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    Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool Match Report

    Liverpool kept up their impressive early-season form with victory at Stamford Bridge on Friday night against a Chelsea side who went into the contest knowing a win would take them top of the Premier League for nearly 24 hours.

    Goals from Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson capped a dominant first-half performance from the away side as Jurgen Klopp's gegenpressing style triumphed over the more measured approach by his Italian counterpart Antonio Conte.

    The Blues did produce a fightback in the second-half but Diego Costa's fifth goal of the season was not enough to prevent his manager from avoiding a first home defeat since his Juventus team lost 2-1 to Samdoria in January 2013.

    The Reds were dealt a blow before the match when Roberto Firmino was ruled out with a minor groin strain, while Chelsea were without their influential Captain John Terry who was on the sidelines with damage sustained to his ankle ligaments.

    Conte handed a second Chelsea debut to £34 million signing David Luiz, who replaced Terry in central defence, while Philippe Coutinho was brought back into the side to take the place of his Brazilian teammate Firmino.

    There were early warning signs from a Chelsea perspective when a left-footed strike by Daniel Sturridge should have been saved comfortably by Thibaut Courtois but the Belgian allowed the ball to squirm under his grasp before he gathered at the second attempt.

    The Blues were also a little fortunate to have a full-compliment of players still on the field just nine minutes into the contest when Branislav Ivanovic appeared to deliberately tread on the boot of Adam Lallana but the incident was not seen by referee Martin Atkinson.

    Liverpool had begun the match the brighter team and it wasn't a surprise when their superiority was finally reflected on the scoreline as Dejan Lovren gave his side the lead with an emphatic close-range finish after 17 minutes.

    Ivanovic once again conceded a free-kick on the left-wing and Philippe Coutinho's ball into the box, following a one-two with James Milner, found an unmarked Lovren and the Croatian clinically slotted past Courtois from six yards.

    Klopp's side were experiencing most of their joy on the left-hand side of midfield through James Milner's excellent runs from left-back and with Philippe Coutinho once again managing to find pockets of space between the lines of midfield and defence.

    Liverpool doubled their lead before half-time when Jordan Henderson scored a spectacular goal from long-range after Gary Cahill had failed to clear the danger that had once again been building on the left side of midfield.

    Henderson picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, after Cahill's clearance had denied the progress of Lallana, and the Liverpool Captain's strike curled into the top-right hand corner past the full-stretch dive of Courtois.

    Despite making no half-time substitutions, Chelsea did finally improve after the break as Diego Costa, who cut an isolated figure on the first-half, was given more support and it was the Brazilian who set up a grandstand finish with his third goal in his past two matches.

    Costa managed to find space inside the penalty area to turn home Nemanja Matic's cross from five yards after the Serbian had initially started the move inside the centre-circle as he beat Georginio Wijnaldum and Lallana with some excellent wing-play.

    Chelsea could even have drawn level after 65 minutes when Costa found space following Oscar's cushioned header into his path but his left-footed strike from 15 yards lacked the pace to trouble an otherwise underworked Simon Mignolet in the Reds' goal.

    Liverpool's best chance to extend their lead fell to Divock Origi, who jumped highest at the back-post to meet Milner's deflected cross but his header was saved by Courtois, who scrambled low to his left-hand side to push the effort away from goal.

    Not even a treble substitution by Antonio Conte after 84 minutes could force the equalizer that his side rarely looked like achieving as the away team saw out the victory to join The Blues on 10 points in the Premier League table.

    It was a thoroughly-deserved win for Jurgen Klopp and his side, while also proving a victory for a proactive style of football over the reactive approach that Chelsea offered for most of the match in which they were second-best for large spells.

    Liverpool have taken seven points on the road from trips to Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea this season and now only trail their Friday Night opponents in the Premier League table courtesy of having an inferior goal difference.

    Both sides return to Premier League action on Saturday, with Liverpool playing only their second match of the season at Anfield in the afternoon kick-off before Chelsea take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium later in the day.
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    Item Reviewed: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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