Salah Helps Liverpool go back to top
Two goals in as many minutes, including a stunning Mohamed Salah strike, saw Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield to move back to the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool had been frustrated in a tight first half, but Sadio Mane headed home after 51 minutes before Salah fired an unstoppable strike into the top corner moments later.
Chelsea, with Gonzalo Higuain on the bench, played Eden Hazard in a “false No.9” role, including both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in their starting lineup.
Liverpool almost struck with six minutes gone, Mane crossing from the left and Salah’s bouncing strike held by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Then Chelsea attacked, Allison pushing out a Hudson-Odoi cross before Kepa was smartly off his line when Mane tried to reach a Salah pass.
Salah and Firmino linked before the former’s shot was saved, and Hazard found a pocket of space but hit an angled strike straight at Allison.
Antonio Rudiger hurt a knee in a challenge with Mane but was able to continue, and then Liverpool attacked again, Jordan Henderson’s shot deflected to safety.
David Luiz found Willian but he blasted wide from the edge of the area, and Liverpool came closer after 38 minutes as Salah crossed low and Mane bent a first-time strike wide.
Chelsea’s Rudiger had further problems with his knee soon afterwards and had to be helped off the pitch, Andreas Christensen taking his place before the break.
Naby Keita lashed a shot high into the Kop in the opening stages of the second half, but the home side had the goal they craved after 51 minutes when Henderson found Mane unmarked to head past Kepa.
Two minutes later — and in spectacular style — it was 2-0 when Salah’s strike from 25 yards ripped into the top corner after he had cut in from the right.
Chelsea responded by bringing on Higuain for Hudson-Odoi, but soon afterwards it was nearly 3-0 as Firmino fizzed a low shot just wide.
The home side were reminded of the threat Chelsea posed when Hazard was only fractions from halving their lead, shooting against the post, and he had another attempt stopped by Alisson moments later.