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Friday, June 21, 2024

Liverpool maintain lead atop Premier League with convincing win over Chelsea

There was no doubt as to who the dominant side were at Anfield on Wednesday night as Liverpool ran rampant in a 4-1 victory over Chelsea.

The result sees the Reds maintain their five-point advantage atop the Premier League table, and sends a clear message to Manchester City, who defeated Burnley earlier in the evening, about their title credentials.

Liverpool were outstanding for much of the contest, and were somewhat flattered by their 2-0 advantage at half-time. Although Chelsea’s lone goal made it 3-1 after Dominik Szoboszlai netted Liverpool’s third, Luis Diaz dashed hopes of a potential comeback by scoring the fourth with just under 10 minutes remaining.

Liverpool run rampant in the first half

The first change, of what proved to be many, went Liverpool’s way. Darwin Nunez fired a long-range strike that looked destined for goal, but Djordje Petrovic’s managed to tip the ball on to the crossbar, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Petrovic denied Nunez again with a brilliant left hand save soon after as the Reds continued to dominate proceedings, and it wasn’t long until they opened the scoring.

Diogo Jota found some space between two Chelsea defenders, and after a somewhat fortuitous bounce, he slotted home to the delight of the home fans.

Liverpool continued its siege on the Chelsea goal, with Petrovic stopping Curtis Jones’ shot from going into the bottom corner, while Nunez sent another effort wide of the mark. The Serbian goalkeeper could do nothing to deny Conor Bradley, as he got away from Raheem Sterling before firing into the bottom corner for his first goal Liverpool goal.

It should have been 3-0 before the end of the first half when Benoit Badiashile stood on Diogo Jota’s foot in the box. Initially it appeared Alexis Mac Allister would take the penalty, and the Reds likely wish he did, as Nunez sent his strike off the post.

Chelsea unable to reopen proceedings

Mauricio Pochettino made a trio of subs at half-time, introducing Nkunku, Mudryk and Gusto for Gallagher, Chilwell and Madueke in hopes of injecting some life into his flat Chelsea side.

It somewhat worked, as Mudryk found himself unmarked in the box, but he fired high of the goal in what was Chelsea’s best chance up to that point.

However, it proved to be a false dawn as Liverpool once again seized control of the match. In fact, they all but put it away in the 65th minute when Szoboszlai headed home Bradley’s cross.

Chelsea left the door open for a possible comeback when Nkunku beat two Liverpool defenders and slotted home in the 71st minute.

However, their slim hopes remained that after a second penalty shout, this time for Van Dijk clipping Nkunku, went unanswered, while Nunez found time to hit the woodwork for the fourth time by sending his header off the bar from close range.

In fact, Liverpool even managed to score a fourth, Nunez’s cross finding Luis Diaz who slid the ball home from close range.

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