Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
1

Paper Talk: Chelsea's Coutinho

Chelsea chasing Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is one of the transfer rumours doing the round in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Premier League betting preview

Tuesday sees two games in the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Brighton and Watford take on Southampton. We have two best bets.

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Chelsea misfire in top-four battle

Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands as Chelsea blew a big chance to stake their Champions League claim by slipping to a 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Lukaku leaving?

Juventus are eyeing Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku with Manchester United happy to listen to offers - get all the latest from today's back pages.

Sergi Canos celebrates his goal against Leeds5

Loss effectively ends Leeds' hopes

Brentford dealt Leeds' hopes of an automatic return to the Premier League a hammer blow with a thrilling 2-0 win at Griffin Park.

Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah puts Reds top of the Premier League table

Sadio Mane gives Liverpool the lead against Chelsea
Sadio Mane gives Liverpool the lead against Chelsea

Liverpool exorcised the ghosts of 2014 with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea to keep their Premier League title charge on track.

Sadio Mane's header early in the second half was followed moments later by a goal-of-the-season contender from Mohamed Salah and, after two uncharacteristic misses by Eden Hazard, the Reds regained the top spot they had lost 90 minutes earlier to Manchester City.

Salah's goal was worthy of winning a title let alone a game, but for now Liverpool will settle for the latter.

A two-point lead over City, winners at Crystal Palace, was restored and proved Jurgen Klopp's previous assertion that no-one is getting rid of his side in this most enthralling of races.

This was, on paper, the toughest task remaining for the Reds, with games against Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves to follow.

The fixture had drawn comparisons with the last time Liverpool were in a title race in 2014, only to be derailed by Chelsea and Jose Mourinho in a match best remembered for Steven Gerrard's fateful slip, but this was not even a pale imitation of that.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andy Robertson keep an eye on the ball
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andy Robertson keep an eye on the ball

Maurizio Sarri's side came knowing they had to get something to strengthen their own claims for a top-four spot and, as a result, Chelsea were by no means as defensive as five years ago, looking to hit their hosts on the counter using the talent of Hazard as a false nine.

Too often, though, the Belgium international was left to do it all on his own and he got little change out of Virgil Van Dijk until the hour mark when his side were 2-0 down.

Realistically, however, he should have put his side level as first he beat Alisson Becker in a one-on-one only for his shot to rebound off a post and then fired a first-time shot straight at the goalkeeper from close range seconds later.

It was as manic a couple of minutes as those which saw Liverpool take a lead and quickly double it just after half-time.

Salah nicked the ball off Emerson deep in his own penalty area and Jordan Henderson seized on the mistake to clip a cross to the far post where the unmarked Mane headed home his 18th Premier League goal of the season.

Roberto Firmino (left) and David Luiz battle for the ball
Roberto Firmino (left) and David Luiz battle for the ball

It was not a great passage of play for the Chelsea left-back as he then stood off Salah enough to encourage the Egyptian to cut in on his left foot and rifle an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.

It was Salah's first goal in six appearances at home and could not have been better timed. Or more perfectly struck.

Anfield was bouncing at that stage and Roberto Firmino then drilled a low shot just wide as the hosts threatened to run riot.

But just as quickly it changed when Maurizio Sarri brought on Gonzalo Higuain and restored Hazard to his usual position wide on the left.

The Belgian had two chances to score as the game became far more open as, for the first time this season, Klopp's side looked in danger of bottling it.

Considering how much was at stake the nerves reverberating around Anfield were understandable, although that anxiety at times transferred itself on to the pitch.

For a brief second there was an horrific flashback to Gerrard in 2014 when Andy Robertson slipped on the halfway line, but the ball fell to Higuain, who has considerably less pace than Demba Ba showed five years ago, and Liverpool had plenty of players to cover.

Sadio Mane celebrates his goal against Chelsea
Sadio Mane celebrates his goal

Opta facts

  • Liverpool registered just their third win over Chelsea in their last 17 meetings in all competitions (W3 D8 L6) and their first at Anfield since a 4-1 win in the Premier League in May 2012.
  • Chelsea have lost their last six away Premier League matches against fellow ‘big six’ opponents, conceding 16 goals across those defeats.
  • This was Liverpool’s 26th Premier League victory of the season, equalling their record from the 2013-14 campaign under Brendan Rodgers. They last won more in a top-flight season in 1978-79 (30 wins).
  • Sadio Mané has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season – his best tally in a season for an English side.
  • Mohamed Salah’s goal was his first from outside the box in the Premier League since scoring against Manchester City in January 2018.
  • This was Jürgen Klopp’s 200th match in charge of Liverpool in all competitions (W112 D52 L36).
  • Aged 18 years and 158 days, Callum Hudson-Odoi became the youngest Chelsea player to start three consecutive Premier League games.
  • Since the start of last season, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored more goals in all competitions than any other Premier League player (66).

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
1

Paper Talk: Chelsea's Coutinho

Chelsea chasing Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is one of the transfer rumours doing the round in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Premier League betting preview

Tuesday sees two games in the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Brighton and Watford take on Southampton. We have two best bets.

=?UTF-8?Q?Burnley=E2=80=99s_Ashley_Barnes_celebrates?=3

Chelsea misfire in top-four battle

Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands as Chelsea blew a big chance to stake their Champions League claim by slipping to a 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Lukaku leaving?

Juventus are eyeing Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku with Manchester United happy to listen to offers - get all the latest from today's back pages.

Sergi Canos celebrates his goal against Leeds5

Loss effectively ends Leeds' hopes

Brentford dealt Leeds' hopes of an automatic return to the Premier League a hammer blow with a thrilling 2-0 win at Griffin Park.

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