The Warm Down: Chelsea hold firm in controversial draw
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Chelsea managed to hold strong against Liverpool in a controversy-filled game, which saw the away side put down to 10 men minutes before half time.

It was Kai Havertz who opened the scoring, looping a beautiful header over the outstretched gloves of Alisson in the 22nd minute, giving the Blues the lead.

Further chances came for Thomas Tuchel's side, with each attack seeming to be a threat of doubling their lead, but such threat was to no avail in the end.

However, following a penalty box pinball session and a handball by Reece James, Anthony Taylor not only pointed to the spot, giving the Reds the chance to equalise, but also sent the English right back off.

This caused much controversy on and off the pitch, with Chelsea players demanding to know the reason for the dismissal as well as the spot kick, that only resulted in further cautions for Blues' players.

Regardless, Mohammed Salah was the player who dutifully dispatched the penalty, making it 1-1 before half time and setting up a rather monotonous second 45 minutes.

With the disadvantage of one less man, Tuchel's side could do nothing but defend, though, to their credit, they did so exceptionally well, preventing their opponents from taking the lead.

Therefore, given the circumstances, it was a brilliant point to take back to West London, albeit one that may not have been achieved in the most desirable fashion.

Chelsea's Defensive Rock

For all the debates surrounding the sending off and the decision to award a penalty, bar a brief moment of lost heads in the chaos after the call, Chelsea remained remarkably professional throughout.

No more so was this evidenced than in the bullish and tenacious defensive performance carried out so expertly by the ten remaining players in the second half.

Under the familiar system of a back five which has become so widely praised since Tuchel's arrival, Chelsea remained firm under a severe volume of pressure, particularly in the opening 15 minutes after the interval.

One man who epitomised this refusal to concede was Man of the Match Andreas Christensen, blocking, tackling and clearing continuously to secure a vital point in the end.

Not only that, but his calmness on the ball which allowed the Blues time to recover was magnificent to watch, as was the intelligent time-wasting techniques employed by the Dane (and other teammates too).

He, along with Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and birthday-boy Cesar Azpilicueta, marshalled Liverpool's attackers perfectly, limiting the opposition to optimistic long shots at best, and having to play backwards at worst.

In fact, this was perhaps the most impressive defensive performance under Thomas Tuchel yet - when mitigating factors such as the red card are taken into account.

Performance of Champions

It's been said many times before and will be said many times again in the future, but the sentiment of the statement remains true: Champions get results even when it seems impossible for them to do so.

Never has that been more apparent since the departure of Antonio Conte than in Chelsea's unshakeable mentality against Jurgen Klopp's frustrated side.

While the defence was clearly the pinnacle of resistance, it's also important to highlight the work of others in the team, not least that of Edouard Mendy who has taken on the role of Chelsea's No. 1 superbly well.

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The Frenchman made an astonishing six saves across the 90 minutes at Anfield, the most he has managed in a single game since he arrived at the club last September.

Further up the pitch, the work of Mateo Kovacic, after he replaced the injured N'Golo Kante at half time, was equally spectacular, with the Croatian a defensive midfielder-shaped thorn in the opponent's side the entire time he was on the pitch.

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Finally, with very little to work with for the entirety of the match, Romelu Lukaku remained resilient in a tough situation, consistently holding the ball up and using his strength to bring his side out of their own half, albeit briefly.

Overall, it is just as is said so often: a proper team performance, in the face of trying conditions, truly is the hallmark of a potential title-winning team. 

Even if it is only August.