Chelsea were denied three points at home by fellow title challengers Liverpool, as Daniel Sturridge struck a sensational equaliser late in the game.
Chelsea took the lead twenty five minutes into the game, when Mateo Kovacic played Eden Hazard in with a perfectly weighted through ball and the Belgian made no mistake, slotting past Alisson in the Liverpool goal.
Both sides had a chances in a game played at high tempo and it looked like Chelsea would end Liverpool’s winning run in the league until former Blues’ forward Sturridge curled a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner from 25 yards out.
Manchester City moved to the top of the table as they beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 earlier in the day, with Liverpool occupying the second spot and Chelsea sitting third following the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
It's all over at Stamford Bridge, and it's ended 1-1.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 29, 2018
And here, we run the rule over the performances of Maurizio Sarri’s men on the evening;
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 7/10
The Spaniard did not have a whole lot to do in terms of saves, but was alert whenever he was called into action. Showed good confidence with the ball at his feet and pulled off one brilliant low stop to deny Sadio Mane in the second period. No chance with Sturridge’s stunner.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6.5/10
The Chelsea captain led the side well, organising his defence with authority and dealing with the onrushing Mane and Andrew Robertson fairly well. One slip in the second period allowed Robertson the time and space to curl a cross in, but the Blues went unpunished.
Antonio Rudiger: 7.5/10
Returning to the starting lineup after recovering from an injury, the German international was a vital presence at the back for Chelsea. Showed great pace and awareness to make a crucial goal-line clearance to deny Mohamed Salah in the first half and continued to stand tall in the face of Liverpool attacks. A formidable display.
David Luiz: 8/10
Having sat out of the cup tie earlier in the week, the Brazilian centre-back started the game nervously but grew stronger with time. Dominated the aerial battles, while playing a couple of delectable long balls to set Willian up for chances. Made a pivotal block in the goal mouth to deny Roberto Firmino’s header in the second period.
Marcos Alonso: 6.5/10
The Spaniard wasn’t allowed to exert his influence on the game going forward, thanks to Liverpool’s pressing game. However, he put in a steady defensive display against the dangerous Salah, although the Egyptian did get the better of him on a couple of occasions. Fired a header over the bar in the dying moments of the game.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
Showed up everywhere on the pitch, mopping things up wherever required while also embarking on a number of forward runs to support his team in the final third. Arguably could have acted faster to close Sturridge down before the forward unleashed his strike on goal.
Showed his class and composure on the ball as he kept Chelsea ticking with neat, one-touch passing under intense pressure from Liverpool. Was involved in the beautiful build-up play for Hazard’s goal in the first half. Influence waned a bit after the break though.
Mateo Kovacic: 7.5/10
The on-loan Croatian midfielder has settled in very well with the West Londoners, showing great understanding with his teammates. Exquisite link-up play and pass to set Hazard through for the opening goal. Always looked to drive his team forward from the middle and had an effort blocked. Making a strong case for Chelsea to make his signing a permanent one.
The Brazilian ran himself to the ground against the Reds, as his pace and directness caused plenty of problems for the visitors’ defence. Guilty of not making the most of a couple of decent opportunities on either side of half-time but nonetheless, an enterprising display.
Olivier Giroud: 5.5/10
Preferred over Alvaro Morata to lead the line, the Frenchman battled well against Virgil van Dijk and showed a few decent touches and layoffs, without really threatening Alisson in the Liverpool goal. Taken off for the Spaniard in the second half.
Eden Hazard: 8/10
After his heroics in the midweek, the Belgian wing wizard came to haunt Liverpool once again, opening the scoring with a brilliant finish past Alisson. Looked dangerous each time he cut in from the left side and had a great chance to double Chelsea’s advantage in the second period, only to be denied by the Reds’ stopper. A class apart on the pitch.
Alvaro Morata: 5/10
Replaced Giroud a little after the hour mark. Made little impact on the proceedings.
Victor Moses: 5/10
Came on to replace Willian with less than twenty minutes left to play. Made a couple of surging runs forward, helped out in defence.
Ross Barkley: N/A
On for Kovacic for the last ten minutes. Lost the ball on a number of times during his short cameo.