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Liverpool vs Chelsea

Explained: Havertz denied! Why early Chelsea opener was chalked off against Liverpool at Anfield

15:55 EAT 21/01/2023
Kai Havertz VAR Jurgen Klopp
Chelsea thought they had gone ahead against Liverpool within three minutes, but a VAR check ruled that Kai Havertz was in an offside position.
  • Chelsea started brightly at Anfield
  • Havertz's opener ruled out by VAR
  • Adjudged to be offside in build-up

WHAT HAPPENED? Chelsea started the brighter of the two sides, and their pressure told when Havertz turned home from close range. The ball had dropped to Thiago Silva from the Blues' early corner, who hit the post with his effort. The German reacted quickest and the Chelsea players wheeled off in celebration, but an intervention from VAR ruled the goal out.

WHY WAS IT RULED OUT? While both Silva and Havertz were onside from the initial ball through from Benoit Badiashile, the German was standing in an offside position when the Brazilian centre-back struck the ball, with his left foot placed visibly ahead of play. As Silva's effort was deliberately played forward, Havertz was adjudged to be offside, and the decision was called by the video assistant.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The lightning start from Potter's side reflects the stakes at play in Saturday's Premier League matchup. Liverpool and Chelsea are separated only by goal difference in ninth and 10th respectively, with the Reds boasting a game in hand over their west London counterparts. Jurgen Klopp wasn't afraid to make some bold calls with his line-up, though, with both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho left out.

WHAT NEXT? After Saturday's crunch fixture, Liverpool travel to Brighton on January 29 in the FA Cup fourth round, while Chelsea host Fulham on February 3 in the league.