Chelsea and Liverpool ended a run of four successive 0-0 draws between the two clubs, but once again they could not be separated as they played out an entertaining 1-1 tie at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
In the eyes of many, Chelsea and Liverpool were the biggest underperformers of the 2022-23 Premier League season, the former recording their lowest finish (12th) since 1994 (14th) and the latter failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
After summers of significant upheaval, they began their respective 2023-24 campaigns at Stamford Bridge on Sunday showing that, although more tweaks may still be required, strides have already been made.
Nevertheless, once again they couldn’t be separated; their 1-1 draw was the seventh stalemate in a row between the two giants of the English game. They even, rather remarkably, drew on expected goals (1.28 apiece)…
But one battle that will seemingly be decided in Chelsea’s favour is that for Moises Caicedo’s signature. While this may have been the two teams’ first match of the season, in a sense they’ve been tussling each other for several weeks already over the Ecuadorian, and there was a conspicuous Caicedo-shaped hole in each of the two midfields on Sunday.
The contest wasn’t lacking the needle and competitiveness we’ve come to expect from this fixture, though, with Carney Chukwuemeka’s yellow card for a high tackle on Ibrahima Konaté just three minutes and 34 seconds in being the earliest card shown to a Chelsea player in a Premier League season since Marcos Alonso (2:16) in 2017-18.
It was a sign of the hosts being a little off the pace during the early exchanges; Liverpool looked comfortable playing through the lines with the likes of new signings Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai providing some of the control and ball-playing nous often missing from their midfield last term.
But amid Liverpool’s evolution, Mohamed Salah provided a timely reminder that he remains top dog, their true inspiration. Having already hit the crossbar from 20 yards with his right foot, the Egyptian carved Chelsea open sumptuously in the 18th minute.
Levi Colwill backed off Salah, allowing him to pick out an inch-perfect pass between him and Thiago Silva and in behind Axel Disasi, where Luis Díaz threw himself forward to divert home.
That was the first goal in fixtures between these two since 2 January 2022, ending a run of four successive 0-0 draws; five goalless encounters would’ve been a new English record.
It also took Salah to 199 goal involvements in the Premier League, the most of any player currently active in the competition, with the former Chelsea man picking up where he left off at the end of last season, having finished 2022-23 with contributions in six consecutive appearances.
Chelsea grew into the contest, however, and were good value for their equaliser with 36 minutes played. Debutant Disasi was arguably culpable for the Liverpool opener, allowing Díaz to get on the end of Salah’s pass, but he made amends with a scruffy close-range finish past the scrambling Alisson.
Having seen Salah have a goal disallowed for offside before Disasi’s leveller, Chelsea too had to taste the bitterness of a post-celebration VAR review that kept the game at 1-1 when Ben Chilwell went a little too early before rounding Alisson.
Nevertheless, it was another moment that showed Chelsea’s increasing confidence, having had 77% of the ball between the 30th and 45th minutes. That hardly relented over the same period at the start of the second half, with the hosts having 73.5% possession.
The quality of Enzo Fernández in central midfield was key to Chelsea’s use of the ball and their journey into the ascendancy. The Argentinian World Cup winner – directly going toe-to-toe with his international colleague Mac Allister – offered immense class and playmaking ability for Pochettino’s men.
He also nearly crafted what would’ve been a winner. His delicate, first-time ball into the left side of the box couldn’t have been weighted better, but Chilwell’s first touch was heavy, thus the following shot – that Alisson saved – came from a wider position that it needed. That took Fernández to 22 chances created since his Premier League debut in February, though, more than any other Chelsea player in that time.
Salah’s frustrated reaction to being substituted soon after summed up Liverpool’s performance from about the 25th minute, but Jurgen Klopp’s side at least avoided falling behind to begin the season with a point.
Although they were once again a little unconvincing in front of goal, with Disasi’s equaliser only just putting them back ahead of Erling Haaland’s tally since the start of last season (39 to 38), the signs with Pochettino’s new-look Chelsea were at least positive, and Caicedo’s arrival could have a significant impact if it allows Fernández to wreak havoc further up.
On this page below, you’ll find the Opta chalkboard tool, which enables you to do your own analysis on today’s Chelsea vs Liverpool match in the Premier League.
Underneath the chalkboards, you can also see our live match editorial coverage from the game with the need-to-know facts and stats as they happened.
Chelsea vs Liverpool Timeline
Full-Time: Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool
So for a seventh consecutive meeting, Chelsea and Liverpool play out a draw. They are due to play again in January in the Premier League, but we might as well just call that a draw now.
Liverpool took the lead via Luis Díaz’s 12th goal for Liverpool in all competitions, before Chelsea debutant Axel Disasi scored an equaliser before half-time. Both teams had first half goals ruled out for offside following VAR checks… but even if they stood, it would still have been a draw.
81:40: Silva Service
He might be turning 39 years old next month, but Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has been one of the best players in this match.
He’s stewarded the Chelsea defence and become the first player to reach 100 passes attempted in the game. No player on the pitch has won possession as often as he has (nine times) this afternoon.
60:00: Opta Live Win Probability
As we hit the hour-mark at Stamford Bridge, now feels a good time to check in with the Opta supercomputer.
Chelsea currently have a 24.6% chance of winning this match, compared to Liverpool’s 28.0% – that means the draw is the most likely result 47.4%. Considering the last six meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool have ended in a draw, that’s probably true.
45:01: Second Half Starts
We’re underway in the second half of this match.
Half-Time: Luis Díaz Goals
Luis Díaz’s goal was his 12th for Liverpool in all competitions since signing for the club from FC Porto in January 2022.
45:00+7:40: Half-Time at Stamford Bridge
As we’ve come to expect in 2023-24, there’s a whole chunk of added time at the end of the first half – seven minutes, 40 seconds to be exact – before Anthony Taylor blows up for half-time.
So far we’ve seen two goals, which is two more than the previous four competitive meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool have produced, so we can’t complain.
38:01: Chelsea’s Turn to Score an Offside Goal
Chelsea thought that they’ve scored two in two minutes, but Ben Chilwell sees his goal ruled out for offside following a VAR review.
As shown in the image below, Chilwell had just strayed into an offside position, before he advanced and rounded Alisson before slotting into the goal. Still 1-1.
36:21: Chelsea Equalise!
Chelsea have drawn level, and it’s debutant Axel Disasi with the goal.
Liverpool fail to clear their lines and the ball finds Ben Chilwell, who heads the ball onto Disasi to slide the ball past Alisson in the Liverpool goal.
Disasi is the 26th different Chelsea player to score on his Premier League debut, and only the second to do so with his debut being against Liverpool – after Juan Sebastián Verón in 2003.
28:34: Liverpool Have Another Ruled Out
Liverpool think they’ve gone 2-0 ahead at Stamford Bridge through Mohamed Salah, but the forward is adjusted to have been in an offside position following a VAR review.
As you can see below, Salah had started his run just before Trent Alexander-Arnold played the pass through the Chelsea defence. Offside.
17:26: Liverpool Go 1-0 Ahead!
Liverpool lead 1-0 and it’s Luis Díaz with the goal – his first for Liverpool in a competitive fixture since the 4-3 win over Tottenham on 30 April. It was a great sliding finish from the Colombian, but to be honest, it was all about the assist.
That assist came from Mohamed Salah, who threaded an absolutely outstanding pass with his left foot into the box for Díaz to connect with. There won’t be many passes better than that on a Premier League pitch this weekend.
The image below is the exact moment that Salah played the pass – such precision from the Egyptian forward.
11:17: Salah Hits the Bar
Liverpool break away and Cody Gakpo finds Mohamed Salah. Salah gets the ball a little behind where he’d have liked it, but manages to compose himself an send a shot at the Chelsea goal, which crashes off the crossbar.
A reminder that Salah just loves the opening day of the Premier League season. Since joining Liverpool, he’s scored in all six appearances on the opening matchday of a campaign, including his strike at Fulham away last season. If he scores in this game, he’ll become the outright leader for goals scored across the opening weekend of Premier League seasons (currently on eight goals, alongside Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard).
What an accolade, that would be…
03:34: Yellow Card for Chukwuemeka
Chelsea have a player in the referee’s book already. Carney Chukwuemeka goes flying into a tackle a *little* too high, connecting his boot with Ibrahima Konaté’s chest.
Anthony Taylor pulls out the yellow card, and at three minutes and 34 minutes into the match, it’s the earliest card given in the 2023-24 Premier League season so far.
The game has kicked off here at Stamford Bridge!
15:45: No Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa Arrizabalaga was one of the only Chelsea players to come out of 2022-23 with any credit. Not only was he their highest performing player in the Opta Player Ratings across the Premier League last season, his goals prevented total of 6.0 was the third best in the competition.
The Spanish goalkeeper is missing today, not even named on the bench, and set to move to Real Madrid.
Kepa, not called up for today’s game as he already said goodbye to the team on Saturday. 🔵👋🏻 #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 13, 2023
⚪️ Spanish GK will be announced as new Real Madrid player on loan deal very soon.
Here we go, confirmed.
15:30: Chelsea vs Liverpool Starting XIs
The lineups have been announced.
Mauricio Pochettino’s first competitive Chelsea starting XI sees Robert Sanchez start in goal following his midweek transfer from Brighton, while other summer signings Axel Disasi and Nicolas Jackson also start. Raheem Sterling faces his former club, while Levi Colwill makes his Premier League debut for Chelsea following a loan spell at Brighton in 2022-23, where he played in the competition 17 times.
Chelsea starting XI: Robert Sanchez; Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill; Reece James, Enzo Fernandez, Carney Chukwuemeka, Conor Gallagher, Ben Chilwell; Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson.
Liverpool begin the Premier League season with a front three of Luis Díaz, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota, meaning that Darwin Núñez has to make do with a place on the bench. Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai – both signed in the summer – make their first competitive starts for the club.
Salah has scored eight goals across previous opening matchdays to a Premier League season, including a hat-trick in 2020-21 versus Leeds United. If he were to score today, it would be the outright record for most goals scored across the opening matchday in competition history.
Liverpool starting XI: Alisson Becker; Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Cody Gakpo, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai; Luis Díaz, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah.
15:20: The Pre-Match Opta Facts
Our fantastic UK data insights team (you may know them as OptaJoe) have prepared 10 need-to-know pre-match facts ahead of this Chelsea vs Liverpool game at Stamford Bridge:
• Each of the last six meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have been drawn – it’s Liverpool’s longest run of consecutive draws against an opponent, while only against West Brom (1922-1927) and Norwich (1974-1978, including three Anglo Scottish Cup meetings) have the Blues drawn seven in a row.
• Each of the last four meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions has finished 0-0 – no fixture in competitive English football history has finished goalless five times in a row before.
• This is just the second time Chelsea and Liverpool are facing in their opening game of a Premier League season, with the Blues winning 2-1 at Anfield in 2003-04 previously.
• No team has won more of their opening games to a Premier League campaign than Chelsea (20), with the Blues picking up more points than any other side on MD1 (66).
• Liverpool haven’t lost their opening Premier League game in any of the last 10 seasons (W8 D2), since a 3-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion in 2012-13 under Brendan Rodgers.
• Apart from the three teams to be relegated at the end of 2022-23, Chelsea have picked up fewer wins (4) and fewer points (20) so far in 2023 than any other Premier League side.
• Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games (W7 D4), the longest current run without a defeat for any side in the competition. This run started with a 0-0 draw at Chelsea, which is the only time they’ve failed to score in these 11 matches.
• This will be Mauricio Pochettino’s first Premier League game in charge of Chelsea. The Argentine has won five of his previous seven MD1 games in the competition (D1 L1), with the only defeat coming at Manchester United in 2015-16.
• None of the last 10 managers whose first Premier League game in charge of a club came against Liverpool have won (D4 L6), since Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester beat the Reds 3-1 in February 2017.
• Mohamed Salah has scored in Liverpool’s opening Premier League game in all six of his seasons with the Reds. His eight MD1 goals in total is a joint record in the competition.