Chelsea were once again let down by their wayward finishing in their first game since Graham Potter’s sacking as Liverpool hung onto a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The head coach was dismissed on Sunday night after the 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, with Bruno Saltor – who admitted before the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s side that he had never even picked a team before – replacing Potter on an interim basis.
But it was a case of the new boss being the same as the old one for Chelsea, who showed the same failings in front of goal that hamstrung Potter’s regime.
The hosts had two goals correctly disallowed either side of half-time and missed the target with a number of other presentable opportunities on their way to a draw that leaves them in the bottom of half of the table, while Liverpool are eighth.
Chelsea have now built up an expected goals total of 4.28 and had 39 shots over their last two games, yet somehow conspired to take one point and score zero goals across those 180 minutes.
Despite the turmoil surrounding Stamford Bridge, Chelsea did start the game well, with Joao Felix and Mateo Kovacic being denied by desperate Liverpool defending, although both should have taken their chances to strike at goal sooner.
Alisson then denied Kai Havertz at close range before Reece James saw a crisp volley ruled out for a marginal offside against Enzo Fernandez in the build up.
Kepa Arrizabalaga enjoyed a quiet evening as Liverpool’s miserable away record showed no signs of ending, although he was called into action to push away Joe Gomez’s powerful effort just before half-time.
The second half began in a similar vein to the first, with Kovacic again spurning a glorious chance before Havertz had a weak shot saved by Alisson, before seeing the rebound trickle into the net off his arm, with VAR cutting short Chelsea’s celebrations.
Chelsea seemed to lose belief that they would ever score a legitimate goal after that latest failure, with the second half meandering to a conclusion in front of a subdued set of supporters, both sets of which are used to witnessing games involving higher stakes and higher quality than this.