Liverpool extended its 100% domestic record this season with a tough 2-1 victory against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
First-half goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino were enough to clinch all three points in an entertaining match at Stamford Bridge, with N’Golo Kante scoring the host’s only goal of the game.
It was the first time since 2016 that the Reds have won away to Chelsea and Sunday’s win keeps Jurgen Klopp’s side five points clear at the top of the English Premier League.
Meanwhile, defeat leaves the west London club in the bottom half of the table.
Liverpool has a poor record away to the league’s so-called top six clubs and it was made to work very hard for its sixth consecutive win of the season.
Chelsea’s young side threatened on a number of occasions but the game’s big moments fell in favour of the reigning European Champion.
“Massive for us. We have come here in good form, tried to execute the game plan and bounced back from a set back in midweek and shown we are a good side,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports, referring to his side’s midweek defeat in the Champions League.
“You can’t expect to come here and have it your own way. They are a proud side and were going to come out fighting. The last 25-30 mins were really tough.”
Liverpool opened the scoring through a wonderful Alexander-Arnold strike after he made the most of a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box. The rehearsed routine saw Mohamed Salah rework the angle of the set-piece, with the England international sending the ball flying into the top corner of the net.
Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had equalized for Chelsea shortly after but the goal was eventually ruled out by VAR — replays showed Mason Mount had strayed fractionally offside in the buildup.
To make matters worse for Chelsea, Liverpool doubled its lead just moments after play restarted.
In many ways, the second goal bore the hallmarks of the first, only this time it was left to Alexander-Arnold to rework the angle of a wide free-kick which allowed Andy Robertson to tee up an unmarked Roberto Firmino for a header.
Such routines should not come as a surprise. Liverpool has now scored 34 goals from set-piece situations since the beginning of last season — seven more than any other EPL team.
“We work on set pieces. All the things we do in training I love to see on the pitch. Big fight from everybody,” Klopp told Sky Sports after the match.
Chelsea was not without its chances though.
In-form striker Tammy Abraham missed a golden opportunity in the first half when one-on-one with goalkeeper Adrian and Lampard’s young side continued to test Liverpool’s resolve.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was Kante who supplied the hosts with the clinical finishing it lacked for much of the match.
The Frenchman finished off a wonderful run to set up a tense final 20 minutes for the travelling fans where Chelsea perhaps should have found the equalizer.
The result means Lampard is still waiting for a home win as Chelsea boss but the former England international was encouraged by the way his side played at times.
“Performance-wise we were the better team. We had more energy in our game, character and spirit. That’s why the crowd applauded at the end. Let’s take this forward,” he told Sky Sports.
Elsewhere, Manchester United suffered defeat away to West Ham United. Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell were enough to see off a meek display from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Meanwhile, 10-man Arsenal completed a remarkable comeback against Aston Villa, twice coming from behind to win 3-2.