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Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea: Dour draw keeps both sides battling mid-table

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Kai Havertz puts the ball in the net for Chelsea but the goal is disallowed for offside
Kai Havertz had the ball in the net early for Chelsea but VAR ruled the goal out for offside

Liverpool and Chelsea laid their respective Premier League struggles bare for all to see in a bitterly disappointing stalemate at Anfield.

The two giants, who have been in constant pursuit of major prizes in recent seasons, are currently locked well outside the top four – and how it showed in a dismal game almost devoid of entertainment and quality.

Chelsea had an early Kai Havertz strike ruled out for offside by VAR and there was also a lively debut as a second-half substitute for £89m new boy Mykhailo Mudryk, while Liverpool keeper Alisson saved well from another new Chelsea signing, defender Benoit Badiashile.

Liverpool’s own £45m recruit Cody Gakpo was quiet – he did force one save from Kepa, but otherwise there was little to warm a capacity crowd at a freezing Anfield.

Liverpool lack intensity

The quality of this game was reflected in the subdued atmosphere at Anfield, with the final whistle greeted with near silence apart from some very mild applause.

Liverpool have made their reputation and based their success under manager Jurgen Klopp not simply on world-class talent but on a searing intensity that has seen teams simply blown away.

They currently look a shadow of that side in every respect, admittedly deprived of attacking talent such as Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino, and there were very few alarms for Chelsea and no serious work for keeper Kepa.

Liverpool’s new signing Gakpo seems to be in a settling in period, which is perfectly understandable, and he struggled to make an impact apart from one shot on the turn that brought a comfortable save from Kepa in front of The Kop.

Klopp’s side are now nine points off the Champions League places and it is clear they need to find that missing spark – and quickly – if they are to get anywhere near the top four.

More to follow.

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Chelsea

  1. Squad number1Player nameArrizabalaga

  2. Squad number14Player nameChalobah

  3. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  4. Squad number4Player nameBadiashile

  5. Squad number22Player nameZiyech

  6. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  7. Squad number67Player nameHall

  8. Squad number32Player nameCucurella

  9. Squad number23Player nameGallagher

  10. Squad number19Player nameMount

  11. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  1. Squad number9Player nameAubameyang

  2. Squad number15Player nameMudryk

  3. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  4. Squad number30Player nameChukwuemeka

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 7MilnerBooked at 66minsSubstituted forAlexander-Arnoldat 72′minutes
  • 5Konaté
  • 2Gomez
  • 26Robertson
  • 8KeïtaSubstituted forNúñezat 63′minutes
  • 43BajceticBooked at 34minsSubstituted forFabinhoat 82′minutes
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 11Salah
  • 18GakpoSubstituted forHendersonat 82′minutes
  • 19ElliottSubstituted forJonesat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 14Henderson
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17Jones
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 27Núñez
  • 32Matip
  • 62Kelleher
  • 66Alexander-Arnold

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 14ChalobahBooked at 80minsSubstituted forAzpilicuetaat 81′minutes
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 4Badiashile
  • 22Ziyech
  • 5Jorginho
  • 67HallSubstituted forMudrykat 55′minutes
  • 32Cucurella
  • 23Gallagher
  • 19MountSubstituted forChukwuemekaat 82′minutes
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forAubameyangat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Aubameyang
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 15Mudryk
  • 26Koulibaly
  • 27Fofana
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 30Chukwuemeka
  • 42Humphreys

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