Liverpool extended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a hard-fought point against Chelsea on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah’s penalty equalised an opener from Kai Havertz as the Reds battled to a 1-1 draw against the 10-man European champions.
The result means Jurgen Klopp’s side have now gone 13 games without defeat in the top flight and improved on the loss in the same fixture last season.
But there was plenty that went unnoticed or under the radar during the 90 minutes at Anfield.
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Taylor prompts outrage
Fair to say that referee Anthony Taylor wasn’t the most popular person inside the stadium on Saturday evening – with either side.
Chelsea were fuming at the red card awarded to Reece James for deliberate handball, although it must be remembered Taylor hadn’t even spotted the offence initially before being urged to have another look by VAR Chris Kavanagh.
After that incident, Taylor subsequently gave Liverpool precisely no free-kicks, a remarkable statistic even allowing for new directives to let the game flow – and given Chelsea attempted 30 tackles over the course of the game.
They were penalised just four times – one of which was an aerial challenge, the other the James handball. Liverpool? 20 attempted tackles, 13 fouls given. Hmm.
James departs as Tuchel raps
James could hardly believe the red card and took a significant time before disconsolately sloping off down the tunnel.
And the Chelsea man was sent on his way with a gesture from Sadio Mane, whose shot he had handled.
Visiting boss Thomas Tuchel was then in the face of fourth official Craig Pawson with his fist to his mouth like a microphone.
One enterprising soul on social media set the video to a clip from Eminem’s film 8 Mile that is definitely worth seeking out. Only by grown-ups, of course.
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Van Dijk unhappy
Mind you, Taylor wasn’t the only official riling the Liverpool players.
Virgil van Dijk was absolutely livid during the first half when what appeared a clear offside was completely missed by the assistant referee.
And the Liverpool defender was again remonstrating towards the flagsman shortly afterwards having appeared to be bundled over by Romelu Lukaku with no free-kick forthcoming.
Lukaku was subdued for much of the game, although the tone was perhaps set when he prematurely started the game while all the other players were taking a knee. Whoops.
From the moment James was dismissed, Chelsea made it their business to spoil proceedings and do their best to put Liverpool out of their stride.
And it all started with Antonio Rudiger’s childish attempt to make Salah’s penalty that bit more difficult by scuffing up the spot with his studs.
Even Taylor couldn’t fail to notice, brandishing the yellow card amid a fracas inside the 18-yard box.
Not that Rudiger’s intervention made much difference as Salah sent Edouard Mendy the wrong way with an emphatic finish.