Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Following the sacking of Graham Potter on Sunday, the Blues could not return to winning ways as they took on Jurgen Klopp’s side in the capital.
The game begun in a positive light for Chelsea, chances fell the way of Kai Havertz, Joao Felix and Mateo Kovacic, but they all failed to find the opener for the Blues.
Mid way through the first half, the hosts had the ball in the back of the net, Reece James hit home a thunderous shot past Alisson from the edge of the box, but Enzo Fernandez was judged offside in the build-up.
Liverpool did manage to grow into the game throughout the half, and come close to scoring right before the half-time whistle, but Wesley Fofana was able to divert Fabinho’s close range strike away from goal.
In the second half, the chances continued to fall for the hosts, Kovacic squandered a golden opportunity but the Blues soon had the ball in the back of the net. Clean through, Havertz saw his effort saved and then luckily bounce back off him and in to the goal, his goal to open the scoring however was chalked off as VAR denied Chelsea for the second time in this contest.
While Chelsea continued to search for the difference maker, they were unable to break the deadlock and the game ended level.
In Saltor’s first game in charge as interim head coach for the Blues he made two changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Aston Villa on Saturday. The Frenchmen, N’Golo Kante and Fofana were the two additions to the side, replacing Mykhailo Mudryk and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The sacking of Potter only occurred 48 hours before kick-off in this match and despite the tough run the west London outfit has been on, they managed to start this game in a positive light.
Not even five minutes into the encounter, a chance fell to Kovacic. A ball in from Havertz deflected into the path of the Croatian, although he managed to round Alisson, Ibrahima Konate was back to clear his effort off the line.
Another opportunity fell the way of the hosts moments later, Ben Chilwell’s delivery picked out Havertz in the centre of the box, but this time the Brazilian in the net was able to deny the German.
Eventually the visitors had a glimpse at the Chelsea goal, as Kepa Arrizabalaga came out to clear the danger, he could only pick out Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson. The England international tried his luck from range but fortunately for the Blues Kalidou Koulibaly was back to sweep up and cover.
In the 24th minute, the home crowd erupted as James thumped home a powerful strike after the ball fell to him from a corner. The celebrations were quickly disrupted though, the linesman had flagged for an offside on Fernandez in the build-up. After a VAR check, the goal was confirmed as disallowed.
Ahead of the half-time interval, the away side did begin to grow into the contest, but Chelsea were able to deal with their attacking threats relatively comfortably. Liverpool did come very close to taking the lead before the break though, following a Kepa save that led to a corner, Fofana made a superb block to deny Fabinho.
Going into the break level, the Blues would have discussed how important it is to not waste chances as they did in the opening 45, unfortunately though the second half started in much the same manner. Kovacic crept in behind and blasted his chance over the bar.
In the 50th minute it looked as though the hosts had finally got the bit of luck they needed to make the difference, Havertz was played through by Kante and after his initial effort saved by Alisson the ball rebounded back off the German and rolled into the empty net. Disappointingly for the hosts though, the rebound had ricocheted off the forward’s arm, meaning it was disallowed by VAR.
Saltor opted to use his first substitution in the 69th minute, bringing off Kante for Gallagher. It was the first game the Frenchman had started since August and the Blues will be hopeful he can pick up more minutes as the season draws to a close.
Chelsea continued to fluff their lines at crucial moments as the second half drew on, Felix had a big opportunity after a mix up at the back but blazed the opportunity over.
Eventually, the final whistle blew with no change to the scoreline, meaning the last four times these two teams have met have all ended in 0-0 draws.
For the Blues, they will hope they can improve against Wolves on Saturday and pick up a win ahead of their clash with Real Madrid in a week’s time in the Champions League quarter-finals.
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