Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool made it six points from six in the Premier League as a second-half show from Sadio Mané put away Frank Lampard’s side with relative ease at Stamford Bridge.
Only one change was made to the starting XI that claimed a 4-3 victory over Leeds last weekend, with Fabinho returning to the line-up and deputising alongside Virgil Van Dijk in place of the injured Joe Gomez.
The opening minutes of the game saw the visitors dominate possession, with the Chelsea gameplan being relatively clear from the start – soak up pressure and break on the counter with the pace of Timo Werner.
Frank Lampard’s tactics served his side well as Chelsea limited Liverpool to one attempt on target whilst also growing as an attacking threat themselves by the half-hour mark.
As the half-time break approached the match began to open up, with midfield battle proving to be particularly important as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the contest.
With the game wide open and Chelsea beginning to advance, Klopp’s men had a chance to counter-attack themselves and it is here where the home side suffered their first blow of the evening as Andreas Christensen was sent off on the stroke of half-time for bringing down Mané as the Senegalese wide-man looked to go through on goal.
The half-time break saw Klopp make a change, with Liverpool fans getting their first sight of new signing Thiago Alcântara as the Reds went about unlocking the door against the 10 men of Chelsea.
It didn’t take Liverpool long to take advantage of the extra man, as Mané headed home with aplomb to score the game’s opening goal in the 50th minute.
Link-up play between every member of the famed front three saw Roberto Frimino released in behind at the edge of the Chelsea area following neat play between himself and Mohamed Salah. An inch-perfect cross found Mané whose glancing header left Kepa Arrizabalaga no chance as the ball nestled into the side netting.
Liverpool pressed their advantage and minutes later had the ball in the back of the net yet again following a calamitous mistake from Kepa.
Being pressed by Liverpool’s attackers, the world-record Spanish goalkeeper dwelled in possession before misplacing a pass straight to Mané who turned the ball into the empty Chelsea net.
Following the second goal Liverpool took their foot off the throttle and began to pass the ball about, keeping possession well and looking to kill the game.
Despite their limited time on the ball and chances in attack, Chelsea still posed a threat through the speed of Werner, and it is this directness and pace which caught Liverpool out as the German was brought down for a penalty by new-boy Thiago.
With a 100pc success rate backing him, Jorginho stepped up to take the spot kick however, it was Liverpool’s Brazilian wall Alisson Becker who came up trumps once again for his side, diving down to his left and palming away the weak effort.
Liverpool continued to keep possession well following the penalty save however Chelsea continued to prove dangerous with the odd counter-attack as Alisson was called upon yet again in the 84th minute to deny Tammy Abraham.
Mané tried to score his hat-trick with a rasping effort which was well saved by Kepa, who also stopped a third goal by saving Salah’s effort, which proved to be the last action of the game.
Liverpool were dominant throughout, in truth, though their task was made easier by the sending off of Christensen, another mistake by Kepa, and a brilliant penalty save by Alisson. Champions performance.
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