0-1, Min.14, Alexander-Arnold, 0-2, Min.30, Firino, 1-2, Min.71, Kante.
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool - Streetwise Reds outmanoeuvre Lampard's Blues to maintain perfect start 
Photo: Getty Images - Andrew Powell

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool - Streetwise Reds outmanoeuvre Lampard's Blues to maintain perfect start 

Liverpool made it six from six to remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

joshuakerr97
Joshua Kerr

In football, there is a significant difference between winning ugly and winning lucky. It's difficult to tell what to apply today, but the facts still remain for Liverpool.

Six wins out of six, five points clear of the champions Manchester City, Liverpool overcame a potential banana skin to clear a gargantuan hurdle at Stamford Bridge. 

This was the fixture where the Reds were to drop points for the first time in the league last season, and today's evidence typified how much this winning-machine of a team have evolved under Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool have certainly become more streetwise, personified in the two well-worked goals in the first half as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino put the league front-runners in the ascendancy before a more cynical side was introduced in the second half, running down the clock, breaking up fouls and refusing to give up territory.

Chelsea to their credit, similarly to the UEFA Super Cup game rallied an impressive second-half display culminating in a succulent individual goal from the ever so reliable workhorse that is N'Golo Kante

Adrian had to make some impressive and important saves in key moments to ensure that Liverpool remain the only team in England to maintain their 100 per cent start to the new campaign. 

What can be said for the Blues is that Franks Lampard's players are running themselves into the ground for their manager.  The team are behind the Chelsea legend and believe in their young manager. The sad reality for Lampard and co is that today they ran into a team that has been oiled together to consistently challenge for success on all fronts. The European champions were utterly merciless and inhibited a gritty and savvy persona to keep the home side at arm's length.

The imperious defensive duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip were particularly outstanding to ensure Klopp's team remain almost untouchable to the rest of their rivals. The pair have been utterly irresistible at times since the turn of the new year and their performances have played a huge roll in ensuring that Klopp's team have gone nearly an entire campaign with a single winning sequence. 

A lot was made this week about Liverpool's record away from home against the so-called 'big six'. One win in 12 against the league's established elite suggested that these were the matches that would offer definitive proof of perhaps why the title eluded the Reds last season.

97 points wasn't enough to deliver the Holy Grail back to Anfield and a record-breaking season that saw just one Premier League defeat - away at Manchester City - showcased that there is no reason for concern in this regard, but draws at Arsenal, Manchester United and of course Stamford Bridge, last season, was where the title was lost for Klopp's Reds.

This was a display that was reminiscent of champions. Despite fingernails being barely in-tact by the end of 90 minutes, this felt like a huge milestone for Liverpool.

The story of the match

Chelsea's recent uninspiring home form immediately lay down the task for Liverpool with the Londoners still winless at Stamford Bridge this season. This meant that nothing less than a win would be seen as a disappointment when Klopp's European champions came waltzing into town.

It was the relentless approach from Liverpool early on that ensured that Klopp's Reds took full advantage, swiftly swatting aside the hosts in the early exchanges, catching them cold with a duo of sucker punches following two brilliantly worked first-half free-kicks.

The opener was a thing of real beauty. After the Reds were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the Chelsea box, Mohamed Salah nonchalantly rolled the ball into the path of the onrushing Alexander-Arnold who thundered home a sweet shot into the top corner. Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper was left powerless on this occasion.

Chelsea quickly responded to being pegged back and even found the net after Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had levelled just minutes after Liverpool had taken the lead. 

The Reds ironically following their VAR controversy in Naples had the new video system to thank for maintaining the lead after Mason Mount was penalised for straying marginally offside in the build-up to the goal and it was quickly chalked off much to the bemusement of Lampard.

Liverpool's relentlessness suddenly came to play and they could begin to taste blood. The second goal was another from the training ground after Alexander-Arnold rolled a free-kick into the path of Andy Robertson who delivered a perfect cross that was met by the head of the oncoming Roberto Firmino.

The travelling support erupted following yet another strike from their Brazilian phenomenon and serenaded the No.9 on a ground they have rarely tasted victory.

Liverpool were firmly in control, their strengths paraded by the depth of resources amongst the substitute's bench: four England internationals, past and present, James Milner, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and U17 World Cup winner Rhian Brewster. Throw Xherdan Shaqiri to that lucrative list and Liverpool's outfield options are quite considerable.

The second half unleashed a transformed Liverpool side, this exuberant and flamboyant style we have become so accustomed to appeared to have vanished. A grittier and cynical side suddenly came to the fore. 

Robertson and Alexander-Arnold continued to tirelessly work the lines with their prodigious crossing evident yet again for all to see. 

Liverpool's game management has grown significantly over the years and their European knowhow disrupted any form of momentum Chelsea began to innovate. The visitors took their time with goal-kicks and throw-ins, for which saw Alexander-Arnold booked. Klopp and Lampard were even seen in a tactical debate on the sidelines after the Chelsea manager was seen responding with a totting-up gesture following Liverpool's time-wasting offences.

However, Chelsea refused to give up and would not go down quetly. With 19 minutes remaining, the inspiring Kante took matters into his own hands and suddenly attacked. The World cup winner caught the often reliable Fabinho napping and patrolled to the edge of the area with Van Dijk and Jordan Henderson converging on the edge of the box. It was no problem for Kante who simply drove the ball past Adrian into the top corner. Fittingly a player as humble as Kante would follow such a strike with no celebration knowing his team could nick something.

Liverpool did not panic though and ruthlessly killed the game off. When Salah lost the ball, he chased back and fouled Kante, preventing a Chelsea counter. Fabinho demonstrated the cynical side needed to be a world-class number six bringing down substitute Michy Batshuayi who was heading upfield. The game finished with Milner earning the final booking of the match after fouling Kurt Zouma, the final whistle was met with an almighty sigh of relief from Klopp. Liverpool continue on their march to domestic glory.

 

 

 

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