English Premier League match report Chelsea v Liverpool 29 September 2018

Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk

That has to feel good for Sturridge.

Klopp also attempted to downplay Mohamed Salah's withdrawal after 66 minutes, with Xherdan Shaqiri replacing the Egypt worldwide, who squandered a number of good opportunities during his return to Chelsea. In the end, it was Sturridge, who went from Chelsea to Liverpool in 2013, who had the final say with an stunning strike from 30 yards.

Liverpool now boast a ideal record in the league, whilst Chelsea are only two points behind following their goalless draw with West Ham United.

He missed two decent half-chances in the first half before seeing Rudiger deny him in athletic style, and his link-up play with Roberto Firmino was a long way short of its brilliant best.

In terms of their best XI, Kepa Arrizabalaga is proving himself to be a sturdy replacement for Thibaut Courtois in goal and the midfield axis of Jorginho, N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic is as good as any in the league. I love the club, the fans, the city and my team-mates, I think, love me so it's easy to stay.

"Hazard is always thinking, always on the move, really hard to play against".

Yet while next Sunday's encounter might give an indication as to which team is the most likely to emerge as champions, Chelsea have many aspects in their favour to argue their case as a third challenger. He was taken off for Shaqiri with 24 minutes left.

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Sarri said ahead of the match that Liverpool are "ready now to win the Premier League" and his view was not altered by the result at Stamford Bridge.

That goal was the first Jurgen Klopp's side have conceded in the first half in the Premier League this season, and they responded quickly, again through Salah.

While Hazard continues to dazzle under Sarri this season, Liverpool's star man, Mohamed Salah, had another quiet game, with the Egyptian failing to make the most of a number of chances.

Liverpool's front three, who terrorised defences last season, had looked uncharacteristically out of sorts before Sturridge was introduced as an 86th-minute substitute. So he has to score another 33; 40 in a season, not (just) in Premier League.

Liverpool FC will now switch their focus back towards Champions League affairs and their crunch clash away at Napoli on Wednesday night in the group stage.

Chelsea's key players are likely to be given a rest on Thursday, when they host Vidi in the Europa League, given their league trip to Southampton takes place only three days later.

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