In a match low on quality, two of English football’s fallen giants played out a disappointing scoreless draw.
The result does little to boost either team’s position in the Premier League table, and if anything encapsulates their underperforming seasons perfectly.
For Liverpool, fans begin to grow frustrated as their side remains winless in the league in 2023.
Whilst, Chelsea’s Graham Potter continues to feel the heat having only won two of their last ten matches in all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp’s team selection showed a manager who was beginning to be ruthless, even with his star players, as the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Darwin Núñez were all dropped to the bench.
In their place were the mid-week starters that impressed in the FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolves.
James Milner at right-back, Naby Keïta, Stefan Bajčetić, and previous match-winner Harvey Elliot, all awarded starts from the German tactician.
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Chelsea seemingly made a lightening quick start as Conor Gallagher’s corner was swung in, and new signing Benoit Badiashile was left unmarked to flick into the path of Thiago Silva, whose effort hit the post but Kai Havertz was on hand to prod into the bottom corner.
But lucky for Liverpool, VAR overturned the goal to save their blushes after only two and half minutes played.
Anfield new boy Cody Gakpo almost found the back of the net as Mohamed Salah skilfully teed up the Dutchman, only for him to blaze his effort over the crossbar.
Moroccan Hakim Ziyech, making an unlikely start, played a nice ball forward into the Liverpool penalty area but Havertz got his feet tangled but he still fed the ball to Mason Mount, who squared for youngster Lewis Hall, but he drilled his effort well wide of the mark.
Chelsea continued to dominate the hosts as Ziyech whipped a free-kick from the near-side line into the penalty box, and defender Badiashile’s header almost saw him get his first goal for the club only for Alisson to save smartly.
Liverpool eventually threatened to score after 42 minutes as Elliot played a super-fast ball into the box, and Silva had to get a head on it with Gakpo fast approaching, as goalkeeper Kepa breathed a huge sigh of relief.
And that was as good as it got, as the home fans and visiting supporters were stunned into silence at half-time, with neither side producing a goal.
It’s safe to say the second-half belonged to one man: £89 million signing Mykhailo Mudryk.
And the Ukrainian made an immediate impact and almost scored as he dribbled his way past James Milner and Joe Gomez but his shot found the side-netting.
Liverpool had a chance to win the match as substitutes Núñez and Alexander-Arnold combined, but the later walloped his effort over the crossbar, when well-placed.
The match soon petered out into the dull 0-0 draw which seems to have been the storyline of many of their previous fixtures.
Liverpool won both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals last season after a long 120-minute slug fest that ended in 0-0 and needed penalties to separate the two.
Apart from on this occasion, there was no celebration from the Liverpool faithful as frustration continues to grow at the lack of wins on the field, as well as transfer funds for new midfielders which are badly needed based on recent performances.
Klopp uses humour to play down dull draw
“Before the game I got a lot of messages about my 1,000th club game, and none of them were nice. I think Arsene Wenger lost his 6-0, so I’m really happy that didn’t happen,” said the boss.
“For me, it’s clear in this situation you have to be ready for little steps – and this was a little step today, that’s how it is.
“I expect progress and I think from the last league game at Brighton it was progress, definitely, and that’s important.
“In a lot of moments, we were really compact, with good challenges, but of course the opponent is there as well and sometimes you have to defend against them with passion.
“We didn’t do that two weeks ago but today we did.”
Liverpool now lie 9th in the Premier League table, 10 points off the top four, with Manchester United occupying the fourth and final Champions League spot.
Chelsea lie in 10th with the same number of points.
With the Reds officially winless in the league, with all of their January fixtures played, serious questions will be asked as to why more investment hasn’t been made.
Qualifying for the Champions League is a financial windfall worth signing the necessary midfield players needed to boost results on the field, and thus maximising the chances of closing the gap on the teams above them.
Perhaps, the club will up the stakes and go all out for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham in the summer.
The England midfielder would have to sacrifice Champions League football, which is another setback for the club in the caveat it can offer Europe’s top players.
Next up, however, is Brighton in the FA Cup fourth-round as Liverpool and monsieur Klopp chase revenge after the recent 3-0 league drubbing at the Amex Stadium.
Onwards and upwards.