FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Chelsea in the Premier League.
Liverpool weathered a spirited second-half fightback to maintain their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 victory at Chelsea on Super Sunday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s thunderbolt and Roberto Firmino’s header, either side of a disallowed Cesar Azpilicueta equaliser, saw the league leaders open up a two-goal lead inside half an hour at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante’s brilliant solo effort set up a tense final 19 minutes in which substitute Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount spurned glorious chances to earn Frank Lampard’s side a point.
But Liverpool ground out a sixth Premier League win from six that restores their five-point lead at the top of the table and extends their unbeaten league run to 23 games – their longest since run since November 1990.
How Liverpool withstood Chelsea fightback
If Manchester City’s demolition of Watford on Saturday showed the champions would not relinquish their crown without a fight, then Liverpool’s navigation of one of the Premier League’s toughest away assignments proved yet again the Reds are more than capable of going toe to toe with their title rivals.
It took just 15 minutes for the visitors to take the lead as Alexander-Arnold lashed a venomous effort past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner after Mohamed Salah rolled a free-kick from the edge of the area into his path.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is congratulated by Mohamed Salah
Tammy Abraham, an isolated figure as Chelsea’s lone frontman against Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, was presented with a gilt-edged chance to introduce himself to the game on 24 minutes but, having latched onto Azpilicueta’s through ball, he failed to draw the hosts level, firing straight at Adrian in the Liverpool goal.
Chelsea’s visible improvement culminated with Azpilicueta finding the back of the net after Fabinho failed to clear Willian’s drilled cross into the area, but VAR found Mount to be offside in the build-up, and the jubilation inside Stamford Bridge evaporated in an instant.
And Liverpool rubbed further salt into Chelsea wounds two minutes later as some suspect defending at a free-kick left Firmino unmarked in the box and he guided Andrew Robertson’s cross beyond Kepa with a header into the top corner – the Reds’ 34th league goal from a set-piece since the start of last season.
Chelsea could have reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time but Abraham glanced a header wide, while Marcos Alonso drilled crossed was gathered at the second attempt by Adrian after his initial spill brought pressure from the Chelsea attackers.
Team-mates congratulate Roberto Firmino after he doubles Liverpool’s lead
Liverpool looked to end the game as a contest early in the second period, but a stunning diving save from Kepa to deny Firmino’s brilliant volley into the turf kept Chelsea clinging on.
Chelsea struggled to contain Liverpool as they grew in confidence, but they grabbed a lifeline and swung the momentum in their favour on 71 minutes when Kante waltzed through the defence and completed a stunning solo effort with a curler into the top corner.
Kante’s moment of magic inspired a late Chelsea revival but they failed to capitalise on it as Batshuayi’s wide glancing header and Mount’s drive over from Alonso crosses saw Liverpool win yet another game.
The third round of the Carabao Cup sees Chelsea host Grimsby on Wednesday and Liverpool travel to MK Dons – live from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Football; kick-off 7.45pm.
MK Dons vs Liverpool
September 25, 2019, 7:30pm
Chelsea host Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm, while Liverpool’s next league assignment is away at Sheffield United on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.