The only winners on Sunday were Manchester City, and Romelu Lukaku certainly lost.
What a thrilling and entertaining encounter for Lukaku – none of his choosing – as Chelsea recovered to draw Liverpool 2-2 without the temporarily exiled striker.
This left City 10 points ahead of Chelsea at the top of the English Premier League with Liverpool just one more point.
The sky blue ribbons are expected to stay on the trophy for another year as the chase platoon challenge wears off.
“It’s a big gap,” said Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. “They might have the title to lose, but anything can happen.”
This is even before Liverpool were hit the hardest by players heading to the Africa Cup of Nations. Before leaving for what could be more than a month, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah contributed to Liverpool’s goals.
Liverpool appeared to be coasting, but were stung twice at the end of the first half, with the volley from Mateo Kovacic and the strike from Christian Pulisic drawing to Chelsea level.
It was a captivating and savage game that was only tempered after the break by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy denying Salah, and the reflexes of Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool thwarting Pulisic’s pursuit of a winner.
“For the crowd it must have been an incredible game,” said Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders.
“It was a brilliant game,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. âEveryone who wasn’t in the stadium missed something. “
Nothing more than Chelsea record-holder Lukaku, who was dropped by Tuchel for an explosion questioning his limited role in the squad.
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