90+3min: FULL TIME.
90min: Kepa makes a couple more saves, with Chelsea offering very little and resigned to our fates. 3 minutes added on.
80min: Kepa makes a solid save on Firmino and launches the Chelsea counter through Willian. He finds Hazard, but his cross (to no one) is blocked for a corner. The corner is cleared easily and Salah counters; Emerson covers.
77min: Henderson makes way for Milner as the game starts petering out.
75min: Ross Barkley gets a chorus of boos as he replaces Loftus-Cheek. Henderson’s down for Liverpool with an apparently foot injury.
70min: David Luiz called for a foul on Firmino and Liverpool win a corner from that free kick. The corner is worked for a Salah shooting opportunity, but Kanté blocks. Liverpool keep coming and Arrizabalaga is forced into another decent stop.
65min: Liverpool calm things down and work the ball to Salah, who cuts inside Emerson again and tests Kepa at his near post. The Chelsea goalkeeper catches well.
62min: Higuaín’s in this time, cuts inside Van Dijk, but Liverpool clear. A little slow there on the move from the striker.
61min: Another great play from Chelsea sees Azpilicueta put a great cross in from the right, but no one makes the far post run for the tap-in. Could’ve, should’ve had three goals in the last three minutes!
60min: Hazard misses another great chance, this time found by Willian over the top. Alisson makes the save.
59min: Chelsea hit the post! Hazard wins a corner to quiet the place down for a second, and from the second phase, is found over the top of the defense. He takes a brilliant touch, beats Alisson, but can’t beat the post. So close, so unlucky!
57min: Liverpool rampant now as Mané goes close. The stadium in full voice. This could get a lot worse yet!
56min: Higuaín on for Hudson-Odoi as Chelsea try to go on the front foot.
53min: Goal. Liverpool. No doubt about that one as Salah unleashes a wonder goal into the top corner. Not much you can do there. 2-0, Liverpool.
51min: Goal. Liverpool. Emerson is down (foul by Salah?) on the ground a chipped cross from Henderson finds a wide open Sadio Mane at the far post, who has a simple task of heading it in. 1-0, Liverpool.
48min: Keita balloons one into the stands as the second starts as the first one ended. Rüdiger limps back out of the dressing room to take a seat on the bench.
HALF-TIME: Decent stuff from Chelsea so far, staying solid and compact defensive and looking to counter. Could certainly be more effective in that regard. No changes for either side and we’re back underway.
45+3min: Half time.
45min: From the free kick, TA-A delivers a tremendous ball to the six-yard line, which is deflected towards goal by a Liverpool foot and draws a tremendous leg save from Kepa, which is then erased from the record by an offside flag.
44min: Azpilicueta gets a yellow for taking out Mané. Took the wrong angle to close down the player. Sarri rather aggrieved at that decision and gets a talking to from the referee.
43min: Chelsea work a shot for Willian, but the block gets Liverpool going forward the other way. Kanté’s back to slow things down and Azpilicueta mops up.
40min: Rüdiger’s day is over as he’s carried off by the physios straight into the dressing room. Christensen’s on to replace him.
38min: RLC’s loose touch turns the ball over and Salah comes forward on the right, finding Mane with a great cutback, but his curling first-time effort is well wide as it cannons off the stanchion behind the goal.
37min: Azpilicueta wins the ball off Robertson and gets Hazard going, but he’s 1-v-4 and loses the ball.
34min: Liverpool probe, Chelsea counter, Willian lays it back to Loftus-Cheek, but the timing’s off and the shot opportunity’s gone.
30min: Liverpool probe as Chelsea settle into a nice defensive shape. A loose pass runs to David Luiz who pings the ball halfway up the field into the path of a streaking Willian. Hazard joins in support of the counter but Willian goes it alone, cutting inside, and finding space for a 20-yard shot, which goes wide of Alisson’s left-hand post.
26min: A chip into the area is header down by Salah for Henderson to hit on the half-volley, but it’s blocked for a corner, which is cleared for another corner, which just leads to more Liverpool possession.
24min: Kanté finds Loftus-Cheek who carries forward on the counter, finding Hudson-Odoi on the right. He gets into the box and tries a quick chip towards Hazard and RLC, but it deflects up in the air and Alisson collects.
21min: Rüdiger stays down after a tangle of legs with Mané and it’s not looking good for the Chelsea center back. Christensen goes for a jog as Rüdiger limps off to the side. He looks okay to continue for now.
20min: It’s Hazard again, twisting and turning wide left in the Liverpool area, but his low shot is well stopped by Alisson.
18min: Great play from Willian gets Chelsea out but has to wait for support and the play eventually ends in a Hazard offside (it wasn’t). Free foul on him thanks to that call as well.
15min: Chelsea work the ball around the Liverpool box for a minute and create a couple opportunities for half-chances, but eventually Liverpool win it back and break. Rüdiger and Kanté combine to stop Fabinho, but the referee calls a foul and Liverpool maintain possession.
14min: Salah trounces Willian on the left touchline, but David Luiz is out to close down the angle and force a goal kick. Salah goes down, but doesn’t complain about his dive.
11min: Great play from Kanté gets Chelsea out and going forward up the right channel. After carrying 50 yards, Kanté brings Hudson-Odoi into the play, but he settles for the cross, which is punched clear by Alisson.
10min: Fabinho slides through Hazard from behind to win the ball, and apparently that’s not a foul today. Hazard stays down for treatment.
6min: Kanté turns it over with a poor pass and Liverpool comes forward. A cross from the left is over the head of everyone and finds Salah on the far post, who shins his volley straight into the arms of Kepa. Chelsea get lucky.
4min: Chelsea venture forward at last and Willian switches to Hudson-Odoi, who comes inside and Hazard makes the run in-behind, but the ball for him is just a tad bit too late and he’s whistled offside.
3min: Chelsea unable to get out of their own half, giving the ball away multiple times (Jorginho, Azpilicueta) and turning it over from throw-ins as well.
KICK-OFF: Liverpool get us underway and immediately put the high press on.
PRE-MATCH: Manchester City beat Crystal Palace to go top in the early game, so now the pressure’s on Liverpool to keep pace. Chelsea need the three points just as much, stuck in the middle of the top-four race. Pre-match hugs, handshakes, smiles out of the way, it’s time for a minute’s silence for the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, impeccably observed.
Can Chelsea beat Liverpool for the second time this season? Can we win any of the three points on offer, any of which could be crucial in the top four fight? Can we derail Liverpool’s title challenge?
Can we be heroes?
All of those questions, and more, will be answered today. Probably.
Sarri goes with the false-9, which would suggest a slightly tweaked, more pragmatic tactical setup than the idealistic “Sarri-ball” as well.
Here we go!
Liverpool starting lineup (4-3-3):
Alisson | Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold | Keita, Fabinho, Henderson (c) | Mane, Firmino, Salah
Substitutes from: Mignolet, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Sturridge, Shaqiri, Origi
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kanté | Willian, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Barkley, Kovačić, Pedro, Giroud, Higuaín
Date / Time: Sunday, April 14, 2019, 16:30 BST; 11:30am EDT; 9pm IST
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, England
Referee: Michael Oliver
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA), Star Sports Select HD2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); Fubo (affiliate link — USA only)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!