Willian’s fortunate late equaliser earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw at Liverpool, after Mo Salah had opened the scoring against his former club.
The Brazilian substitute needed just 144 seconds on the field to make the impact boss Antonio Conte was looking for, with his attempted cross sailing over the head of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and into the far corner on 85 minutes.
Salah, who tops the Premier League scoring charts, continued his fine form by coolly slotting his 10th goal of the campaign past Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois on 65 minutes.
He was almost the hero with a last-gasp strike from the edge of the box which was brilliantly parried away by Courtois. But Liverpool will be left to rue a missed opportunity to move level on points with the third-placed Londoners and remain in fifth after being pegged back.
The visitors had the best of the first half, with Mignolet sharp to parry powerful drives from Eden Hazard and Davide Zappacosta either side of a brave dive at the feet of Danny Drinkwater, and Liverpool were fortunate to survive a goalmouth scramble on 24 minutes, when Gary Cahill missed his kick from six yards out.
Salah provided Liverpool’s prime threat in the opening 45, twice shooting off target from the edge of the box, but he had his say shortly after the hour mark, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain deflected Philippe Coutinho’s pass into his path.
That looked like it would be the winner, with Alvaro Morata and Alonso spurning good openings, but while Liverpool fans cheered the return of Adam Lallana from injury, it was another substitute, Willian, who made the difference in the closing minutes.
Mo Salah was Liverpool’s most dangerous player all evening and kept up his superb scoring streak with a neat finish. He came close twice from the edge of the box in the first-half and could have added a second on the break late in the second.
With 10 Premier League goals already this season, he’s looking like the signing of the summer – and once again showed Chelsea what they let go.