Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Thomas Tuchel’s side battle to earn point in thrilling encounter but title hopes dented

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 (AP)
(AP)

Chelsea and Liverpool played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge but it’s a result that does little for either side’s hopes in the title race.

Sadio Mane and Mo Salah put the Reds, without Jurgen Klopp on the touchline due to Covid, ahead and in control, but Chelsea battled back in an incredible end to the first-half thanks to goals from Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic.

The second-half saw much less in terms of clear-cut chances, and it finished level to leave Man City 10 points clear at the top of the table and firm favourites to lift another Premier League trophy.

There was action inside the opening 10 seconds at Stamford Bridge, as Mane was booked for an elbow on Cesar Azpilicueta, and he was perhaps fortunate to avoid a red card.

Pulisic missed a huge chance to put Chelsea in front, and Mane made him pay minutes later. Trevor Chalobah made a mess of his clearance and it allowed Mane to run through on goal, before rounding Edouard Mendy and finishing well.

It was two for the visitors after 26 minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold clipped a ball over the top to Salah, who beat Alonso brilliantly with a drop of the shoulder before whipping it home at the near post.

Chelsea looked lost after that, but Kovacic got them back in as he sent a stunning volley into the top corner from 20 yards after a free-kick was cleared out to the edge of the box.

Four minute later, in first-half stoppage-time, Chelsea were level. N’Golo Kante played it through to Pulisic, who showed no ill-effects from his earlier miss as he lifted it into the roof of the net to send the home fans wild.

It was more of the same after the break, with Salah having an audacious effort from 30 yards out saved by Mendy, who also denied Mane shortly after when the Liverpool man should have done better.

Caoimhin Kelleher, playing in place of Alisson who missed out with Covid, made a great save to deny Pulisic, as both sides continued to have chances to win it.

Mason Mount had a shot from the edge of the box easily saved, as it was Chelsea who looked the most likely to win it late on. But the intensity of the first-half had gone from the match, and the final minues drifted away as it finished level at Stamford Bridge.

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