Liverpool-Chelsea ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL — Liverpool and Chelsea failed to improve their poor Premier League position as they played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield. There were few real chances for..
ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL — Liverpool and Chelsea failed to improve their poor Premier League position as they played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
There were few real chances for either side in a low-quality game that showed exactly why both are ensconced firmly in mid-table.
Chelsea debutant Mykhailo Mudryk was a rare bright spot, threatening the Reds’ defence with his pace and invention during a second-half cameo.
However, both managers were ultimately left to reflect on a point that does little to aid their push for a place in the top four.
For all the negativity around both these teams this season, Chelsea can at least cling to the hope that their ongoing spending spree might bring about a sudden improvement.
Mudryk’s appearance off the bench in the second half here certainly hinted at that, the Ukrainian tormenting Liverpool’s defence in his brief time on the pitch.
If his fellow signings can make a similar impact going forward, then it is not hard to see things clicking pretty quickly for Graham Potter’s side.
In fact, a late push for the Champions League might even be within reach.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, it looks far less likely that they will be able to pull off a rapid turnaround in their fortunes.
The club continues to insist that there will be no more big-money January additions following the signing of Cody Gakpo.
And if that is indeed the case, then improvement feels unlikely until there is a sudden easing of injury problems in the frontline.
The Reds desperately need Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz back to give them sufficient cutting edge to regularly win games and that isn’t happening any time soon.
All is not completely lost for Jurgen Klopp’s side, though, with a rare clean sheet in this game at least offering reason for optimism.
It was the Reds’ first Premier League shutout in nine games and second in as many outings in all competitions after Wolves were kept at bay last time out.
Things might not be clicking up top, but stopping the opposition from scoring is a good starting point for any team looking to turn their form around.
FINAL: Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
FULLTIME: All over at Anfield and it ends with both sides getting a point. You’d have to say that is probably deserved given the real lack of quality on show.
90th min (+3): Nunez thinks he has a chance to win it when a deflected Fabinho shot falls to him, but the flag is up and Azpilicueta made the block anyway.
90th min: Five minutes to be added on.
87th min: Henderson is played in down the right by Nunez but Azpilicueta is in the right place at the right time to nod the cross away.
80th min: Liverpool changing things up again, Jones, Henderson and Fabinho replacing Gakpo, Elliott and Bajcetic.
Chelsea, meanwhile, swap Havertz, Chalobah and Mount for Chukwuemeka, Azpilicueta and Aubameyang.
76th min: Nunez isolates Thiago Silva one-on-one and beats him for pace on the outside but his well-struck, left-footed shot is straight at Kepa.
72nd min: Milner now heading off after that yellow, with Alexander-Arnold his replacement.
The young Scouser has a big job on against Mudryk, who has been electric since coming on.
67th min: And now Mudryk almost gets away down the left, forcing Milner into a foul that brings a deserved booking.
65th min: Brilliant feet from Mudryk in the box allows him to fashion a shooting chance, but his attempt is into the sidenetting.
He looks lively!
62nd min: Nunez now on for Liverpool, with Keita making way and Elliott dropping into midfield.
55th min: Mykhailo Mudryk getting his Chelsea debut, entering the fray in place of Lewis Hall.
50th min: Liverpool have started this half brightly, penning Chelsea in and creating chances.
The latest sees Keita volley goalward from just inside the box before a block in a deep position saves the visitors.
46th min: Liverpool get the game restarted… and a Konate lump forward very nearly deceives Kepa in the air before drifting inches wide! That would have been a decent start for Liverpool.
HALFTIME: The whistle sounds on an even but fairly poor first half of football. Chelsea had the tactical advantage in the early stages, but Liverpool have since found ways of playing through the press.
45th min (+1): Keita picks out Salah with a beauty of an outside-of-the-boot pass but, unusually for him, the Egyptian horribly miscues his finish.
45th min: Four minutes of added time.
39th min: Thiago gets a deflected shot away that Kepa gets down to collect with ease, but Liverpool starting to improve in the last five minutes.
31st min: Cucurella is down and needs treatment, but it’s nothing that will force him out of the game.
And now Chelsea go close as Badiashile nods a free-kick straight at Alisson when he had a glorious chance to score at the Kop end. Liverpool hanging on.
25th min: The ball falls to Gallagher at the edge of the area but his effort is tame and easily collected by Alisson.
20th min: Gakpo picks Hall’s pocket at the edge of the box but smashes his attempt way over. Needed more composure there.
16th min: This has very quickly descended into a cagey, low-quality affair. No surprise, perhaps, given this is ninth against 10th in the Premier League.
7th min: Gakpo blasts over after Salah tees him up in the box following a Bajcetic ball in behind.
The Dutchman really should have done better.
3rd min: Chelsea think they have taken the lead when Havertz pokes home after Thiago Silva had hit the post following a corner delivery.
Unfortunately for the visitors. Thiago had strayed into an offside position before shooting and the goal is chalked off by VAR.
1st min: Chelsea get us started at Anfield.
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