Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Liverpool
from Anfield. Manchester City's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace earlier this afternoon means that the pressure is back on Liverpool, who have dropped to second spot in the table once again. Chelsea, meanwhile, currently sit fourth in the table, just one point off third-placed Tottenham Hotspur and two points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United. Stay tuned!
LIVERPOOL: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita, Henderson; Mane, Firmino, Salah
CHELSEA: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Hudson-Odoi, Hazard, Willian
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made two changes to the team that started against Porto in the Champions League during the week, with Andrew Robertson and Joel Matip coming in for James Milner and Dejan Lovren. Fabinho, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson are the midfield three, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the final third.
As for Chelsea, the big news is that Eden Hazard will play as the false nine. Gonzalo Higuain and Olivier Giroud are both on the bench, as is Pedro with Callum Hudson-Odoi given the nod in attack. Ruben Loftus-Cheek also starts ahead of both Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic in midfield with Maurizio Sarri making some big decisions here. Kickoff is next!
KICKOFF: Liverpool kick things off here...
... there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium in these early moments, which is not a surprise. Liverpool have already had the chance to break into a wide position, but Keita was challenged by Rudiger and Chelsea have the throw. This really is a huge football match.
Bit of possession for Chelsea in the last couple of minutes, but they cannot advance past the half-way line with Keita biting into the challenge and Fabinho looking forward with the pass.
SAVE! Big save from Kepa to gather a strike from Salah, who had met a cross from Mane!
Mane again delivers into the Chelsea box, but Willian manages to gather before the away side win a throw-in. All of the early pressure, as expected, is coming from the home team here.
Hudson-Odoi is the target as Jorginho sends a long pass down the right, but Robertson does well to usher it behind for a goal kick. Liverpool can then build from the back once again.
Hazard goes down for Chelsea as the visitors look to break, but Fabinho is adjudged to have won the ball. Azpilicueta comes across to make his point to the referee, Chelsea aren't pleased.
Hudson-Odoi delivers a dangerous cross into the Liverpool box, but Alisson makes a flying punch and Liverpool can clear their lines. Smart break from Kante in that move.
Smart goalkeeping from Kepa to claim ahead of Mane, who had threatened to meet a cross from Salah. Salah then feeds Firmino moments later, but Kante is back to make the header.
Salah goes down inside the Chelsea box, but the referee is not interested. It was good defending from Luiz who came across to make the challenge there.
Decent little spell for Chelsea here as Loftus-Cheek takes the ball away from Van Dijk before Emerson makes a smart break down the left. This is a very, very good game of football.
The referee is letting every 50/50 challenge go at the moment, which is making it a very open game. Mane has just threatened to break into space, but Rudiger was across to challenge.
I would be astounded if there were not goals in this match with both teams showing their attacking intent in the opening 22 minutes. Keita has again just broken into a dangerous position, but crosses into the arms of Kepa. Wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium here.
SAVE! Easy enough save from Alisson to keep out Hazard's effort.
Ruiger looks in trouble here after grabbing his knee and falling to the ground.
Rudiger actually seems fine to continue, which is great news for Chelsea.
Robertson again delivers a dangerous cross into Firmino, but the Brazilian cannot gather the ball under his spell and Chelsea have a goal kick with 25 minutes on the clock here.
Jorginho attempts to find Hudson-Odoi with a high pass into the Liverpool box, but Alisson makes the claim and the home side build from the back again. Still goalless at Anfield.
CLOSE! Henderson has a powerful strike deflected wide of the Chelsea post!
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and Liverpool are still on the front foot, but Chelsea continue to cause problems on the counter-attack. You do get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be huge. It has been a very, very good game at Anfield.
CHANCE! Willian has a super chance for Chelsea after breaking into a dangerous position, but the Brazil international fires wide of the post after Hazard's run had taken Robertson away.
The counter-attack looks to be Chelsea's best chance of scoring this afternoon, and they have had some positive moments on the break. Hudson-Odoi and Willian both have real pace, while there are few better dribblers in world football than Hazard. Still all square at Anfield.
Loftus-Cheek finds space outside the Liverpool box, but the midfielder is crowded out and Van Dijk can smash clear. Again Hazard was dangerous on the counter-attack there.
Chelsea are using the ball well under pressure here, but Liverpool only need one mistake. It must be said that the first 37 minutes of this football match have flown past.
CHANCE! Huge chance for the home side as Salah finds Mane inside the Chelsea box, but the attacker's strike misses the post. It was super work from Salah once again there.
Rudiger again goes down holding his knee.
CHELSEA SUB! Christensen replaces Rudiger for the away side here.
Alisson clears straight to Loftus-Cheek and the shot looks to be on for the midfielder, but Liverpool have enough bodies back to make the clearance. Still goalless here.
Chelsea are on the front foot as we approach the half-time break.
YELLOW CARD! Azpilicueta (Chelsea) is booked for a foul on Mane.
Kepa makes a huge save with his feet to deny Firmino, but the flag had been raised.
We are into the second of three additional minutes at the end of the first period.
HALF TIME: LIVERPOOL 0-0 CHELSEA
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. That far from tells the full story, though, with both sides having chances to make the breakthrough. It has been a brilliant first 45 minutes of Premier League football at Anfield.
STATISTICS! Liverpool had 63% of the possession in the first period, while they managed four attempts, but just one of those was on target. Chelsea had three attempts, hitting the target just once. Just the one yellow card to report here, with Azpilicueta in the book for the visitors.
BENCH WATCH! Chelsea have already been forced into change, with Christensen taking the place of Rudiger late in the first period. Barkley, Giroud, Higuain, Kovacic and Pedro, though, are still all in reserve for the visitors. As for Liverpool, head coach Klopp has options in the shape of Milner, Origi, Shaqiri, Sturridge and Wijnaldum. Plenty of talent on the sidelines!
KICKOFF: Chelsea resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops.
All Liverpool in terms of possession in the early stages of the second period, with the Reds looking for space in the final third. Chelsea, though, are defending really well here.
SHOT! Keita strikes over the Chelsea crossbar from a dangerous position.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 CHELSEA (MANE)
Chelsea's resistance is broken as Mane rises high to head a Henderson cross into the back of the net! Not sure about the defending, but the home side take the lead at Anfield.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-0 CHELSEA (SALAH)
Liverpool double their lead in the 53rd minute as Salah finds space outside the Chelsea box before firing a stunner into the top corner of the net. Big moment in this game!
CHELSEA SUB! Higuain replaces Hudson-Odoi for the away side.
Firmino just misses the Chelsea post with a low strike!
OFF THE POST! Huge moment for Chelsea as Hazard breaks into the Liverpool box, but the Belgium international hits the post! Little over 30 minutes of this clash remaining at Anfield.
CHANCE! Another big chance for Hazard, but Alisson keeps out the attacker's close-range effort!
How Chelsea have not scored is incredible, with the Blues having some serious chances. Liverpool want a third, but they have to be very careful down the other end of the field.
Little over 25 minutes of the second period remaining, and it is a huge final 25 minutes.
SAVE! Kepa is on hand to keep out a curling strike from Salah.
LIVERPOOL SUB! Wijnaldum replaces Keita for the home side.
Little over 20 minutes of the second period remaining and Chelsea are still causing problems on the break, although Higuain has not seen too much of the ball thus far here.
A win for Liverpool puts them two points clear of City, who would then have a game in hand once again. Luiz has just had to clear a deep free kick from Henderson.
Possession football for Chelsea at the moment as they look to work some space in the final third. Barkley will soon become the away side's second change at Anfield.
Henderson again breaks into a crossing position before lifting the ball into the Chelsea box, but there are no takers. Still 2-0 as we head into the final 15 minutes of normal time here.
CHELSEA SUB! Barkley replaces Loftus-Cheek for the away side.
LIVERPOOL SUB! Milner replaces Henderson for the home side.
Little over 10 minutes of the second period remaining at Anfield.
Christensen has to come across to clear ahead of Firmino as Liverpool threaten to score a third, which would make sure of the points at this stage of the contest.
SAVE! Decent save from Kepa to keep out a strike from Firmino.
Wijnaldum attempts to find Firmino with a flick inside the box, but Christensen clears behind for a corner as we head for the final five minutes of football at Anfield.
Nothing much from Chelsea in the last few minutes as Liverpool continue to dominate.
Poor moment for Kepa as the Chelsea goalkeeper loses the ball to Mane, but the Senegal international runs out of room and the Blues are fortunate. Still 2-0 to the home side.
SAVE! Kepa has to keep out a powerful strike from Mane!
LIVERPOOL SUB! Shaqiri replaces Salah for Liverpool.
We are into the first of three additional minutes here.
SAVE! Comfortable for Alisson to keep out a header from Kante.
FULL TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 CHELSEA
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with goals from Mane and Salah seeing Liverpool record a 2-0 win over Chelsea, returning to the top of the Premier League table in the process. City won earlier; this title race is incredible! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live minute-by-minute commentary once again. Until next time!