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Premier League Review: Managerless Chelsea held to a draw by Liverpool as Brighton dream of Europe

Managerless Chelsea was held to a goalless draw by Liverpool at Stamford Bridge which was a sobering reflection of the current reduced status of the clubs.

In their first game under the interim management of Bruno Saltor, the Blues had the bulk of the chances in West London, but were persistently let down by some poor finishing.

Perhaps it should have come as no surprise that the game ended goalless, given the previous three meetings between these two sides have also finished 0-0.

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Chelsea came into this match having scored just 12 home league goals all, the joint-lowest total in the top flight.

Despite their attacking riches on show, the Blues lacked the finesse required to break down a Liverpool defence who have been far from watertight this season, with their final ball often sloppy and wayward.

Havertz in particular will be disappointed with his finishing, as he wasted numerous chances by failing to hit the target.

Kai Havertz, was thwarted by Liverpool keeper Alisson, saw a goal ruled out for handball by VAR while Reece James suffered a similar fate in the first half, his effort chalked off for offside.

Klopp left out Mohamed Salah as well as full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, while Virgil van Dijk was ill as Liverpool barely tested Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, the result not helping their pursuit for a place in the Premier League’s top four.

Brighton’s dream of Europe continues

Brighton’s dream of playing in Europe continued after a 2-0 victory against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Evan Ferguson opened the scoring with his left heel, before Julio Enciso scored in second-half stoppage time.

Brighton are four points off fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand – and face Spurs away this Saturday.

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Manager Roberto de Zerbi said: “We have to keep mentality and humility, but we want to dream and to achieve Europe.”

De Zerbi’s side have lost just one of their past 11 Premier League matches and are unbeaten away from home since October.

Another victory on the road at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be huge in their pursuit of Champions League football.

“We all know how important Saturday’s game is, so we will try our best to win it. We are dreaming of playing in Europe,” Enciso said after the game.

Leeds quest to remain in the Premier League boosted

Leeds quest to remain in the Premier League was boosted as they came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1.

The victory ensured Leeds moved out of the bottom three.

In a tense but largely one-sided ‘six-pointer’ at Elland Road, Orel Mangala gave the visitors the lead with just their fifth away goal of the season – a neat low finish from the edge of the box after a ruthless counter.

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But Leeds responded in style, with Harrison following up to fire in after Keylor Navas could only limply palm Marc Roca’s shot from range.

After near-relentless Leeds pressure, Luis Sinisterra seized his moment in first-half injury time, cutting inside from the left and onto his right foot for a superb curled finish into the bottom corner.

It took Javi Gracia’s side to 29 points and up to 13th – far from out the woods yet, but with renewed confidence and a strengthened platform on which to build.

Defeat for Forest plunged them further into trouble and ramped up the pressure on boss Steve Cooper. They are now winless in eight games and above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Leicester loses at home

Leicester City’s relegation worries deepened as in-form Aston Villa secured a dramatic late win at King Power Stadium.

They looked set to secure a valuable point in their first game since sacking Rodgers despite Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s red card.

Ollie Watkins marked his 100th Premier League appearance by slotting Villa ahead with his eighth goal in 10 appearances after being sent through by Emiliano Buendia.

Villa had only conceded once in their previous five games but were undone by Harvey Barnes’ excellent finish after he had shrugged off Ashley Young and cut in from the wing following Wout Faes’ raking pass.

Dewsbury-Hall was sent off midway through the second half for a second bookable offence but the Foxes held on until substitute Bertrand Traore curled in Villa’s 87th-minute winner.

The drama continued when Leicester was awarded a 92nd-minute penalty – only for referee Graham Scott to overturn his decision after looking at a replay on the pitchside monitor.

Alfred Saiki
Alfred Saiki
A passionate sports journalist and administrator. I want to see the world.