Chelsea moved into the Premier League top four and inflicted a fifth straight Anfield defeat on Liverpool as Mason Mount's brilliant first-half goal earned them a 1-0 win on Thursday. Thomas Tuchel said from the outset that his plan was to use "speed against a high line" and it was soon apparent that it was paying off. Timo Werner darted in behind a flat-footed Fabinho, poking the ball past Alisson and tapping into an open net only to be denied by the most fine of VAR calls as a few millimetres of his upper arm were adjudged to be ahead of trailing defender Andrew Robertson.
Liverpool's woeful defense were offered no reprieve when the space they left behind them was exploited again by Mount, who Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold allowed to drive toward goal on his stronger right foot before curling a smart finish into the far corner.
Chelsea could have had more early in the second half. Robertson cleared Hakim Ziyech's effort off the line whilst the Moroccan came close to putting a cross onto Werner's outstretched right boot. Liverpool, meanwhile, rarely looked like ending a losing streak at Anfield that is now the longest in their history, failing to even register a shot on target until the final 10 minutes.
Liverpool player ratings
Although he was relatively untested aside from Mount's finish, he has not looked the same presence for weeks now -- particularly since his Leicester error. A few straightforward second-half stops will have lifted his confidence a bit.
Liverpool's defense was under pressure from early on and the England international had a particularly torrid time on the right which is where Chelsea ultimately scored from through Mount. Improved as the game wore on but not to his usual high standards.
Looked out of step on his return to action and was unable to get close enough to Mount on the goal.
Hardly ideal circumstances for your first steps at a new club, but he made a few useful blocks and had a chance to score.
Chelsea silenced him in the second half after he almost created an opening for Mane and also denied Ziyech at the other end.
Tried his best but was unable to get Liverpool's midfield to function as Chelsea proved too strong in the middle and eventually made way for Milner.
Like Thiago, unable to raise the Reds' tempo from midfield -- despite his best efforts -- and was on a hiding to nothing.
Injected some youthful exuberance but not much else as Chelsea kept him largely under wraps until he was subbed off after the hour mark.
Looked most likely to get Liverpool back into it and pushed harder as the game wore on. However, Klopp clearly did not feel that he put as much effort into the defensive side of his game and brought him off for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Worked hard but not much else and relieved to have avoided what he seemed to feel was an inevitable substitution.
Penalty shout after being supplied by Salah but largely a thankless shift as Liverpool went goalless at Anfield again.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (sub, Salah, 62')
Surprisingly sent on for Salah just after the hour despite the need for an equalizer.
Diogo Jota (sub, Jones, 62')
Made his return from injury as he replaced Jones on 62 minutes but was far from match fit.
James Milner (sub, Alcantara, 80')
Given 10 minutes in place of Thiago at the end when the game already appeared to be beyond the home side.
Manager - Jurgen Klopp
The German still does not appear to acknowledge that his usual approach just does not work right now. Until he formulates an alternative approach -- if he does -- then Liverpool will continue to struggle.
Chelsea player ratings
It's a hard task to rate Mendy because he had next to nothing to do, claiming the odd cross but not making a single save until the 85th minute when a header flew straight at him. Unfortunately that places a ceiling on his rating that is rather more of Liverpool's making than his.
There were plenty of occasions when Azpilicueta put his years of experience in these games to great use, sweeping up in behind whenever the dangerous substitute Jota looked to be testing them.
Another assertive display from Christensen, who is willing to step up the pitch to snuff out pressure rather than let the opposing frontline drive at him. He was customarily strong in possession, what really stands out about the 24-year-old was how utterly unfazed he is by the pressure that came his way from this fearsome frontline.
Rudiger might have expected to have been busier but what pressure he did get from the underwhelming Salah down the left was swiftly and strongly rebuffed.
A clumsy touch early on almost let Robertson get a dangerous strike away on goal but after that early moment he grew into an impressive presence for the Blues.
When he spotted the pace in behind the defense he did not hesitate to hit it quickly, earning himself an assist even if Mount had to do plenty for his goal. In defense Kante was his customarily excellent self, attacks seemingly bouncing off him whenever they got too near him.
Another who was capable of pinging those quick balls over the top, only the tightest of VAR calls robbing him of an assist for Werner. No one in Chelsea blue made more interceptions nor did anyone throw themselves into more tackles.
A smart turn of speed and composure under pressure saw Chilwell deny Salah on what looked to be a very dangerous run in the 41st minute. Though he wasn't bombing on as often as might have been expected in the first half he became an increasingly effective attacking weapon in the second as Chelsea focused on counter-attacking. He also made a crucial late intervention on the line to deny Liverpool an undeserved goal.
He deserves a bonus point just for the gorgeous pass he played in behind the Liverpool backline that so nearly landed on Werner's boot early in the first half. It was the first moment that Ziyech really stretched his creative muscles even though he was an effective foil to the rest of the attack.
Mount truly is a special talent. So often he has earned credit for some of the less glamorous aspects of the game -- his pressing and diligence -- but this was a reminder of the outstanding qualities he has on the front foot. His goal was well taken, his approach to drive at two defenders impressively fearless.
He had every right to feel extremely aggrieved that he was flagged offside by the matter of a few millimeters of his upper arm when if he had scored a goal. He deserved that goal for the energetic running, pressing and smart movement but if he continues in this vein his scoring record will improve very quickly.
Christian Pulisic (sub, Ziyech, 66')
With Chelsea increasingly penned back in the closing stages there was only so much Pulisic could offer to the cause though he did give Alisson a few problems when they chased a bouncing ball outside the box.
Manager - Thomas Tuchel
He said he would play Werner through the middle to unlock some pace and his plan worked to perfection with Liverpool twice breached with the quick ball over the top in the first half.