Pulisic scores as part of rally in draw vs. Liverpool

Pulisic scores as part of rally in draw vs. Liverpool

Up two after 26 minutes, Liverpool allowed the hosts back for a point in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Sadio Mane, fortunate to be given just a yellow card in the first minute, scored in the ninth minute and Mohamed Salah added another 17 minutes later as the Reds bid to move into sole possession of second place on the Premier League table.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch | Chelsea, Liverpool player ratings ]

But Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic scored before halftime and the hosts used a commanding performance from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to stay one point clear of their rivals.

The big winner, however, was Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders lead Chelsea by 10 points and Liverpool by 11 (Liverpool has played one fewer match than both of their blue superiors).

WATCH CHELSEA vs LIVERPOOL FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM – LINK

Excitement was not at a premium despite the game missing Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen, Joel Matip, Alisson Becker, Timo Werner, Reece James, Roberto Firmino, and even Jurgen Klopp.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

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Chelsea vs Liverpool final score, stats

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

Scorers: Mane 9′, Salah 26′, Kovacic 42′, Pulisic 45’+1

Shot attempts: Chelsea 15-10 Liverpool

Shots on goal: Chelsea 6-6 Liverpool

Possession: Chelsea 57-43 Liverpool

Three things we learned from Chelsea vs Liverpool

1. Fortunate Mane finds opener: Sadio Mane’s forearm to the face of Cesar Azpilicueta inside of the game’s first 10 seconds would’ve likely been enough to get him sent off of any other game (or, perhaps, this one in any other minute). Anthony Taylor nor the VAR were ready to sanction a first-minute dismissal, and Mane made the most of his reprieve by putting the Reds up 1-0 when he stayed patient to beat Edouard Mendy.

2. Excellent Edouard: Chelsea spent a lot of money trying to find its goalkeeper of the future between Kepa Arrizabalag and Edouard Mendy. The former may end up being his next club’s keeper for 10 years but Mendy is the front-runner to star at Stamford Bridge for about as long as he wants, because he is the total package. Yes, Mendy makes show-stopping saves but he also delivers strong two-handed, well-positioned saves that would be show stoppers for a slower-thinking keeper. He’s remarkable.

3. Pulisic has electrifying moments but will rue most of his day: USMNT star Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz had more than enough chances to back up Thomas Tuchel’s benching of Romelu Lukaku but only Pulisic got his goal and the American’s two or three brilliant moments fail to make up for some bad giveaways and muffed opportunities. Havertz could get his own section, so let’s stick with Pulisic. The 23-year-old had two tremendous opportunities to score fairly-straightforward goals but only converted on a much more difficult question.

Man of the Match: N’Golo Kante

The French superstar is world-renowned for how he breaks up attacks but his attacking prowess requests a moment or seven of your time. Kante set up Pulisic’s goal and cut the Blues’ Marcos Alonso into the box for an early second-half chance.

Mane, Salah stay cool to swivel Liverpool up 2-0

As stated above, Mane was fortunate to stay in the game but he stayed even-keeled when took care of a Trevoh Chalobah error and worked around Mendy for one-nil.

Salah’s goal, however, takes the cake.

Spotted by — who else? — Trent Alexander-Arnold, Salah’s hip-swiveling run through the right side of the 18 was a headache for Chelsea and a treat for everyone else. What a goal.

Kovacic, Kante keys comeback

Chelsea’s midfield duo of Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante was very, very good.

Kante had an assist and Kovacic a goal as the Blues really controlled the midfield.

Kante had three key passes and 80-plus touches to go with two interceptions, while Kovacic had around 100 touches, six tackles, and won all 10 of his duels.

Transfer news

USMNT strikers Ricardo Pepi, Daryl Dike set for European transfers January transfer window: What does each Premier League club need? Ben Chilwell out for season, leaving Chelsea thin at left back

Chelsea vs Liverpool final score: Reds blow 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge originally appeared on NBCSports.com