Mane, who scored Liverpool’s opening goal on nine minutes, was given a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor following the foul on Azpilicueta. But although replays suggested that Mane’s challenge could be construed as violent conduct, VAR official Darren England did not request that Taylor should review the incident on a pitchside monitor.
Chelsea were the talk of the football world. The process of steadily acquiring some of the most talented and in-demand players on the planet had started, and it appeared Champions League glory could arrive immediately.
The opening tie looked doomed for Mourinho’s men. Anfield was once again in roaring voice and Dirk Kuyt had found the back of the net for the hosts on the cusp of half-time.
He suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in 2016 and has barely played since then, training at Dubai’s Transform Altitude centre in a bid to revive his ailing top-level career.
Those who believe this competition occupies the curious position of being technically the highest honour on offer but simultaneously only a footnote to their season in the context of Premier League and Champions League pursuits will have seen enough to concern them about the challenges that lie ahead.
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