Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea displayed a defensive masterclass to earn a deserved point against Liverpool at Anfield. The Blues took an early through Kai Havertz, but were dealt a double blow in a controversial fashion when Reece James was adjudged to have denied a goal scoring opportunity, resulting in a penalty and sending off for the defender.
Chelsea weathered the early Liverpool pressure and settled down in the game through their typical organisational and possession based football. Kai Havertz opened the scoring for Chelsea by looping his header over Alisson in the far bottom corner off James’ cross.
The Blues looked certain to head into the break with their one goal advantage, only for a goal line scramble by Chelsea defence in the stoppage time resulted in Liverpool players claiming for a penalty. Having a look at the pitch side monitor referee Anthony Tailor awarded Liverpool the penalty, and sent off Reece James for denying a goal scoring opportunity. Mohammed Salah stepped up to score the penalty and equalise for Liverpool, as tempers flared between players of both sides.
As expected, Liverpool dominated the proceedings in the second half as Chelsea were housed deep in their own half trying to defend. Despite the man advantage Liverpool couldn’t break down a resolute Chelsea defence, and were forced to take efforts from outside the box. The Blues looked comfortable defending Liverpool attacks, and managed to gain some valuable possession and counterattacks when possible.
The Blues fended off Liverpool attacks and earned a valuable point at Anfield as both teams remain on same points heading into the international break.
Speaking to reporters after the game Thomas Tuchel said he was unhappy with the quick decision referee Anthony Tailor made. The German added “I don’t know anymore what happens and what does not happen. We were just a bit worried that he was just looking at a photo and the photo gives a clear image that it’s a red card and a penalty.”
“For me it was too quick, I would have wished for a longer check and to see the whole situation, where it gets deflected. I can remember referees explaining to us, if it’s a deflection and it’s not a very unnatural arm position, then it’s not a penalty.“
“Maybe he stays with the decision [if he watched the video] but I heard an explanation where it’s not a handball and then maybe he would have done another decision. I’m not blaming him for making the decision, but how he took it was for me too quick.”