Mohamed Salah battles with Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher
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Chelsea and Liverpool played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as their Premier League seasons began.
Luis Diaz scored a well-worked goal in the first half for Liverpool before Chelsea hit back through new centre-back Axel Disasi, who pounced on the ball in the box. Both sides had goals ruled out as they went on to share the points in an open and often chaotic encounter.
Here is how the players rated.
Robert Sanchez, 5: Couldn’t do much about Luis Diaz’s opener, but looked nervy at times with the ball at his feet and almost conceded a goal to his former Brighton teammate Alexis Mac Allister with a poor pass.
Axel Disasi, 6: Might have done better to track Diaz for the first Liverpool goal. Scored on his Chelsea debut.
Thiago Silva, 7: Some good distribution from the centre of defence and made an excellent late challenge on Darwin Nunez.
Levi Colwill, 6: Bright and confident on the ball, always looking to break lines and move Chelsea forwards. Struggled to contain Mohamed Salah in the first half but improved.
Reece James, 7: The new captain was excellent going forwards as ever, creating a couple of guilt-edge chances which Nicolas Jackson squandered. Less convincing at the back as he tried to retreat into a back four from a hybrid-wingback role. Came off injured after 75 minutes – a concern for manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Enzo Fernandez, 7: Slick and smart on the ball throughout.
Carney Chukwuemeka, 6: Struggled to impact the game but had some good moments down Chelsea’s left side and linked well with Ben Chilwell.
Conor Gallagher, 7: Did well with the difficult task of playing in a two-man midfield. Really needs a defensive player alongside him in order to cut loose.
Conor Gallagher in action for Chelsea
Ben Chilwell, 7: Got an assist and thought he’d scored a well-taken goal before VAR intervened. A constant attacking threat who kept Trent Alexander-Arnold busy.
Raheem Sterling, 7: Energetic England man added some spark to Chelsea’s attacking play.
Nicolas Jackson, 4: Squandered some excellent chances on debut, though did at least show the movement to get in the right positions. Showed glimpses of his link-up play.
Subs: Malo Gusto, 6, Mykhailo Mudryk, 6, Ian Maatsen, 6, Lesley Ugochukwu, 6.
Alisson Becker, 7: Not too busy but made a couple of good saves including a crucial one-on-one stop to deny Jackson in the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6: His neat assist for Salah was wiped out by VAR, but defensively stuck to his task. Booked for time wasting, something that could become a regular occurence across the league this season.
Ibrahima Konate, 5: Let Jackson get away from him on a couple of occasions.
Virgil van Dijk, 6: Solid enough on his first game as the club’s new captain, but struggled with Liverpool’s high line at times.
Andy Robertson, 6: Brought typical industry from left full-back but lacked a cutting edge in the final third.
Cody Gakpo, 4: Minimal impact on the game in an unfamiliar midfield role. Replaced after 65 minutes.
Alexis Mac Allister, 7: Sharp on the ball in midfield, setting Mohamed Salah away down the right to create Liverpool’s goal.
Dominik Szoboszlai, 5: A reasonable debut from the Hungarian in midfield, but faded.
Mohamed Salah, 7: Always lively, creating the goal, scoring a ruled-out one of his own and hitting the bar too – and that was just the first half. Quieter in the second as Chelsea took control, and livid to be brought off after 76 minutes.
Luis Diaz converts Mohamed Salah’s pass to score
Diogo Jota, 5: Some decent movement up front but couldn’t carve out any clear sights on goal. Replaced after 65 minutes.
Luis Diaz, 7: An opening-day goal to remind the world what Liverpool missed for much of last season. If the Colombian can stay fit he could be a major player for Jurgen Klopp this season.
Subs: Curtis Jones, 7; Darwin Nunez, 6; Ben Doak, 6; Harvey Elliott, 7.
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