Chelsea FC 2-2 Liverpool LIVE! Pulisic goal - Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today

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Chelsea FC 2-2 Liverpool LIVE! Pulisic goal - Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today
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Chelsea vs Liverpool - LIVE!

Premier League leaders Manchester City proved the big winners as title rivals Chelsea and Liverpool played out a pulsating 2-2 draw on Sunday.

All the goals came in the first half at a raucous Stamford Bridge, where some fans were legally allowed to stand as part of a new trial of ‘safe-standing’ areas in the top flight.

Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic capped a stunning opening 45 minutes as they struck in quick succession to cancel out early goals from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

Mane had perhaps been lucky to escape a red card for a challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in the opening seconds while Pulisic also fluffed a big chance early on.

There had also been drama before kick-off with Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel dropping £97.5million striker Romelu Lukaku in response to a recent interview given by the player.

Liverpool meanwhile, having already travelled without manager Jurgen Klopp due to Covid-19, lost Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino following further positive tests.

The final result left champions City, who beat Arsenal on Saturday, sitting comfortably 10 points clear at the top.

Chelsea vs Liverpool latest news

  • GOAL! Pulisic levels it up before the break

  • GOAL! Kovacic gets Chelsea back in it with stunner

  • GOAL! Salah doubles the lead with brilliant finish

  • GOAL! Mane puts Liverpool in front early on

  • Chelsea team news: Lukaku dropped entirely after interview

  • Liverpool team news: Alisson, Matip and Firmino out with Covid

Chelsea FC 2 - 2 Liverpool FC

Match report after thriller...

20:45 , Matt Verri

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Tuchel’s side battle to earn point in thriller

Match to remember at Stamford Bridge

20:01 , Matt Verri

Chelsea and Liverpool share epic - but Man City are real winners

Klopp will miss Arsenal Carabao Cup clash

19:45 , Matt Verri

Liverpool face Arsenal on Thursday at the Emirates, in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final tie.

Pep Lijnders has confirmed that Jurgen Klopp will once again not be in the dugout for that one as he continues to isolate after a positive Covid test.

“No, he can’t because of quarantine rules,” Lijnders said.

“He has mild symptoms. But Jurgen is a very optimistic, positive leader, he’s our leader, our boss. I just hope it stays mild symptoms and that he’s back quick with us.”

Chelsea player ratings

19:29 , Matt Verri

Chelsea player ratings: Kovacic collector’s item, Rudiger AWOL for goal

Liverpool losing dynamic duo...

19:23 , Matt Verri

Tuchel on Mane incident

19:18 , Matt Verri

“In the first game [against Liverpool] we got the red card and the referee was so quick to give the red card,” Tuchel said.

“They did not check it, I hate to say it normally as I don’t like a red card early in the game, it can kill it.

“The public are here to see 11v11. Sadio Mane should always be on the pitch because he is a brilliant player and a good guy but it is a red card.

“If you don’t check and then can check our goal and maybe take it away… it is hard to swallow but what can we do?”

Thomas Tuchel’s thoughts...

19:09 , Matt Verri

“Brilliant match of football, everybody not in the stadium missed something - energy, some mistakes,” Tuchel said.

“We started excellent and were 1-0 down out of nothing because we did two or three big mistakes, then we concede a second one which makes the task very hard.

“The team did not give in and Mateo Kovacic’s goal brought the belief back into the stadium. There was almost the perfect comeback in the first half with a third goal on the transition.”

Pep Lijnders’ reaction...

18:58 , Matt Verri

“It is never boring with us. Incredible intensity from the start with both teams,” Lijnders said.

“We would have wanted more control, we had so many good counter attacks but it was just missing the last pass.

“Overall, for the public it must have been an unbelievable game. I have to say, the situation we are in it is a big compliment for the team. We could have made a lot of excuses for today but our boys fought hard with all they heart they have.

“We want to approach each game like it is a final. In each game we play, whoever is wearing the shirt or on the bench, we are showing this character.”

Van Dijk on title race...

18:53 , Matt Verri

“Never difficult to believe, it is a big gap, they have the title maybe to lose at the moment but anything can happen still,” Van Dijk said.

“We have been there and gave it away, so anything is possible. We focus on ourselves, we just have to get results, play good football and win games.”

Virgil van Dijk’s post-match thoughts...

18:52 , Matt Verri

“If you are 2-0 up you don’t want to concede that close to half time, give them the momentum to get back into the game, it happened - a fantastic strike, you have to give him credit,” Van Dijk said.

“That gives them momentum and they score the second. We tried not to panic and created fantastic moments even though we were under pressure.

“For the outside world it was quite a good game to watch, but we came here for three points and didn’t get them. They have an amazing team, so have we.

“I have a feeling we were under pressure at times but defended well as a team, didn’t give big chances away. I always had a feeling we could score for 3-2 but it didn’t happen.”

Cesar Azpilicueta on Sadio Mane elbow in first minute...

18:41 , Matt Verri

“It’s a clear red, I don’t mind if it’s five seconds into the game and the first actions, it’s a clear red,” Azpilicueta said.

“He doesn’t see the ball, he just wants to hit with the elbow. Honestly I don’t understand it.

“The other day we had two penalties where VAR didn’t come, today the first action is a clear red card. We are getting these decisions against us that of course could change the way of the game.

“We are promoting 50/50 challenges in the Premier League, but sometimes we have seen joke penalties. And sometimes, we see real dangerous actions and we don’t take action.

“We saw a few games where referees become a bit softer. Then, it becomes the opposite - I don’t know what happens. We don’t have consistency even in the same game or through the season.”

18:34 , Matt Verri

More possession and more shots for Thomas Tuchel’s side, and they certainly looked the more likely to snatch a winner in the second-half.

Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante were both absolutely superb in midfield, with Christian Pulisic also really dangerous throughout.

Despite that shaky start to fall 2-0 behind, there was plenty of positives to take for the Blues.

18:31 , Matt Verri

So, City are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

It’s only the start of 2022, but you’d have to say they are very much the heavy favourites to now go on and win another title.

Thrilling match at Stamford Bridge, but a frustrating result for both sides.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

18:25 , Matt Verri

It was too much to expect the second half to bring as much entertainment as the first - but that was a real clash of titans.

Unfortunately for both teams, the real winners were not in action today. That was a huge result for Manchester City.

FULL-TIME

18:25 , Matt Verri

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

After a breathless 70 minutes at Stamford Bridge, the match understandably slowed down towards the end and it finishes level.

It’s a result that Man City will be delighted by.... their lead at the top of the Premier League is 10 points.

18:21 , Matt Verri

90+1 mins: Four minutes added on, as Liverpool come forward now. Tsimikas beats Mount on the outside and he wins a corner for his side.

Really poor delivery, Chelsea clear easily.

18:20 , Matt Verri

89 mins: Liverpool have a great chance to break from the corner with numbers, but Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t control. They had a four-on-two if he took it in his stride.

Mane off, Jones on for the Reds.

18:18 , Matt Verri

88 mins: Kovacic in full exhibition mode, plucking balls out of the sky with ridiculous ease.

Mount slides it wide to Pulisic, and his ball in is put behind for another corner. Chelsea piling on the pressure.

18:17 , Matt Verri

86 mins: Liverpool want an offside flag, but it doesn’t come as Hudson-Odoi skips to the byline and wins a corner for his side.

Rudiger wins the header in the box, but his glance drifts harmlessly wide. Chelsea very much on top in the closing stages.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

18:15 , Matt Verri

The next 10 minutes or so could be absolutely critical to the season. It really does need a goal either way to ensure there anything like a title race in 2022.

18:14 , Matt Verri

84 mins: Poor decision from Alonso, who goes for goal. Easy save for Kelleher.

Probably about ten minutes left including stoppage time. Will we get a winner?

18:13 , Matt Verri

83 mins: Mane running in behind... Mendy’s position is a really good one and he comes charging out to slide in and clear the danger.

Hudson-Odoi then played in at the other end, and he wins a free-kick as Konate shoves him over. Silly foul to give away.

18:12 , Matt Verri

82 mins: Keita gives away a free-kick in a really dangerous position. Mount and Alonso standing over this, they’ll both fancy it. Angle favours Mount.

Mount to take... blocked. Comes back to him, and it’s well saved by Kelleher. He’s done well in Alisson’s absence.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

18:10 , Matt Verri

Tuchel is going for it. He’s sent on Hudson-Odoi, who has moved straight up to the point of attack. His pace should force Liverpool to think twice about steaming forward.

18:10 , Matt Verri

79 mins: Havertz off, Hudson-Odoi on. Looks like he’ll be playing central, just as the German was.

Salah trips Rudiger, which the Chelsea defender will be very grateful for as he ran back to cut out the danger.

18:08 , Matt Verri

77 mins: Konate down holding his face, caught by Havertz as they challenged for the ball. Not too far away from where that Mane and Azpilicueta incident happened in the opening seconds.

The centre-back is going to need some treatment.

18:06 , Matt Verri

75 mins: Tuchel absolutely furious with Havertz, who was caught offside as he wasn’t expecting the ball to be played to him.

Both teams looking a bit controlled for now, Liverpool definitely enjoying more possession.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

18:03 , Matt Verri

Pulisic has gone to right wingback, which means Chelsea have lost their most dangerous-looking forward of the match.

Mount and Havertz are a front two.

18:02 , Matt Verri

72 mins: Pulisic still very much involved going forward. First attempt at a cross is blocked, handball attempts waved away.

Comes back to him though and he fires a left-footed strike at goal. Over the bar.

18:00 , Matt Verri

70 mins: Azpilicueta moves to the right of the back three, with Pulisic at wing-back. Attacking move.

20 minutes plus stoppage time to go. Frantic pace has just slowed down a bit in the last few minutes.

17:59 , Matt Verri

69 mins: Liverpool being pushed back, struggling to get out but Chelsea can’t create a clear-cut chance. Thiago Silva then loses possession, and it’s time for some subs.

Some combination of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders has seen enough. Jota and Milner off, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita on.

Change for Chelsea too. Chalobah off, Jorginho on.

17:56 , Matt Verri

66 mins: Drops to Salah at the back post, and he lays it back to Tsimikas. He has a lot of space and whips it low towards the far post... wide.

Mendy very grateful that didn’t get any deflection. Liverpool unlucky they didn’t get a corner, looked to have just flicked off a defender.

17:55 , Matt Verri

64 mins: Milner tries to break forward, but Kovacic wins it back... just rolls out for a throw-in though.

Liverpool the team trying to slow things down a bit, Chelsea’s intensity has just been relentless. Chalobah does well to stop Mane, but he has to concede the corner.

17:52 , Matt Verri

62 mins: BRILLIANT SAVE!

Havertz just about stays onside and he plays a great ball into the box. Pulisic meets it and connects really well, but Kelleher just about keeps it up and claims before any Chelsea shirt can get the rebound.

17:51 , Matt Verri

61 mins: Kante and Kovacic have both been excellent for Chelsea in midfield this afternoon, and they continue to get forward for the Blues.

Mount’s cross into the box is weak and Van Dijk can clear. It comes straight back though... Kelleher claims the ball this time.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

17:49 , Matt Verri

This game is warming up nicely again. It would struggle to match the pace of the first half, but both sides are clearly going for the win. They both know how important it is to keep City within their sights after a costly Christmas.

17:49 , Matt Verri

58 mins: This is just an incredible match. Liverpool starting to click into gear again, Mane and Salah combining superbly.

Mane then shifts it inside and things open up for him. Strike at the near post is palmed behind by Mendy. Chelsea again do a good job at defending the corner.

17:47 , Matt Verri

56 mins: Chelsea look really dangerous at the moment, Pulisic and Mount making runs in behind an extremely high Liverpool line. Van Dijk pokes it behind for a corner.

Alonso takes it, and Milner flicks it on before Alexander-Arnold boots it up the pitch. Salah has it 35 yards out who sees Mendy off his line and tries to beat him... great effort, good save. Liverpool corner now!

17:45 , Matt Verri

54 mins: Pulisic down the right tries to put a ball into the box, but Tsimikas blocks it. Corner Chelsea.

Drops dangerously in the box, but Liverpool just about hack it clear. Salah thinks he’s away, but can’t quite get onto the ball through to him.

Salah and Mane then get in each other’s way as Fabinho plays them through, and the chance goes. More breathless stuff!

17:43 , Matt Verri

52 mins: Great save, but it’s offside again. Lovely ball over the top to Jota, who takes it really early and smashes it towards the far corner... Mendy tips it behind for a corner.

Replays show Jota was probably onside, so an important save by Mendy.

17:41 , Matt Verri

51 mins: Konate fizzes a ball forward towards Mane who has made a great run... Silva reads it well and claims the ball.

Kante past Henderson and Fabinho, really good ball out to Alonso. Cuts inside onto his right foot, and blazes an effort over the bar.

17:39 , Matt Verri

48 mins: Wow. Fabinho is really lucky. Kelleher plays it to him and the Brazilian is immediately under pressure. So close to losing it right on the edge of the box, but just about turns and gets out of trouble.

Close to being disastrous for Liverpool.

17:37 , Matt Verri

46 mins: Jota slides in Mane... offside flag goes up pretty quickly this time. Mendy made a good save to deny the Liverpool man anyway.

Early signs are that we are in for more of the same.

17:35 , Matt Verri

Poor Jurgen Klopp having to watch this at home... can imagine he wasn’t having a particularly enjoyable time in the last ten minutes of the half.

No changes from either side at the break. Time to get back underway!

17:32 , Matt Verri

Four goals, two of them stunning, and no shortage of excitement in that first-half. Both sides playing like they need a win to stay in the title race, and they probably do.

Fingers crossed the managers don’t use half-time to solidify the defences...

17:25 , Matt Verri

Chelsea had seven shots in the opening 45 minutes, with three on target. Liverpool had six efforts in total, four of which were on target.

That doesn’t do justice to that final ten minutes of the half though. Every attack could have been a goal!

How Chelsea got themselves back in it...

17:23 , Matt Verri

HALF-TIME

17:21 , Matt Verri

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

And breathe. That was an incredible 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea started well, but Liverpool took complete control with goals from Mane and Salah.

The Blues just wanted to get to the break, but a Kovacic stunner and Pulisic’s finish in the space of a couple of minutes means it’s all level!

17:18 , Matt Verri

45+3 mins: WHAT IS GOING ON!

Liverpool are in again, Salah cuts inside but his ball into the box is clear. Chelsea then throw men forward and it falls to Mount in the box, who is inches away from making it 3-2.

Both defences are all over the shop, we don’t want half-time!

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

17:17 , Matt Verri

What a half this has turned out to be. Tuchel celebrated as if he’d won the Champions League when Pulisic finished.

Chelsea absolutely in the ascendency. Liverpool are hanging on for half time.

GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool | Christian Pulisic 45+1 mins

17:16 , Matt Verri

CHAOS AT STAMFORD BRIDGE!

Chelsea have got themselves level, what an incredible few minutes for the Blues! Rudiger strong in defence to win it back for Chelsea, and it falls to Kante.

He lifts it over the Liverpool defence to Pulisic, and this time he does finish! 2-2!

17:15 , Matt Verri

45 mins: Chelsea fans right back up for this again, they know their side have got themselves back in it before the break.

Both sides playing a high line... one pass away from being cut open.

17:13 , Matt Verri

VAR are checking this for offside. Would be outrageous to rule this out, definitely nothing interfering with Kelleher.

Check complete. Goal stands, and what a goal.

GOAL! Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool | Mateo Kovacic 41'

17:12 , Matt Verri

THAT. IS. SENSATIONAL.

Kelleher does well to punch the free-kick out of the box. It gets a fair bit of height, but it drops to Kovacic.... who watches it fall onto his foot and sends a glorious volley into the top corner.

Incredible technique. Chelsea have halved the lead!

17:11 , Matt Verri

41 mins: This is a good chance though. Milner nearly fouls Havertz once, and then does so again... the German goes down the second time and wins a free-kick. It’s in a really good position on the right.

Alonso to whip this in with pace...

17:09 , Matt Verri

39 mins: Chalobah and Jota go shoulder-to-shoulder... the Chelsea man wins the free-kick. Jota not impressed with that decision.

Chelsea had a bright start, but they haven’t created anything for quite some time now.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

17:07 , Matt Verri

Chelsea have got to get some control in midfield. Jorginho is warming up and you wonder if Tuchel might sacrifice one of his front men to give them an extra body in there.

Liverpool are totally dominating and when they spring on the break they look like adding to their lead.

17:07 , Matt Verri

36 mins: 3-on-1 for Liverpool as Chalobah is left with the unenviable task of dealing with Liverpool’s entire front three.

Salah decides to by himself though... forced out wide. Cuts back and gets a shot away, but it’s behind for a corner. Should have used his teammates there.

17:05 , Matt Verri

34 mins: Mount with a bit of a one-man press on Van Dijk... isn’t happy when he looks around and see none of his teammates have followed. Liverpool easily play their way out.

Tuchel said pre-match he wasn’t sure how much energy his side would have as the match went on. They’re going to need a serious boost from somwhere to get back into this one.

That Salah goal...

17:03 , Matt Verri

17:02 , Matt Verri

32 mins: Nervy moments for Chelsea as VAR checks a little kick Mount had at Tsimikas. There was contact, but probably not enough force for a red card. He gets away with it.

17:01 , Matt Verri

30 mins: Jota plays the ball over the top and Salah is very nearly onto it again, but Mendy is right on the edge of the box and it just about runs through to him.

Frustrations building for Chelsea, Mount thinks he’s been blocked by Tsimikas. Nothing given though.

16:59 , Matt Verri

29 mins: Liverpool growing in confidence now, as Henderson swings a ball out to Jota. He brings it down with his chest in the box, but he has no support and Chelsea win it back.

GOAL! Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool | Mo Salah 26'

16:57 , Matt Verri

WHAT A FINISH!

Liverpool have been nowhere near their best so far at Stamford Bridge, but they are 2-0 up!

Alexander-Arnold clips a wonderful ball over the top to Salah, who controls it brilliantly. Shapes to cut inside, sends Alonso the wrong way and then continues down the outside and whips it past Mendy at the near post. Stunning goal.

16:55 , Matt Verri

24 mins: Alexander-Arnold has had a quiet start to the match, but the ball falls to him on the edge of the box and his strike is well blocked. Liverpool’s first corner of the match.

Taken short, eventually sent to the back post where Van Dijk is. Azpilicueta does really well to put it behind for another corner. It drops to Alexander-Arnold, who slices his strike at goal.

16:52 , Matt Verri

22 mins: Salah clean through on goal... Mendy saves! Jota plays a great ball through, but the goalkeeper is up to the task.

And now the offside flag goes up. Rudiger just about got out in time to play Salah offside.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

16:51 , Matt Verri

Tuchel is absolutely living and breathing every moment out there. Signs of a manager under pressure? He was totally exasperated by the touch of Pulisic moments ago - then he’s bouncing up and down and screaming at Alonso for a shot that he should have pulled back for Havertz.

He knows very well how important this game is in the context of Chelsea’s season. It is not one to salvage it - but defeat could kill it off in terms of a title challenge.

16:49 , Matt Verri

19 mins: Havertz chases down a ball over the top, Van Dijk probably has it under control but Kelleher decides to come and try and see it out for a goal-kick.

Falls onto the ball and knocks it behind... but he wins the free-kick. Fortunate to do so.

16:47 , Matt Verri

17 mins: Corner comes to nothing and Pulisic then gives away a free-kick after sliding in to challenge Jota.

Won the ball initially, but he did catch Jota in the follow-through. Pulisic shown a yellow card by Anthony Taylor.

16:46 , Matt Verri

15 mins: Nearly 70% possession for Chelsea in the opening 15 minutes.

Mount finds space in the box and gets a shot away... blocked behind for a corner by Milner.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

16:44 , Matt Verri

We are still catching our breath here. We’ve had three clear goal-scoring chances and a potential red card in little over 10 minutes.

Chelsea have every reason to feel aggrieved by the failure to give Mane a red card in the opening seconds. But, their old problems have come back to haunt them. Pulisic should be burying the chance he had when one-on-one with Kelleher.

What a start.

16:43 , Matt Verri

12 mins: Chelsea trying to respond to that early setback, but Kelleher easily claims a ball into the box.

It’s been a frustrating start for the Blues. They feel Mane should have been sent off in the early seconds, then Pulisic misses a massive chance... and it’s proved so costly.

GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool | Sadio Mane 9'

16:40 , Matt Verri

LIVERPOOL MAKE CHELSEA PAY IMMEDIATELY!

This time it’s the Blues with a dreadful error at the back. Chalobah tries to head a ball that bounces at his feet, and it lets Mane run in behind.

Nine goals without a match, but you wouldn’t know it. Takes it round Mendy, does so and fires past Azpilicueta on the line. Liverpool lead.

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

16:38 , Matt Verri

Remarkable that Mane has got away with that challenge on Azpilicueta. Looked like clear dangerous play and he caught him in the face with his elbow. Not sure how the referee has not seen that.

16:38 , Matt Verri

7 mins: HUGE CHANCE!

Pulisic has completely fluffed his lines. Mount charges down Alexander-Arnold, and it falls to Pulisic completely free in the box 12 yards out.

He brings it down, tries to go round Kelleher... but the goalkeeper gets a strong hand to it and claims the ball. Pulisic had to score there.

16:36 , Matt Verri

6 mins: Won’t have been happy with that though... Liverpool break forward and very nearly get the opening goal.

Mane gets in down the left, plays it across to Salah and his effort is well saved by Mendy. Chelsea straight on the attack again, but Pulisic gets crowded out in the box.

16:35 , Matt Verri

5 mins: Liverpool struggling to get out, and a couple of loose passes don’t help them.

Salah gets his first touch of the match, flicks it straight out for a throw-in. Tuchel will be happy with what he’s seen in the very early stages.

16:33 , Matt Verri

3 mins: Bright start from Chelsea, Alonso getting well forward on the left wing. He tries to whip a ball into the box, and Alexander-Arnold deflects it behind for a corner.

Mount takes it... played all the way back to Alonso, and his cross is a poor one. A real waste.

16:31 , Matt Verri

1 mins: 10 seconds on the clock... first yellow card of the match! Long ball played out to the wing, and Mane catches Azpilicueta with an elbow as they both go up for the header.

Think the Chelsea captain wanted a different colour card, but it’s just a yellow.

KICK-OFF!

16:30 , Matt Verri

Liverpool get us underway!

Could be a 90 minutes that has a big impact on the title race...

16:27 , Matt Verri

It’s nearly time at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool players out of the tunnel first, followed by the Chelsea lineup.

Both teams you feel need a win to remain a serious title contender - let’s hope that leads to an entertaining match.

Warm-ups done...

16:23 , Matt Verri

16:16 , Matt Verri

Just under 15 minutes to go until kick-off.

Positive Covid tests, big players giving explosive interviews.... both teams will be glad to just get this match underway!

Tuchel on leaving Lukaku out

16:10 , Matt Verri

The Chelsea manager has explained his decision to drop Lukaku from the squad this afternoon.

“It became too noisy, and so close to the match,” Tuchel told the 5th Stand app. “So I decided to protect the preparation of the match and that is why he [Lukaku] is out.

“Of course we have spoken, we have spoken twice and he has spoken to the lead players and after that we had to realise it’s too close to the match and it’s too big.

“We need to protect the preparation of the match. We have a big match to play and we need full focus, which is anyway hard to get even with this decision, but it is, in my opinion, easier.

“For sure it was a difficult decision to take but in my opinion it is the one to take.”

Pep Lijnders in charge this afternoon

16:07 , Matt Verri

Pep Lijnders on pre-match interview duties today, as he leads Liverpool in Klopp’s absence. Here’s what he’s had to say...

“Jurgen is showing mild symptoms - but he is Jurgen - he gives everyone positive vibes and energy from home,” Lijnders said.

“He is a top manager - the team is prepared and well drilled. Hopefully the team can still perform.

“We don’t come here with excuses - we come here to attack the game with hunger. This is a final - we don’t make excuses - we want to make it a special game.”

Sign off in style?

16:02 , Matt Verri

Last match for Sadio Mane and Mo Salah this afternoon, before they head off to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations.

It’s going to be a tough month ahead for Liverpool without them, so they’ll want to make the most of the last match with the dangerous duo.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

How it stands...

15:54 , Matt Verri

After their last-gasp win over Arsenal yesterday, things are looking good for Man City at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola’s side are 11 points clear of Chelsea in second, having played a game more than the Blues. Liverpool are a point further back, but they have two games in hand over City.

In short, both sides really could do with a win this afternoon!

James Robson at Stamford Bridge

15:49 , Matt Verri

Lukaku has some making up to do...

15:43 , Matt Verri

15:38 , Matt Verri

With James and Chilwell both out, it’s Azpilicueta and Alonso as the wing-backs for Chelsea this afternoon. They’re tasked with keeping Mane and Salah quiet - the Liverpool pair will want to leave for the Africa Cup of Nations on a high.

Tuchel goes with Kante and Kovacic as the midfield pairing, with Jorginho on the bench.

For Liverpool, Kelleher starts in goal for only the second time in the Premier League this season, with Alisson out. Konate partners Van Dijk in Matip’s absence, while it’s Henderson and Milner alongside Fabinho in midfield.

Plenty of experience on show for both sides...

Visitors have arrived...

15:34 , Matt Verri

Chelsea team

15:32 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic

Subs: Arrizabalaga, Jorginho, Saul, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Sarr, Vale, Hall

Liverpool team

15:30 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Jota, Mane.

Subs: Adrian, Pitaluga, Keita, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Beck, Williams, Morton

Stage is set...

15:23 , Matt Verri

Liverpool confirm positive Covid tests

15:16 , Matt Verri

Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino are the three Liverpool players who have tested positive for Covid in the build-up to the match, and so won’t be available to face Chelsea.

Klopp confirmed that the Reds had three cases, but the club have now revealed the players who will be missing.

A statement said: “The trio will play no part in the fixture at Stamford Bridge and are now isolating.

“It follows news Jürgen Klopp will not be present at the encounter after also registering a suspected positive test.

“All other members of the Reds’ playing squad have subsequently been tested and received negative results.”

Souness not impressed with Lukaku

15:15 , Matt Verri

Speaking on Sky Sports ahead of this afternoon’s match, Graeme Souness slammed Romelu Lukaku for the interview he gave, which has resulted in the striker being dropped.

“I can’t tell you something worse that a player could do at this moment in their season,” Souness said.

“We’ve played the game, you’re trying to understand how a player could get his head where it’s been to come out with such a ridiculous and damaging statement.”

You can read more on what Souness had to say right here.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

15:10 , Matt Verri

Team news to come in about 20 minutes.

We know Lukaku won’t be involved for Chelsea, but as ever with the number of positive Covid cases in the Premier League, it’s very difficult to predict teams with any certainty.

All will soon be revealed...

Tuchel: Chelsea must ‘stand up’ to Liverpool’s energy

14:58 , Matt Verri

The Chelsea boss believes his side’s energy will be crucial this afternoon, as they look to get 2022 off to a winning start.

“When you face teams from Jurgen, Dortmund or Liverpool, you know what you’ll get,” Tuchel told Chelsea’s official website.

“Energy, commitment, and a lot of quality. You have to stand up against this energy.

“Of course it’s a big match - second and third against each other. We will be ready for Sunday, and we need every single spectator at top level to create an atmosphere where it’s possible maybe to overachieve and beat Liverpool.

Last time they met...

14:49 , Matt Verri

The two teams faced each other early in the season at Anfield, back in August.

It finished 1-1, with Chelsea producing an impressive rearguard effort as they played the entire second-half with ten men.

Kai Havertz put the visitors in front, but Reece James was sent off for handball just before half-time and Mo Salah scored from the spot.

Liverpool had 24 shots in the match as they threw everything at the Blues... but Thomas Tuchel’s side came away from it with a hard-fought point.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Standard Sport’s prediction

14:39 , Matt Verri

A loss here would likely be a hammer blow for either side’s title ambitions, so it seems reasonable to expect a relatively cagey affair.

Chelsea have certainly not been near their best in recent weeks, but Liverpool struggled themselves last time out against Leicester.

Both sides will be desperate for the three points to close the gap to Man City, but it would be no surprise to see a draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool

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