Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Tuchel and Lijnders react to goals & Mane yellow card

Mo Salah’s goal was his 16th in the Premier League this season, 10 clear of nearest rival and team-mate Diogo Jota

A Premier League classic, some sensational goals, a red card controversy and two title contenders a little further off the pace – it’s fair to say Chelsea and Liverpool’s 2-2 draw started the new year with a bang.

Not only were there magnificent individual goals from Mohamed Salah and Mateo Kovacic, there was some inspired goalkeeping from Liverpool stand-in Caoimhin Kelleher and Chelsea number one Edouard Mendy as well.

And while the return of a single point apiece did little for either side’s pursuit of leaders Manchester City, both bosses said it was a spectacle to behold.

“A brilliant match of football, everybody not in the stadium missed something,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports.

“We turned it around, we were close to winning it. To coach in that game was high level – it was on the edge and could have gone either way. A good Sunday afternoon and new year.”

Liverpool were forced into changes by Covid – not least the absence of manager Jurgen Klopp, leaving his assistant Pep Lijnders in charge for a match he will likely never forget.

“It’s never boring with us, eh? Never,” Lijnders told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“We’re really proud of the boys because they made a proper football match. We could have made a lot of excuses but we didn’t, we attacked the game.

“There was incredible intensity from the start with both teams. Overall, for the public it must have been an unbelievable game.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness, in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, agreed, saying: “What an advert for the Premier League. Two top teams, relentless and never stopped. A fabulous game of football and some fantastic goals.”

Glorious goals and great goalkeeping

Christian Pulisic’s equaliser was the Chelsea forward’s first goal since the Blues’ 3-0 win at Leicester on 20 November

While Mane’s opener sprang from an error by Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah, the remaining three goals were all about attacking quality as Salah glided effortlessly past Marcos Alonso to double the Reds’ lead before Kovacic’s stunning first-time volley from 20 yards and a cool Pulisic…

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