Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: the heroes and villains as Reds fail to profit from Reece James’ red card

The Reds struggled to break down the Londoners in the second half at Anfield.

<p>Players clash as Reece James is sent off. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images</p>

Players clash as Reece James is sent off. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool failed to make their numerical advantage count as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Anfield.

The Reds fell behind in the 22nd minute when Kai Havertz headed home superbly beyond goalkeeper Alisson.

But Jurgen Klopp’s side were handed a huge lifeline in first-half stoppage-time when Reece James was given a straight red card. He was adjudged to deny a goalscoring opportunity for handball on the line following a VAR review.

Mohamed Salah tucked home the penalty but Liverpool were unable to profit in the second half.

The Reds dropped their first points of the Premier League season but remain unbeaten after wins over Norwich and Burnley.

The heroes

- Mo Salah: The Egyptian showed nerves of steel to rifle home Liverpool’s penalty after a lengthy wait. It ultimately earned the home side a draw.

Mo Salah scores from the penalty spot. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

- Edouard Mendy: The Chelsea keeper may have guessed wrong for Salah’s penalty, but he made several important saves in the second half to earn his side a precious point.

- Andreas Christensen: The centre-back was the pick of the defence while the visitors were under the pump in the second half. A real gutsy display ensured Chelsea clinched a draw.

The villains

- Reece James: The Chelsea defender could feel aggrieved to have been given his marching orders, but gave referee Anthony Taylor a decision to make. James had also been sloppy in possession a couple of times beforehand.

- Andy Robertson: The left-back returned to the starting line-up after an ankle injury but struggled. He didn’t offer his usual thrust, while his deliveries - both from corners and open play - were not up to scratch.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Andrew Robertson of Liverpool battles for possession with Mason Mount of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on August 28, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

- Jurgen Klopp: The Liverpool manager made the bold decision to make three changes to his starting line-up. It included dropping Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota, who scored in the Reds’ first two games. It backfired, though, and Klopp was unable to find the solution to break down a stubborn Chelsea rearguard in the second half.

Player ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 5, Matip 6, van Dijk 6, Robertson 5, Fabinho 6, Henderson 6 (Thiago 74; 5), Elliott 6, Salah 6, Firmino 5 (Jota 42), Mane 6.

Chelsea (3-5-2): Mendy 7, Azpilicueta 7, Christensen 8, Rudiger 7, James 4, Kante 6 (Kovacic 46; 6), Jorginho 6 (Chalobah 87), Alonso 6, Havertz 7 (Silva 46; 7), Lukaku 6, Mount 6.

What’s next

The international break means that Liverpool have a 15-day absence before they’re back in action.

After three successive away games, the Blues will be back at Goodison Park for the visit of Burnley on Monday, September 13.