Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Liverpool’s Mane runs Chelsea ragged

Published:Monday | September 21, 2020 | 12:11 AM
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scores the opening goal during their English Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Stadium, in London, England, yesterday.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane scores the opening goal during their English Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Stadium, in London, England, yesterday.

LONDON, England (AP):

More than US$250 million spent trying to catch Liverpool, and Chelsea were still very much outpaced by the English Premier League (EPL) champions yesterday.

Two months since Chelsea finished 33 points behind Liverpool, a 2-0 loss to Jürgen Klopp’s side showed just how much defensive work there still is to do at Stamford Bridge.

For all the attacking options now available for Frank Lampard, the Chelsea manager was let down by a reckless foul by defender Andreas Christensen and yet another blunder by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

What had been a tepid game swung in Liverpool’s favour in first-half stoppage time when Christensen grabbed Sadio Mane from behind with both hands, hauling down the winger and seeing red.

With a man advantage, an assertive Liverpool pressed immediately after the break, and took just five minutes to go in front.

An interchange between Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah ended with Mane heading into the net.

It took four minutes to double the lead, helped by Kepa.

The Chelsea goalkeeper stopped Fikayo Tomori’s back pass before trying to clear to Jorginho. It was easily intercepted by Mane, who slotted into the net.

With spectators still prohibited from stadiums to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Chelsea players were at least avoided any taunting chants from Liverpool fans.

A thigh problem for Jordan Henderson forced the Liverpool captain off at half-time, allowing Thiago Alcantara to come on for his debut.

The recruit from Bayern Munich slotted seamlessly into the side, with his 75 successful passes more than any Chelsea player in the entire game, according to Opta.

The only blot on the Spain midfielder’s first appearance was bringing down former Leipzig striker Timo Werner, another EPL summer arrival from the Bundesliga.

But it was Jorginho who took the penalty, and it was saved by Alisson.

It’s two wins out of two for Liverpool at the start of their title defence. Chelsea are already three points adrift.

Southampton 2-5 Tottenham

Newcastle 0-3 Brighton

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool

Leicester 4-2 Burnley

Aston Villa v Sheffield United - 12 p.m.

Wolverhampton v Manchester City - 2:15 p.m.