Jurgen Klopp made a few changes to the side that beat Norwich last Friday, with Joe Gomez, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane, replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gini Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi.
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Our team to face @ChelseaFC tonight 👊
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2019
Meanwhile former West Ham goalkeeper Adrian got named in for the injured Alisson, while Naby Keita was out with a thigh strain. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard however, named a more experienced and conservative look to them than they did against Manchester United.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 14, 2019
In came N’Golo Kante as part of a midfield three, Christian Pulisic made his first start and Olivier Giroud was named up front while youthful Mason Mount, Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham got dropped by the Chelsea manager.
Centre referee Stephanie Frappert, made history by becoming the first woman to officiate a major men’s European match. She also refereed the women’s World Cup final in July and has taken charge of Ligue 1 matches since April.
Liverpool took ‘the bull by the horn’ as Henderson charged down the right at Chelsea and sent in a cross to Mane, the forward met it with an acrobatic overhead kick but had it hit Christensen on the arms and deflect wide for a corner which got dealt with by the Europa League winners.
Liverpool came close again as a poor clearance from Kepa set the Reds on the attack, but Salah’s shot got blocked on the edge of the area.
Chelsea had their own chance to take the lead as Pedro hit the bar! The Spaniard played a great one-two with Oliver Giroud, then slipped into the left of the Liverpool area and decided to have a pop from a tight angle. His shot beat Adrian in goal but bounced off the bar and away to safety.
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Chelsea resilience finally paid off as Oliver Giroud gave the Blues the lead. N’Golo Kante took charge in the centre again, driving past Fabinho and holding off Mane before finding Christian Pulisic. This time the American had the composure to lift his head, pick a pass and slip the ball through to Giroud, who used his left foot to slip a low finish under Adrian for the opener.
Chelsea had the chance to go 2-goals up but Pulisic’s ball in the Liverpool net was was cut off after being flagged offside by the VAR. That would be the last key action of the half as the Blues took an early lead over Lampard’s Blue army.