Liverpool Player Ratings vs Chelsea: Sturridge’s late goal preserves Reds’ unbeaten start

Liverpool salvaged a 1-1 draw against fellow title challengers Chelsea, courtesy a special effort from substitute Daniel Sturridge late in the contest.

In a game littered with chances, it was Chelsea who took the lead at Stamford Bridge, with Eden Hazard slotting past Alisson Becker in the 25th minute, after being played in by Mateo Kovacic.

Mohamed Salah had a couple of opportunities in the first half, but failed to make them count, while Sadio Mane forced a save from Kepa Arrizabalaga in the second period, before Roberto Firmino saw a headed effort cleared off the line by David Luiz.

And, when it seemed like Liverpool were set to taste their first Premier League defeat of the season, Sturridge came up with the goods, belting home with a sensational strike from 25 yards out in the 89th minute to restore parity and earn his team a point.

Liverpool find themselves in second spot in the league standings after the 1-1 draw, level on points with leaders Manchester City, who beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 earlier on Saturday.

Here’s how Jurgen Klopp’s men fared on the evening in London.

Alisson Becker: 7/10

Alisson put in a fine display in the Liverpool goal (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Alisson put in a fine display in the Liverpool goal (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Brazilian was quick off the line to deny international teammate Willian in the first period, but couldn’t get down fast to stop Hazard’s strike. Redeemed himself with a crucial stop against the Belgian in the second period and reacted well to clear an under-hit pass from Georginio Wijnaldum with Alvaro Morata lurking.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5.5/10

The Englishman was always going to have his hands full going up against Hazard. Got sucked infield allowing Hazard a free run in the lead up to the opening goal and was caught out of position on a number of occasions. Showed good attacking intent on the flank, but wasn’t assured at the back.

Joe Gomez: 7/10

The former Charlton Athletic man started off on a strong note, making a couple of important interventions, but couldn’t stop Hazard from scoring, despite being the closest defender to him. Showed his pace to thwart Willian on a counter in the second period. Solid on his return.

Van Dijk and Gomez were resilient in defence (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Van Dijk and Gomez were resilient in defence (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Virgil van Dijk: 7/10

Passed a late fitness test to make it to the starting lineup and got the better of Chelsea’s target man Olivier Giroud for most parts. Covered well in the wide areas when the home team looked to exploit the spaces left by the full-backs and made an important tackle on Willian after the break. Led the defence well.

Andrew Robertson: 6/10

Lost Willian in the first period, leading to a chance which the Brazilian failed to capitalise on. Could not get forward as regularly as he would have liked to, but caused problems when he did venture into the attacking half. Played a great cross for Xherdan Shaqiri in the second-half, from which the Swiss attacker should have scored.

Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10

An all-action, busy display from the Dutchman in the middle of the park. With captain Jordan Henderson occupying the deep-lying role, Wijnaldum was given the license to get forward and link up with Salah and Alexander-Arnold, which he did fairly well. Made a howler late in the game, selling Alisson short with a backpass, but was spared the blushes by the Brazilian’s quick reaction.

Jordan Henderson: 5.5/10

A poor outing for the captain (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
A poor outing for the captain (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

A committed and hard-working performance as usual from the club captain, but he failed to exert his usual influence from the middle of the park. Henderson’s passing wasn’t always accurate on the day, while he looked off pace at times when Chelsea broke forward. Subbed off early for Naby Keita.

James Milner: 6/10

The veteran utility man has been one of Liverpool’s best players this season, but wasn’t at that level on Saturday. Much like Henderson, he also found it difficult to cope with Chelsea on the counter – one such occasion leading to a booking in the second period. Kept things ticking and never gave up trying to create chances, but failed to make the usual impact.

Mohamed Salah: 5/10

A frustrating outing for Salah (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
A frustrating outing for Salah (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

The Egyptian forward had as many as four decent opportunities to make a mark but squandered all of them, firing one straight at the keeper, a couple wide off the mark, while seeing another being cleared off the line by Antonio Rudiger. His attempts to find his teammates inside the box weren’t always accurate either. Was hooked for Shaqiri in the 66th minute.

Roberto Firmino: 5.5/10

As always, the Brazilian worked tirelessly for the team’s cause, but had little impact on the proceedings in the final third. Did well to create a chance for Mane in the second period and saw a goal-bound header cleared off the line by David Luiz. A quiet game by his usual standards.

Sadio Mane: 5.5/10

The Senegalese speedster struggled to get into the game at Stamford Bridge and grew visibly frustrated, leading to a cynical foul on Hazard that earned a booking. Forced a stop from Kepa with a sharp attempt after the break, but that was as good as it got for him.


Sturridge scored a stunner to equalize (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Sturridge scored a stunner to equalize (Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Xherdan Shaqiri: 6/10

Replaced Salah in the 66th minute as Liverpool searched for the equaliser. Fluffed his lines after being set up by Robertson, while his free-kick was saved easily by Kepa. Did get the assist for Sturridge’s goal.

Naby Keita: 6/10

Came on for Henderson with a little over ten minutes left to play. Added more thrust from the middle, but not enough time to make a decisive impact.

Daniel Sturridge: 8/10

Thrown in as the last roll of dice by Klopp in the 86th minute. Made most of the chance, scoring a wonder-goal and salvaging a point for his team. Impact substitution.

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