Daniel Sturridge scored a truly world-class goal to deny Chelsea a valuable victory as Liverpool fought back to draw 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead with a crisp low finish, meaning he has now scored two in one week against Klopp’s men. The Belgian continues to be in sensational form for Sarri’s side as he increased his goal tally to six league goals for 2018/19; Hazard now leads the Golden Boot rankings and he does not look like slowing down anytime soon.
Chelsea held on until the 89th minute until Daniel Sturridge scored a wonder goal to draw Liverpool level. It was pure genius from the Englishman and speculative to say the least. Sturridge received an inconspicuous pass outside of the Chelsea box, settled himself and launched a 30-yard wonder-strike that Chelsea’s keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was simply unable to prevent from cannoning into the back of the net.
The Reds kept pushing but they couldn’t find a way through the resolute Blues defence and the game ended 1-1. Klopp will naturally be the happier of the two managers, given the game looked out of reach, though a point will be satisfactory for both sides, keeping Liverpool in second place and Chelsea just behind them in third, but crucially both teams unbeaten records in the Premier League remain as we approach October.
Eden Hazard shines again
The Belgian winger scored his second goal in a week against Liverpool, and while it might not have been on the same level as his one on Wednesday night, its importance should not be underrated. A crisp low finish in classic Hazard style was what got Chelsea within nine minutes of taking all three points.
But are Chelsea too reliant on the Belgian? He has scored 40% of Chelsea’s goals in the Premier League this season, and while a hat-trick does inflate those statistics, it still leaves a telling message. Teams go out to shut him down, but it seems that they are powerless to do so. However, one does wonder if they manage to do it what kind of impact would that have on Chelsea as a whole?
Liverpool did well to keep him relatively quiet but ultimately with the quality Chelsea have in midfield, the Belgian was always going to get at least one chance, which he did and he happily tucked it away.
Liverpool show immense character
It appears with each passing game that Liverpool become more serious title contenders. Klopp’s men continue to show that they are not to be taken lightly and they can provide Manchester City with a real test this coming season. They are doing it across every competition, with the exception of the EFL Cup, but that was a second-string team and they have the potential to be a real force.
Despite being behind for long periods of this game, 64 minutes to be exact, Liverpool continually pushed, and never once did Chelsea look comfortable. It seemed almost inevitable that they would equalise and lo, they did. Their drive and energy is quite remarkable and to do so as a team, rather than as individuals.
Whilst they may not be the most star-studded line up, they are without a doubt the best collective unit in the Premier League. If come May the title ends up in Anfield then I don’t think many if any of us will be surprised.
Sturridge for England?
Daniel Sturridge today got his own back on his old employers with a remarkable equaliser from 25 years out. While some may argue that Kepa should have saved it, we should not take away from the skill required to execute such a goal.
Sturridge is now 29 years old, and although we know Southgate has a preference for youth over experience in his England squads, if he keeps up this form I see no reason why he shouldn’t get a go in the team. With the next game away to Lithuania it could be a great chance to get him back in.
With that goal Sturridge now becomes the player with the third most goals from the bench (17) only behind Giroud (19), and Jermain Defoe (24). Whilst he wouldn’t mind this statistic, I imagine he will see this as forcing himself into Klopp’s mind to start next week against Manchester City.
Man of the Match: Eden Hazard.
For me this has to be Eden Hazard. Although he didn’t end up on a winning side he showed once again why people are labelling him as the best player in the Premier League. He was fantastic and while Liverpool did really try to keep him quiet, eventually his brilliance shone through.