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Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

JAMES NALTON reports from Anfield

A LATE goal from Willian evened things up on a cold Saturday evening on Merseyside, where Liverpool and Chelsea shared the points.

Mohamed Salah extended his personal tally, retaining his place at the top of the Premier League goal-scoring charts with his 10th of the season, but it wasn’t enough to give his side the win.

Chelsea’s Brazilian substitute appeared to be crossing the ball before it looped over Simon Mignolet and into the goal at the Anfield Road end, but Willian insists that he meant to shoot.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the goal could have been prevented had referee Michael Oliver allowed him to make a substitution earlier. Adam Lallana had been waiting on the touchline for an age before finally being allowed on after the equaliser had been scored.

“We wanted to change the system. In my mind Ragnar Klavan would have been exactly in the position where Willian crossed the ball,” said Klopp. 

“Maybe we would have blocked the cross, so it doesn’t feel too good when we couldn’t change the system because the ref thought we were playing for time or something else.

“I have no idea why he said no, the assistant next to me was prepared, I was prepared, the player was prepared.”

His side had taken the lead when Philippe Coutinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined to send Salah through for a rare right-footed goal.

The Egyptian’s subdued celebration was a mark of respect for those killed in his homeland a day earlier, where a terror attack on a northern Sinai mosque left 305 dead.

Salah was Liverpool’s stand-out player throughout the game, along with Alberto Moreno, who recovered well from his poor showing in Seville during the week.

For Chelsea, Eden Hazard was a constant threat to the opposition’s flimsy midfield. He and Alvaro Morata couldn’t quite work their way through, but Willian got the goal their play deserved, whether he meant it or not.

Neither side left anything on the pitch, and the two managers praised the work rate shown by each set of players during the game.

“Both teams played with great intensity from the start until the end,” said Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. 

“When you play at Anfield it’s not simple because you play against a really strong team and you play against a particular atmosphere. I think we must be pleased despite the draw.”
 

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