Chelsea started brightly, winning the ball just seconds after Liverpool kicked off, and generating two excellent opportunities within the first five minutes. But neither João Félix nor Mateo Kovačić were able to convert those clear-cut chances, and that painfully familiar theme continued in the first-half with several other missed chances and opportunities.
Reece James did have the ball in the back of the net with a lovely strike from range, but it was (correctly) ruled out for an offside on the initial flick-on from the corner. At the other end, a second-string Liverpool attack didn’t do much of anything until the very end of the half, when Fabinho looked certain to score until Wes Fofana made a key block.
The second half began in similar fashion as the first, with Kovačić missing a golden opportunity. But then we did have the ball in the back of the net again, this time through Kai Havertz, and for a second it was good ... only for it to be ruled out again, this time for a handball. It was inadvertent, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a harsh rule, but correctly applied.
The rest of the match was more of the same, but with increasing levels of frustration, but also lack of fluidity or flow. Neither side looked likely to score even if both looked well capable of making a royal mess of something defensively.
So, scoreless, again.
- Chelsea with three at the back and three in midfield for the first time this season.
- Kanté’s first start since August. His last three appearances have come for three different managers!
- Sixth straight draw between these two teams, fourth straight scoreless
- Chelsea remain 11th, level on points with Fulham, but behind on goals scored (despite having played one more game)
- Next up: Wolves away on Saturday