Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Anfield showcased their season’s pinnacle performance, reestablishing a commanding five-point lead at the summit of the Premier League table.
Conor Bradley celebrated his inaugural goal for the Reds, coupled with two assists, contributing to a formidable offensive display alongside goals from Diogo Jota, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Luis Diaz. This resounding win serves as a resolute message to rivals Arsenal and Manchester City, affirming Liverpool’s determination to maintain their position at the top.
Despite the convincing triumph, Jurgen Klopp’s squad could have amplified their dominance further, with Nunez encountering the woodwork on four occasions, including a penalty miss. The first half witnessed Liverpool’s imperious performance, exemplified by Nunez’s near misses, including a shot deflected onto the post by Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic.
It seemed inevitable that the Reds would break the deadlock, and they did so in the 23rd minute as Jota skillfully navigated into the box, capping it off with a confident finish.
Shortly after, Curtis Jones tested Petrovic with a well-placed shot before Liverpool extended their lead to 2-0 in the 39th minute. Bradley, unleashed down the right flank, struck a precise shot from an acute angle, marking his first goal for the Reds.
Approaching halftime, in the 45th minute, Klopp’s team had a prime chance to secure the victory. Jota was fouled inside the box by Benoit Badiashile, earning Liverpool a penalty. Despite Nunez’s attempt, the shot rebounded off the post, and Chelsea averted the threat.
Chelsea missed a crucial opportunity early in the second half when Mudryk’s shot went over the bar, allowing Liverpool to reaffirm control. The third goal arrived in the 65th minute as Bradley delivered a cross met by Szoboszlai, who expertly guided the ball past Petrovic.
Although Chelsea narrowed the gap with Nkunku’s goal in the 71st minute, Liverpool quickly reestablished their three-goal lead. Nunez provided the assist, setting up Diaz for a close-range finish.
In Klopp’s initial league game following his announcement of leaving as manager at the season’s end, it strongly hinted that he might orchestrate an ideal farewell for Liverpool. Here’s how Ian Doyle rated Liverpool players in their Premier League win over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Alisson Becker – 7
Got off his line early in the first half and was otherwise untroubled. Beaten by Nkunku when he couldn’t do much else but sound otherwise.
Conor Bradley – 10
Immense in the first half. Started by playing an excellent through to engineer a Nunez cross then stepped in to win the ball and assist Jota’s opener. Bradley would have a moment to remember when he added Liverpool’s second with angled shot that found the far corner and played his part in the penalty. Was immaculate defensively as he shackled Sterling and Mudryk and then his fizzing cross found the head of Szoboszlai for the Reds’ third goal. There won’t be many better performances this season. Subbed in the 68th minute.
Virgil van Dijk – 7.5
Survived an early penalty appeal following a collision with Conor Gallagher but otherwise sound in the first half and cross for Jota led to the penalty. Barely troubled after the break and crossfield ball set Bradley away to cross for Liverpool’s third. Perhaps could have got tighter to Nkunku for Chelsea’s consolation, however.
Ibrahima Konate – 8
Defended on the front foot in and gave Chelsea nothing. Booked in the second half.
Joe Gomez – 8
Quelled the threat of Palmer throughout and contributed going forward. Subbed in the 68th minute.
Alexis Mac Allister – 9
Impeccable on the ball as he played intelligent passes in abundance and gave Chelsea no room when out of possession.
Curtis Jones – 8
Kept Liverpool ticking in the and forced a good save out of the Chelsea keeper in the first half.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 8
Physicality meant that Liverpool dominated the engine room and his glancing header sealed the victory. An excellent performance before being subbed in the 68th minute.
Diogo Jota – 9
A pest for Chelsea throughout the first half. Took his goal with aplomb, won Liverpool a penalty and was difficult to handle. Movement continued to cause problems for the visitors after the break and was subbed in the 68th minute to save his legs.
Darwin Nunez – 9
Tormented Chelsea throughout the first half but failed to find the back of the net – hitting the woodwork twice including a missed penalty. Somehow didn’t score in the second half as the woodwork denied him twice but he delivered an excellent cross for Diaz’s goal.
Luis Diaz – 9
Tenacious throughout the first half and teed-up Bradley’s goal. Continued to put Chelsea on the back foot in the second half and clever run towards the near post created space for Szobozlai’s header. Then got in on the act by getting across Badiashile and round off Nunez’s cross.
Sub 1 – Trent Alexander-Arnold –
Sub 2 – Andy Robertson – 7
More minutes after injury and could well have had an assist if Nunez found the back of the net.
Sub 3 – Harvey Elliott – 7
Added fresh energy and had a shot saved.
Sub 4 – Cody Gakpo – 7
Flashed one shot not too far wide.
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