Liverpool power to 4-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea

Match reportLiverpool power to 4-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea

Published
By Chris Shaw at Anfield

SHARE

Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram

Liverpool re-established a five-point lead at the Premier League summit with a commanding 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Anfield.

Diogo Jota punctuated a dominant early spell for the Reds on Wednesday night when he bounded into the box and stroked in a finish midway through the first half.

Conor Bradley rasped in his first senior goal for the club just before an interval that arrived soon after Darwin Nunez had sent a penalty against the post.

Jürgen Klopp’s side maintained their control in the second half and increased their advantage when Dominik Szoboszlai nodded in Bradley’s Kop-end cross on 65.

Christopher Nkunku soon made a mark on the scoresheet for the visitors, but it proved mere consolation as Luis Diaz restored Liverpool’s merited cushion late on.

Team news

Klopp made four changes to his starting XI, including Alexis Mac Allister and Szoboszlai back in midfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold reached the milestone of 300 appearances for the club by coming on during the second half.

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez (Robertson, 68), Van Dijk, Konate, Szoboszlai (Elliott, 68), Diaz, Nunez, Mac Allister, Jones (Clark, 82), Jota (Gakpo, 68), Bradley (Alexander-Arnold, 68).

Unused subs: Kelleher, Gravenberch, McConnell, Quansah.

Download a copy of the teamsheet here.

First half

The Reds were greeted by a roaring din for their first home league game since New Year’s Day, and immediately warmed to the task.

With just six minutes played, they unpicked the Blues back line to send Nunez clear in the right channel. The Uruguayan’s attempt to flick a finish over Djordje Petrovic was tipped away on the stretch.

After Conor Gallagher saw a penalty appeal in a skirmish with Virgil van Dijk rejected, Nunez was threaded through by a slick Mac Allister pass and slammed in a shot from outside the area that Petrovic got the feintest of touches to divert off the crossbar.

Nunez seemed a magnet in the middle of every Liverpool attack and he was desperately unlucky again when he ran on to Ibrahima Konate’s perfect over-the-top and shot across goal from the left. Petrovic got gloves on it as it nudged off the far post.

But, on 23 minutes, the hosts’ pressure told.

Bradley’s well-judged tackle near halfway launched a counter-attack and he fed the ball to Jota in the centre of the pitch. The No.20 shimmied and shouldered his way through two defenders to reach the box and tucked in off his left foot.

Petrovic was back in nemesis mode on the half-hour, lunging down to repel Curtis Jones’ low strike, but the Reds would get another goal before the break.

Klopp’s men turned over possession in the Chelsea half and Diaz guided a pass into the bursting run of Bradley to his right. The No.84 was coolness personified as he strode to the edge of the area and sent a crisp effort into the bottom far corner.

It could have been more, too, with referee Paul Tierney pointing to the spot when Jota was tripped by Benoit Badiashile inside the box, Van Dijk having chested down Joe Gomez’s pinged pass and crossed into the middle following a Liverpool corner kick.

Nunez took responsibility from 12 yards but his side-footer clattered away off the right post.

Second half

The Reds continued assertively after the restart, though it was the Blues who carved out the next big opportunity.

Breaking on the home side via the right wing, Malo Gusto was able to pick out fellow substitute Mykhailo Mudryk on the opposite side of the box – but he skied into the Anfield Road Stand.

Klopp’s charges grabbed their third shortly before the contest reached its three-quarter mark, with Bradley heavily involved for a third time.

The Northern Irishman collected Van Dijk’s raking diagonal to the touchline and served in a cross that Szoboszlai met with a firm downward header beyond Petrovic.

Chelsea landed a blow of their own in minute 71, Nkunku capitalising on a chance to get turned inside the Liverpool area and dispatching a shot inside the right post.

But the Reds were not to be denied, and after Nunez had shook the woodwork for a fourth time on the night – powering a header off the bar from Andy Robertson’s lofted cross – they wrapped up the scoring.

Nunez moved into space in the left channel and thumped a pass across the face of goal, where Diaz was on hand to convert and complete a fine night’s work that also brought up Klopp’s 200th league win with the club.

Attendance: 57,524

Published

SHARE

Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram