Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 17 September 2016
Diego Costa does what he does best, score - but the rest of the team produced a woeful first 45 minutes against Liverpool tonight that they went in to the interval 2-0.
The second period was better but not quite good enough.Diego Costa’s second half poke home reduced the deficit created by a shambolic first half that saw the visitors score twice through Dejan Lovren and a wonder strike by Jordan Henderson.

John Terry, sitting in the stand nursing an injured ankle will be wondering if he would get back into the side following the signing of David Luiz. He need not have fretted as the Blues’ naivety was cruelly exposed for the opening strike which saw four Liverpool players in a position to strike the ball. Lovren was the man who took the chance.
Henderson’s brilliant strike came from a poor Gary Cahill clearance and Thibaut Courtois could not be faulted.
Costa, subdued for most of the game struck in typical poacher’s style to drag the Blues back into the game.
But three late substations by Chelsea, perhaps 10 minutes too late could not salvage a point and the visitors fans went home the happier.
But the Blues remain in third place in the Premier League on goal difference above – Liverpool.
Liverpool’s counter-attacking style was in full flow on 2 minutes when the ball was zipped down Chelsea’s right flank, before being cut across to Daniel Sturbridge on the right side of the Chelsea penalty area. He cut in a let fly with a trademark left footer, which Thibaut Courtois took two touches before snaffling to safety.
Chelsea certainly struggled in the opening phase of the game to get a foothold in the game as the visitors dominated possession.
Liverpool deservedly went into the lead when on 13 minutes when a speculative ball by Philippe Coutinho across Chelsea’s back four could have fallen to anyone of four Liverpool players as the defence were ball-watching and sucked towards the right.,
But Dejan Lovren was the lucky recipient and tuck home a smart volley past the prone and exposed Courtois.
David Luiz gave the Blues some welcome respite on 23 minutes when he left the field for treatment to a bloodied nose after a clash with Sadie Mane.
A twist and turn by Nemanja matic, on 25 minutes from the edge of the Liverpool area was easily charged down but represented the home side’s first serious attack on goal.
This was quickly followed a minute later by a speculative 25-yarder buy N’Golo Kante which sailed into row Z of The Shed.
A sensational strike by Jordan Henderson, on 36 minutes sent the visiting Scousers into delirium as Jordan Henderson picked up a clearance by Gary Cahill and brilliantly curled a 30-harder high and wide of Courtois’s outstretched hand to nestle into the back of the Chelsea net.
There were no changes in personnel from either side at half-time.
But the first came on 57 minutes with ex-Blue Daniel Sturridge of for Divock Origi.
Chelsea certainly had the upper hand from the restart and they managed to reduce the deficit on 62 minutes. Nemanja Matic started the move off and was on hand to junk his way through the Liverpool defence before cutting back a deft byline pass to Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born Spain striker was on hand to tuck the ball home from close range to notch up his fifth goal in five league matches.
The hitman almost levelled the scores when a fine cornfield ball by Ivanovic was met on the head by Oscar to steered it to Costa. He turns and let flay but there was little power and Simon Mignolet easily held the effort.
Courtois made a brilliant save from Origi, which dived low to his left to thwart the striker.
Antonio Conte decided to make all three changes on 84 minutes, bringing on Spain midfielders Pedro and Cesc Fabregas and Victor Moses for Oscar, Matic and Willian, while Jurgen Klopp replaced Coutinho for Lucas.
The changes did the Blues no good and Liverpool easily held on to the lead to record back-to back wins at the Bridge, having won 3-1 last season.
Next up for Chelsea is a EFL cup match at Leicester Tuesday followed by a trip to north London to face arsenal at the weekend.
Teams: Chelsea FC, Courtois, Ivanovic, Kante, Oscar, Hazard, Costa, Matic, Willian, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz
Subs: Begovic, Alonso, Fabregas, Pedro, Moses, Batshuatyi, Aina

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyde, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Coutinho, Henderson, Sturreidge, Lallana, Matic.
Subs: Karius, Grujic, Moreno, Lucas, Original, Stewart, Ejaria

Referee Martin Atkinson

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