Premier League defending champions Liverpool registered their second win of the new campaign with a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.
A Sadio Mane brace in the second half was enough to give the Reds their first win on the road, even though they benefited hugely from a red-card to defender Andreas Christensen.
Both managers made single changes each to the starting lineups, with Frank Lampard re-calling Mateo Kovacic, who missed last week’s match due to suspension.
Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand, started Fabinho in defense in place of Joe Gomez, and later gave Thiago Alcantara his debut after Jordan Henderson went off injured.
The first half was largely uneventful, with only two clear-cut chances, one each to the two sides.
First, Roberto Firmino received a neat pass inside the box on the 15th minute and thumped the ball goalward, but a last-ditch block denied him as the ball went out of play.
Chelsea then got theirs just after the half-hour mark, when Timo Werner made a good run with the ball, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area went just wide of the right post.
The hosts then were reduced to 10 men as Christensen denied Sadio Mane a goal-scoring opportunity in first-half added time, to give leave his side with a mountain to climb in the second period.
That red card challenge by Christensen 🙃 pic.twitter.com/e3RQ95JyOM
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 20, 2020
Second half – The goals.
As expected, thanks to the red card, the match erupted to life in the second period, with Liverpool going all out to get an early goal.
They did that five minutes after the restart, with Mane getting on the end of a beautifully chipped ball from Robert Firmino to cleverly beat Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The keeper then made a horrendous error four minutes later as he gifted the Senegal international a simple task of scoring from six yards out after a poor clearance.
The most expensive Kepa in the world. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/OafD5QvR2V
— Eng Magondu (@EngMagondu1) September 20, 2020
Chelsea got the chance to halve the deficit from the spot after Alcantara made pushed Timo Werner in the box, but Jorginho missed as Alisson made a wonderful save.
Tammy Abraham, who came in for Jorginho, blew a clear opportunity to grab a consolation on the 84h minute when he found himself one-on-one with Alisson inside the six-yard box, but attempted to put the ball low into the middle of the target, only for Alisson to deny him.
There were few more chances between the sides as the Reds held on to win 2-0, their fourth victory in a row against the Blues.