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Match Report: Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 1
- Updated: August 14, 2023
A debut goal from Axel Disasi ensured that we secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw and clinched a point from our exhilarating Premier League opener against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
The center-back, who joined from Monaco during the summer, found the net from close range shortly before half-time to nullify Luis Diaz’s initial goal. The performance warranted no less than a point, and the outcome was a testament to our tenacity.
A New Chapter Begins
The starting lineup showcased a fresh look, with Kepa Arrizabalaga absent from the squad. Pochettino confirmed pre-match that discussions are ongoing about the goalkeeper’s potential move away from Stamford Bridge. This paved the way for summer signing Robert Sanchez to start.
The trio of Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, and Levi Colwill formed the defensive core, while Reece James and Ben Chilwell took on wing-back duties. Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher anchored the midfield. The attack comprised Carney Chukwuemeka, Raheem Sterling, and Nicolas Jackson.
Bright Start for Visitors
The visitors initiated proceedings with vigor. Diogo Jota and Dominik Szoboszlai tested the waters with early efforts that narrowly missed the target, while Mohamed Salah’s strike kissed the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Our side gradually found its rhythm, and Jackson came close to redirecting a cross from Captain Reece James into the net. However, it was Liverpool who drew first blood. Salah orchestrated a seamless through-ball that dissected our defense, and Luis Diaz concluded the move with a finish.
A Swift Response
The need for a response was evident. Jackson spearheaded the effort, courtesy of excellent work by Colwill along the touchline. The ball found its way to the forward’s feet, and he maneuvered through two challenges to unleash a shot that, unfortunately, veered off course.
This sparked renewed energy in the home crowd, whose vocal support reverberated throughout the stadium. An exultant moment followed, as a Trent Alexander-Arnold pass set up Salah for a stylish finish. However, VAR intervened, ruling the goal out for offside.
Shift in Momentum
Momentum took a turn in our favor. Sterling’s endeavor along the byline forced Alexander-Arnold to clear under his own crossbar, providing a temporary respite. From a Chelsea corner, the ball was recycled and skillfully knocked back into the penalty area by Chilwell. Disasi seized the opportunity, directing the ball beyond Alisson into the Liverpool goal.
Stamford Bridge erupted in celebration, marking the first goal of the Pochettino era. The jubilation was doubled moments later when Fernandez’s pass set up Chilwell to round Alisson and score. However, VAR interceded, favoring Liverpool this time.
Vibrant First Half
The first half retained its vibrancy until the end. Sanchez showcased his reflexes with a diving save to deny Salah, while Jackson’s effort from another pinpoint James delivery soared over the crossbar.
Aiming for Control
No changes were made at halftime, but Pochettino’s halftime address resulted in improved ball control during the second period. Fernandez began dictating possession, fashioning a shooting opportunity for Chilwell, whose near-post strike was parried by Alisson.
Midfield Control and Promising Attacks
The second half witnessed periods of Liverpool probing our defensive lines. Nevertheless, the ball often changed hands in midfield, enabling rapid counterattacks. Colwill orchestrated a notable forward pass for Jackson, who managed an on-target shot, only to be thwarted by Alisson once more.
The final 20 minutes witnessed both sides making attack-oriented substitutions, underscoring their determination to pursue victory. Neither head coach was content with settling for a draw.
Liverpool Threat and a Late Drama
Liverpool came perilously close, with a late effort from Darwin Nunez deflecting and eluding Sanchez’s dive. Fortunately, the ball missed the Chelsea net by a whisker.
The game concluded with a rapid counter led by Jackson, culminating in a squared ball to substitute Ian Maatsen within the box. However, Maatsen struggled to unleash a shot under pressure, culminating in a captivating match at Stamford Bridge culminating in a draw.