Liverpool, Chelsea in Another Tepid Display at Anfield
Liverpool and Chelsea have produced a long history of dramatic occasions and classic matches at Anfield. This was not one of them.
When referee Michael Oliver sounded his final whistle, Anfield’s near-silence was a brutal reflection of the fact this match was nowhere near as entertaining as the 0-0 scoreline might suggest.
Indeed, Anfield was subdued throughout as two of the Premier League giants – currently going through a period of mutual struggle – delivered graphic evidence of why their respective campaigns are those of underachievement.
Liverpool and Chelsea, in their defence, can offer up mitigating circumstances in the shape of injuries and – in the visitors’ case – a remarkable spree in the transfer market that has seen a near coachload of new arrivals pitch up at Stamford Bridge requiring integration.
There was still, however, enough quality on the pitch to produce better than the monument to mediocrity erected by Liverpool and Chelsea over these 90 minutes.
The Premier League table tells the tale of how the two sides, locked in relentless pursuit of big prizes in recent years, have currently fallen from their former standards.
At the final whistle, Liverpool stood in eighth position and Chelsea two behind them, nine points off the top four and those precious Champions League places after a dismal encounter with only five shots on target.
It was certainly no way for Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp to celebrate his 1,000th game in management.
Elsewhere, Newcastle extended their unbeaten run to a club-record 15 top-flight games with their third goalless draw against Crystal Palace this season.
The Magpies, who moved up to third, had the better chances with Vicente Guaita denying Joelinton three times and Callum Wilson, Sven Botman and Alexander Isak all failing to score headers.
This draw meant Newcastle are eight points behind leaders Arsenal, having played two games more than the Gunners, and possibly ending excitable talk of a title bid.
Palace are yet to win a game in 2023, although this was their second point against a top-four side in four days, having held Manchester United on Wednesday.
They had to wait 72 minutes for their only shot on target with Jean-Philippe Mateta’s drive expertly tipped over the bar by Nick Pope – who has now kept nine clean sheets in a row.
On a mixed night for the Eagles, they lost talismanic forward Wilfried Zaha to an apparent hamstring injury in the second half.
Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
Bournemouth 1-1 Forest
Leicester 2-2 Brighton
Southampton 0-1 A’Villa
West Ham 2-0 Everton
Cry’Palace 0-0 Newcastle