By Juan Aguerrevere
Both Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri made some changes after midweek clashes in the Champions League and Europa League, respectively.
Klopp summoned Joel Matip and Andrew Robertson for Dejan Lovren and James Milner. Meanwhile, Sarri introduced six changes from his lineup against Slavia Praha including Emerson Palmieri who replaced Marcos Alonso, who scored the winner midweek.
In the first half, Klopp's men dominated possession and had more chances than Chelsea despite a couple of counterattacks from the Blues. Liverpool tested Chelsea's defense with several crosses. The away team's backline responded well until Antonio Rudiger suffered a knee injury forcing Sarri to use his first substitution bringing on Andreas Christensen.
The difference was almost instantaneous. Chelsea failed to adequately defend a free-kick leaving three Liverpool players against Kepa Arizabalaga who made the save even though the play was called offsides.
Liverpool claimed its first goal five minutes after the start. Mohamed Salah connected well with Jordan Henderson who then lobbed it to the back post fining Mane's head. Nearly three minutes later, Salah drilled a missile in the top corner from just over twenty yards out. The fans at Anfield were roaring.
Eden Hazard missed two back-to-back chances that he should have finished, leaving Chelsea fans hopeless. Hazard was denied by the post in his first chance and by Alisson Becker in the second.
Mane is now the league’s joint-third top scorer with seventeen goals while Salah tied with Aguero for the most with 19 goals. Alisson recorded his eighteenth, and league leading, clean sheet.
Before the match, a minute of silence was held in memory of the 96 lives lost 30 years ago in the Hillsborough Disaster.
Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.