Liverpool were held to a hard-fought 1-1 draw by Chelsea in an eventful Premier League contest at Anfield.

Kai Havertz’s header put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute, but Mohamed Salah equalised in first-half stoppage time with a calmly dispatched penalty.

The spot-kick had been awarded following a VAR review that resulted in Reece James being sent off for handling on the line amid a goalmouth scramble in the aftermath of a Reds corner. 

Jürgen Klopp’s team subsequently spent the majority of the second period in complete control, though Chelsea stood firm to claim a point. 

Team news

Andy Robertson returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up as one of three changes. Fabinho and Roberto Firmino were also restored to the XI, with Kostas Tsimikas, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota named on the bench.

First half

Sadio Mane’s sliding tackle on James within seconds of kick-off set the tone for a frenetic opening that was played out amid an electric atmosphere.

A low drive from distance by Harvey Elliott whistled wide after Firmino had seized possession from Havertz, before a move of real quality fashioned the game’s first chance of note for Jordan Henderson.

Involvement from the captain bookended the sequence, as he began it deep inside his own half before sprinting up-field. 

The ball had found its way to Trent Alexander-Arnold in the meantime, and the right-back measured a drifted pass into Henderson’s path, only for the skipper to skew his volley wide. 

Despite most of the early running being made by the Reds, it was Chelsea who edged in front as Havertz’s near-post header from James’ corner looped into the net.

A dramatic conclusion to the half – which came after an enforced substitution that saw Jota replace Firmino – ensured Liverpool went in at the break level, though. 

Joel Matip hit the crossbar with a header as Chelsea failed to clear their lines from Robertson’s corner, prior to James handling Mane’s stabbed effort on the goalline. 

VAR intervened, Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and dismissed James, with Salah coolly stepping up to send Edouard Mendy the wrong way.

Second half

Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic came on at the interval as Thomas Tuchel sought to offset his side’s numerical disadvantage. 

Inevitably, however, Liverpool were ascendant and Jota nodded Salah’s clever outside-of-the-boot cross into the Kop. Henderson then shaped a long-range curler narrowly wide, before Mendy denied Fabinho and Robertson in quick succession as the pressure intensified.

But Chelsea managed to ride out that wave of dominance and retained a threat of their own on the counter, with Matip required to make a vital block to thwart Romelu Lukaku.

Alisson Becker then repelled an attempt from Kovacic, from which Liverpool launched a break that ended with Salah scuffing a shot into Mendy’s grasp. 

And that was that, as a match high on incident, tempo and quality finished all square.