Sports Desk, Aug 28 (EFE).- Chelsea served up an impressive defensive display Saturday to come away from Anfield with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the marquee match-up of the young Premier League season despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.
The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute, when Kai Havertz headed-in a Reece James corner, and they looked likely to reach the break with their advantage intact until an incident in first-half stoppage time that would turn the contest on its head.
Liverpool’s Joel Matip bounced a shot off the cross-bar and the ball fell to Sadio Mane. James, standing on the goal line, used his arm to deflect the shot away.
The VAR official alerted the referee, who checked the monitor and quickly signaled a penalty.
Because James prevented a goal, a red card was mandatory and the pleading of his Chelsea teammates fell on deaf ears. Oblivious to Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s attempts to rattle him, Mohamed Salah converted with authority to make it 1-1.
Visiting coach Thomas Tuchel altered his tactical scheme and made two substitutions at the start of the second half, replacing Havertz with Thiago Silva and sending in Mateo Kovacic for N’Golo Kante, who appeared to be struggling with an injury.
The Reds dominated play, with 66 percent possession, and had 8 shots on target to 3 for Chelsea, but they couldn’t put anything past Mendy and the sides shared the points.
Combined with Saturday’s other results, the outcome at Anfield left Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham United and Everton level on points with 7 after three matches.
The Hammers are top of the table by virtue of scoring most goals. EFE