Virgil van Dijk is a major doubt for Liverpool trip to Chelsea

Oscar Cross
September 30, 2018

The Blues were on course to move level on points with leaders Manchester City when Eden Hazard raced clear to score his second goal of the week against the Reds.

The Reds crashed out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening after losing 2-1 to Chelsea at Anfield with Mohamed Salah coming on as a substitute in the final minutes of the game.

Alonso has been one of the keys to Chelsea's flying start with his rampaging runs providing goals and assists from left-back, prompting Sarri to claim the Spanish worldwide may be the best player in his position in Europe.

The Reds almost hit back in the 32nd minute when Salah rounded Kepa Arrizabalaga but Antonio Rudiger got back in time to clear the effort off the line.

Knowing that time was running out to grab a goal, Jurgen Klopp made a surprise call by withdrawing Salah and bringing on Xherdan Shaqiri in his place.

N'Golo Kante appeared to invite him to shoot, and Sturridge punished him as he bent a superb left-foot shot over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the top corner.

Klopp also attempted to downplay Mohamed Salah's withdrawal after 66 minutes, with Xherdan Shaqiri replacing the Egypt global, who squandered a number of good opportunities during his return to Chelsea. Perhaps the outcome of the game will have been different if he did, the Dutchman is arguably the best centre-back in the Premier League right now.

Just one of the previous 11 meetings between these two sides had been won by more than one goal, and this latest tussle followed a similar theme as the teams cancelled each other out.

It was a slick piece of play started and finished by Hazard and underlined the confidence and flair with which he is playing at present.

Salah was always likely to have his form scrutinised more closely this season given his stunning exploits in 2017-18, and this performance will have done little to keep the critics off his back.

Hazard has kicked on from his stunning performances in Russian Federation, where he was named the second best player at the World Cup, scoring six times including an incredible solo run and finish to win the League Cup tie between the two in midweek.

The Blues remain unchanged from their last league outing against West Ham, which they drew 0-0.

Liverpool missed a number of chances to level things up and it looked like they were going to taste defeat for the first time in the Premier League this season with the ninety minutes nearly up.

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