor Moses on for Willian, then Cesc Fabregas replacing Matic and Pedro taking over from Oscar. At the end, the Reds brought on Kevin Stewart for Wijnaldum, but despite the changes the score remained at 2-1 for a Friday night take away of all three points by Liverpool in London’s SW6.