Two goals in three minutes, including an incredible strike from Mohamed Salah, helped Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win against top-four chasing Chelsea.
The title-race pressure was on for Jurgen Klopp’s team after Manchester City defeated Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday and after both teams squandered chances in the first half, Liverpool seized the initiative with a quickfire brace.
Jordan Henderson’s 51st-minute cross floated across the six-yard box and Sadio Mane headed in his 18th goal of the season.
Just 142 seconds later, Salah cut in from the right and sent a 25-yard strike into the top-left corner past the outstretched Kepa Arrizabalaga to join Sergio Aguero as the Premier League top scorer on 19.
Chelsea responded well as Eden Hazard hit the post before forcing Alisson into a smart save but the Blues could not prevent a fifth successive victory for the Reds.
Liverpool now have a two-point gap on second-placed Manchester City, having played an extra match, whilst Chelsea stay fourth on 66 points.
It has been a goalless first half at Anfield between title contenders Liverpool and Chelsea.
Sarri was forced into a change before the interval, bringing on Christensen for the injured Rudiger in a match that was bereft of many chances in the match so far
Salah wasted what would prove to be the best opportunity of the half early on when volleying Mane’s cross into the ground and straight at Kepa, and roles were reversed half an hour later as Mane guided a first-time shot wide when picked out by his team-mate.
Chelsea have relied mainly on counter-attacks for their opportunities, coming closest to a breakthrough goal when Hazard turned Matip inside out but failed to beat Alisson at his near post.
There are reports Chelsea are keeping a close eye on Borussia Dortmund striker Alexander Isak, with the young Swede gaining comparisons to compatriot Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
ESPN reports that the 19-year-old has seen his first-team chances limited at Dortmund since signing from Stockholm-based AIK in 2017, but he has enjoyed a superb loan spell at Dutch Eredivisie side Willem II, scoring 11 goals in as many games since his arrival in January.
And that run of form has seen the Chelsea hierarchy take notice, with The Mirror claiming the Blues sent scouts to watch the youngster in action against Ajax this weekend.
The west Londoners are keen to freshen up their striking department by signing a hungry young forward, with 31-year-old on-loan Gonzalo Higuain and 32-year-old Olivier Giroud the only senior strikers on the books at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea face competition for Isak, however, with Real Madrid also reportedly monitoring his development.
Reports in London claim Chelsea have held talks with three interested parties over the potential £2.5billion sale of the club.
They are believed to have included US and Asian-based finance groups, while Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe has also expressed an interest.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck recently insisted owner Roman Abramovich was committed to the London club despite stopping attending games.
But, according The Mail on Sunday, Chelsea officials have held what have been described as ‘exploratory talks’ with the three parties in recent weeks.
Abramovich is not believed to have attended any Chelsea games since being denied a visa in May 2018. The 53-year-old Russian billionaire subsequently sought Israeli citizenship, moving to Tel Aviv.
He has spent between £1m and £3m on corporate hospitality boxes at Stamford Bridge every year since 2011 but did not buy any before the start of this season for the first time in almost a decade.
Abramovich has continued to pump money into Chelsea, however, and the total debt owed to him by the parent company increased by £75m last year. It now stands at a total of £1.25bn, money he would want to recoup if the club were sold.
Ratcliffe was interested in buying the Stamford Bridge club, but his valuation is vastly below the £2.5bn valuation set by Abramovich.
Ratcliffe has reportedly turned his attentions to buying French outfit Nice, currently seventh in Ligue 1, and would face considerable competition to complete a deal for the Blues should he return to the negotiating table.