Chelsea Begin Post-Potter Era With Wateful Draw Against Liverpool  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 0 Liverpool 0

Chelsea vs LiverpoolChelsea were once again let down by their wayward finishing in their first game since Graham Potter's sacking as Liverpool hung onto a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The head coach was dismissed on Sunday night after the 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, with Bruno Saltor - who admitted before the visit of Jurgen Klopp's side that he had never even picked a team before - replacing Potter on an interim basis.

But it was a case of the new boss being the same as the old one for Chelsea, who showed the same failings in front of goal that hamstrung Potter's regime.

Chelsea, PL condemn offensive chanting
Chelsea and the Premier League swiftly condemned the offensive chants heard at Stamford Bridge regarding the Hillsborough tragedy during the game, with the Blues saying: "Chelsea FC condemns the inappropriate chants heard from some home fans during this evening’s game.

"Hateful chanting has no place in football and we apologise to anyone who has been offended by them."

The Premier League added: "The Premier League condemns the tragedy chanting heard at tonight’s match between Chelsea and Liverpool.

"We continue to treat this as an unacceptable issue and are seeking to address it as a priority."

The hosts had two goals correctly disallowed either side of half-time and missed the target with a number of other presentable opportunities on their way to a draw that leaves them in the bottom of half of the table, while Liverpool are eighth.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (7), Fofana (7), Koulibaly (7), Cucurella (7), James (7), Kante (7), Fernandez (7), Kovacic (6), Chilwell (6), Havertz (6), Felix (6).

Subs: Gallagher (6), Mudryk (6), Sterling (n/a).

Liverpool: Alisson (7), Gomez (6), Matip (6), Konate (7), Tsimikas (6), Henderson (6), Fabinho (6), Jones (5), Jota (6), Firmino (6), Nunez (7).

Subs: Salah (6), Robertson (6), Gakpo (6), Milner (6).

Player of the match: Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea let Liverpool off the hook

Chelsea have now built up an expected goals total of 4.28 and had 39 shots over their last two games, yet somehow conspired to take one point and score zero goals across those 180 minutes.

The Blues’ woeful finishing prevented Potter’s reign from ever getting off the ground and the theme continued under Bruno, who took charge of his first professional game after previously spending the entirety of his four-year coaching career under Potter.

Despite the turmoil surrounding Stamford Bridge, Chelsea did start the game well, with Joao Felix and Mateo Kovacic being denied by desperate Liverpool defending, although both should have taken their chances to strike at goal sooner.

Alisson then denied Kai Havertz at close range before Reece James saw a crisp volley ruled out for a marginal offside against Enzo Fernandez in the build up.

Kepa Arrizabalaga enjoyed a quiet evening as Liverpool’s miserable away record showed no signs of ending, although he was called into action to push away Joe Gomez’s powerful effort just before half-time.

The second half began in a similar vein to the first, with Kovacic again spurning a glorious chance before Havertz had a weak shot saved by Alisson, before seeing the rebound trickle into the net off his arm, with VAR cutting short Chelsea’s celebrations.

Chelsea seemed to lose belief that they would ever score a legitimate goal after that latest failure, with the second half meandering to a conclusion in front of a subdued set of supporters, both sets of which are used to witnessing games involving higher stakes and higher quality than this.

Klopp: A step in the right direction

Klopp admitted after the game that it paled in comparison to the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals between Liverpool and Chelsea last season (which his side won on penalties after 0-0 draws in both instances) but believed it was a "step in the right direction".

"This was not the most spectacular 0-0 I ever saw," Klopp said. "I saw two of them last year between Liverpool and Chelsea in the two finals - it was absolutely insane.

"Very similar teams tonight but completely different football, because of a completely different level of confidence for both teams.

"This was the way we had to fight again, the way we have to start again our development. A little step in the right direction."

Liverpool's campaign does not get any easier, with league leaders Arsenal next up on Sunday at Anfield, live on Sky Sports, as Klopp's side bid to close the seven-point gap on the top four.

"If we are not fourth, then we want to be fifth," said Klopp, before conceding: "At the moment I don’t even know where we are - it’s not interesting.

"We have another 10 games to play and the next one is Arsenal - I’m not interested in the other nine. If we are difficult to beat against Arsenal we can win this game. If not, Arsenal will just go over us."

Bruno: We score a lot in training

Bruno acknowledged Chelsea's need to develop a cutting edge in front of goal but praised his players' application against Liverpool amid trying circumstances.

"It’s the execution in front of the goal," said the interim boss when asked why his side were unable to score. "They are human beings and the confidence has to be there.

"We just need to keep helping the boys. They’ve been through a lot, as well - it’s been a tough season for them. I know they missed chances but what they could affect the most was the attitude and the effort, which was there.

"They score a lot of goals in training. But coming into a game is completely different. It’s something we have been working on but we need to keep going."

Bruno admitted he struggled to embrace his first professional game as a head coach amid the departure of Potter and his No 2, Billy Reid, saying: "It was difficult to enjoy.

"It’s been really difficult, sad, disappointing - but I’ve just been trying to focus on being the best version of myself and helping the boys."

Chelsea put no timeframe on the length of Bruno's expected time in charge and ahead of Saturday's trip to Wolves, the Spaniard said: "As it stands I expect to go home and rest.

"I focus day by day and the owners know the staff will be as professional as we can. We are going to represent this club the best we can. We know the standards here, we know the demands."

What's next?

Chelsea travel to Molineux to face Wolves on Saturday - kick-off 3pm - before heading to the Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday April 12 - kick-off 8pm.

Meanwhile, Liverpool host Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm.


Chelsea Kepa, James, Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Chilwell (Mudryk 78), Kante (c) (Gallagher 69), Kovacic, Fernandez, Felix (Sterling 85), Havertz
Subs Not Used Mendy, Badiashile, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Madueke
Booked Kovacic

Liverpool Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas (Robertson 66), Fabinho (Salah 65), Henderson (c), Jones (Milner 79), Firmino, Nunez (Gakpo 79), Jota
Subs Not Used Kelleher, Carvalho, Melo, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold
Booked Matip, Tsimikas, Jones, Fabinho

Attendance 40,093

Referee Anthony Taylor

VAR Chris Kavanagh