By Emmanuel Ebimoh
The rivalry between the Red and Blue titans of English Football in the Premier League may have lasted for a little over two decades, but the spectacle and sheer brilliance in every encounter is always as fresh as a new day. With millions of fans all over the world glued to their television screen for another mouth-watery encounter – the 57th clash between the two powerhouses – there was surely more to anticipate on the field of play.
Whether for the sake of pride, glory, or revenge, the price at stake in the Premier League battle between Chelsea and Liverpool is always never in doubt and never to be sacrificed on the altar of careless, unforgivable errors. And for Frank Lampard and his Chelsea team, this is a memo they probably have to read again.
The game started with the usual vibe and anxiety expected in a clash of two giants, and for most part of the first half there wasn’t so much to separate the teams until Chelsea’s defender, Andreas Christensen, made the first costly error of the game when he manhandled Sadio Mane who had a goal-bound opportunity in the 45th minute. The defender was given a red card for his trouble and Chelsea were reduced to 10 men. If Chelsea had a chance against the reigning Champions on the night, that chance effectively dissipated with one man less on the field.
As usual, Liverpool wasted no time capitalising on the numerical advantage and it took just 5 minute into the second half for the Champions to establish their dominance on the night. A delicious team move culminated in a Mane header for the first goal. And then, four minutes later, Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga committed the second costly error of the game when he indecisively cleared the ball into the path of Mane who slotted the ball into an empty net. It was a golden gift on a platter for the rampaging Senegalese.
One positive, however, for Chelsea in the game was the electrifying pace of Timo Werner that was a continuous threat to Liverpool’s defence, and this pace paid off when Thiago tripped him in the box for a penalty for Chelsea. But Alisson was brilliant to save the resulting penalty by Jorginho. In the end, it was a well deserved 2-0 victory for Liverpool.
It was Chelsea’s first loss of the new season but could turn out to be a costly 3 points deficit when the chips are down at the end of the season. For Liverpool, the resurgence and aspirations to win a back-to-back English Premier League trophy has definitely kicked off to a flying start.