Chelsea – Liverpool: A first-half red card took much of the drama out of a much-anticipated meeting between new-look Chelsea and reigning champions Liverpool on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Andreas Christensen was sent off for a DOGSO tackle of Sadio Mane in the 45th minute and Sadio Mane scored twice in the early throes of the second half in a 2-0 Liverpool win.
Liverpool moves to 2-0 on the young season while Chelsea falls to 1-1.
Kepa Arrizabalaga made a silly error leading to the Reds second goal and will only increase the pressure on Chelsea to seal the arrival of a new goalkeeper (Eduoard Mendy is reported to be en route to London).
Chelsea next visits West Brom while Liverpool is home to Arsenal.
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Notes from Chelsea – Liverpool
1. Christensen madness sucks life out of fixture (at least for neutrals): A terrific Jordan Henderson long ball sent Sadio Mane into a race for the ball with Kepa Arrizabalaga, but Christensen was worried about the Senegalese attacker and used a tackle better suited for the NFL games later Sunday. The Blues would play down a man for a half-minute and the entire second half and Lampard would need to withdraw Kai Havertz for Fikayo Tomori. There was little chance the already-shorthanded Blues would get anything done and it only took a few minutes to end the hopes of the game.
2. Werner nearly sours Thiago debut: Jurgen Klopp found it laughable when asked before the game whether Thiago Alcantara could start after arriving from Bayern Munich this week but he was fine to go 45 minutes in the new system. The steady, technical midfielder was as advertised in his Premier League debut until he gave away a penalty to Werner. Alisson, however, stopped Jorginho’s low penalty in the 75th minute and took away any hopes for a grandstand finish.
3. Kepa is a mess: Chelsea knows its need an upgrade at goalkeeper thanks to Kepa Arrizabalaga’s unsteady 2019-20 season, and the Spaniard made two terrible decisions on Sunday. The first was bailed out by Andreas Christensen on the goal line but the second wouldn’t be anything but a Liverpool goal as Arrizabalaga somehow lost track of Sadio Mane, who is pretty good, and passed the ball directly to him in front of goal. Eduoard Mendy is supposed to arrive any day and Arrizabalaga would’ve known this, so why not play Willy Caballero?
Man of the Match
Mane delivered the goals but Alisson Becker made some fine saves including the penalty stop on Jorginho
Chelsea – Liverpool recap
Timo Werner was active in the Liverpool third when the ball got there but the Reds had hold of possession early in the match.
Shaky play from Kepa Arrizabalaga nearly put Liverpool in front as Mohamed Salah beat the keeper to a loose ball and crossed for Roberto Firmino only to see Andreas Christensen block the in-tight effort for a corner.
N’Golo Kante and Werner both wasted promises chances in the first 20 minutes, the latter’s wayward touch allowing Fabinho to break up the play.
Mason Mount couldn’t reach a long ball from Marcos Alonso in the 23rd, Liverpool tested in its organization.
Werner drove to the arc to snap a shot toward Alisson that bounded wide of the Liverpool goal. He badly missed a chance to finish when an offside Kai Havertz slid the ball through the 18.
Christensen was initially given a yellow for tackling Sadio Mane in the 45th minute in what could’ve easily been a red card.
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Lampard took Havertz off at the break in favor of Fikayo Tomori, while Jurgen Klopp responded by handing a debut to Thiago Alcantara in place of Henderson.
The Reds breakthrough took less than five minutes, Mane turning a header home after Salah slid Firmino into the right side of the box for a cutback.
Kepa handed the game to Mane on a platter with a terrible decision in the 54th. Goodnight, right?
Maybe not. Werner kept grinding and won a penalty off Thiago that withstood VAR review but not Alisson’s right paw. The Liverpool keeper waited out Jorginho’s slow run-up to keep this sheet clean.
Alisson then denied Tammy Abraham in the 84th minute, Chelsea still hoping to produce a miraculous comeback.
Van Dijk saw a late chance corralled by Arrizabalaga in the 87th.