A drab, dull, goalless draw between, what are presently, two teams lacking confidence, so the result should have surprised nobody. Neither Liverpool or Chelsea could find any real spark to illuminate a lunchtime kick-off, which must have seen TV viewers turning off in their droves.
In a first half which, at times, resembled a competition as to which team could misplace the most passes, Liverpool had to rely on VAR to escape yet another early deficit. Near-stationary defending from a corner almost costing them dear until the close range Havertz effort was correctly ruled off-side. That was literally the only incident of note in the opening 45 minutes, with neither goalkeeper forced to make a save.
Somewhat surprisingly, Jurgen Klopp waited 20 minutes into the second half, before introducing Darwin Nunez and Trent Alexander-Arnold. It made little difference. Though Liverpool had begun the second period with more intensity and determination, there was next to no increase in quality. Bajcetic did well again in midfield, screening a nervous defence, but got little help either side of him, from Thiago, or Harvey Elliot, whilst Cody Gakpo continued to snatch at the few half chances that came his way. Chelsea where little better and it was something of a relief to both managers when the final whistle confirmed one point and a clean sheet for their charges.
So halfway through a season that neither team could have expected, both are mid-table. Chelsea seem determined to arrest their slide to mediocrity by throwing around hundreds of millions of pounds like confetti and with no obvious strategy. Klopp, with no such apparent access to the chequebook of his paymasters, must surely hope that injuries to key players clear up, and quickly, and that greater defensive solidity lays a platform for further improvement.