Chelsea and Liverpool’s respective seasons of struggle continued as they played out the fourth consecutive goalless draw between the two sides.
Both sides have endured massively underwhelming seasons, coming into this game in eleventh and eighth respectively as both face a challenge to qualify for any kind of European football, let alone the Champions League.
Chelsea have struggled for goals all season, and a run of two wins in their last nine Premier League games saw Graham Potter relieved of his duties at the weekend.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have looked defensively fragile this season, and Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the side that was heavily beaten by Manchester City last Saturday.
It was Chelsea who created the better of chances in the first half, though they were once again left ruing their inability to find the back of the net, and while the Blues did think they’d taken the lead midway through the first half, Reece James’ strike from the edge of the area was quickly chalked off for an earlier offside.
Mateo Kovacic was then guilty of blazing another gilt-edged chance over the bar early in the second half, before Chelsea had another goal ruled out after Kai Havertz’s initial effort came off Alisson and rebounded off the German’s arm and into the back of the net.
While the stats say that Liverpool ended the game with more shots on target (4) than Chelsea (3), in truth, the visitors’ best chance came at the end of the first half when Wesley Fofana got a vital block on a Fabinho strike.
The result means that it now six consecutive draws between the sides in all competitions, the last four having ended without a goal, and speaking after the game Jurgen Klopp said he was ‘fine with a point’ given his side’s lack of confidence.
“Both teams played last year in two finals, two of the best 0-0s I ever saw,” he told BBC Sport. “Today it was two teams low on confidence but really fighting. We’re fine with a point, a lot of good stuff. We showed a lot of fight. We have to keep going.
“We struggled with the last line in the beginning but changed three times. The balls in behind were tricky but then we recovered well. We got better into the game. The midfield was well-connected. We had our opportunities up front. It was not spectacular. It was a step. That’s what we have to do – make steps. Sometimes smaller steps.
“We need to have these chances. You need to keep having chances. I’m not disappointed about that. They scored twice but both goals were disallowed. I didn’t expect a team with six changes to play the best game of the season. The boys who came in used their opportunity and showed they were ready.
“We cannot talk about the goals we have if we don’t get points. We don’t give up, we will fight. We can talk a lot but we have to show. We saw a step in the right direction tonight.
“Some needed a rest.”
Asked whether he has ever had a season like this, the German said: “No, thank God. I wouldn’t be manager of Liverpool if I had a couple of these seasons.
“We have to get through it. That’s how life is. You have to fight to change your fortunes.”