Chelsea fought back to draw Liverpool 2-2 in a tense Premier League match. Mateo Kovacic scored one of the season’s best goals.
In their final game before going for the Africa Cup of Nations, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah had given the Reds a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
In the absence of record signing Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea came back with two goals in quick succession late in the first half, with Mateo Kovacic halving the deficit with a magnificent volley and Christian Pulisic equalizing.
In the struggle between second and third, both teams had chances to win, but it was leaders Manchester City who emerged victorious, as they now have a 10-point lead at the top.
Mane may have been fortunate to only be shown a yellow card when he caught Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with his arm just six seconds into a game that saw the introduction of safe standing at Stamford Bridge.
Pulisic squandered a golden opportunity to score early on, rounding Caoimhin Kelleher – with Alisson out due to a positive COVID-19 test – after Trent Alexander-attempted Arnold’s clearing struck Mason Mount, leaving the US attacker with just the Reds’ stand-in goalkeeper to beat.
In the ninth minute, Mane made no mistake by around Edouard Mendy and finishing with his left foot after Trevoh Chalobah made a mistake.
Salah then struck against his former club 26 minutes in, exquisitely controlling a brilliant pass from Alexander-Arnold and beating Mendy at his near post with a clinical finish after darting beyond Marcos Alonso in the penalty area.
Chelsea fought back with two goals in four minutes to tie the game up at halftime, with Kovacic’s stunning 20-yard shot deflecting in off the right post and Pulisic racing free and coolly tucking home in stoppage time.
Following the break, the two title contenders continued to pose a major threat, with Mendy having to go full stretch to paw away Salah’s lob when he spotted the Blues keeper off his line.
Mount tested Kelleher from long range and Kelleher showed quick reflexes to keep out Pulisic’s half-volley, but both sides were forced to settle for a point.