Star man Salah rose to an emotionally charged occasion with a thumping 25-yard effort that whistled into the top-left corner and doubled the home side’s lead following Sadio Mane’s headed opener.
Chelsea encountered their first real disruption when a knee problem forced Antonio Rudiger to the bench before the break.
Two greater blows followed after the restart. Mane arrived at the far post to nod in Jordan Henderson’s cute cross in the 51st minute and, moments later, Salah cut inside and sent Anfield ecstasy.
Maurizio Sarri’s side otherwise had precious few opportunities as their grip on fourth weakened.
What does it mean? Reds clear psychological hurdle
So much of the build-up to this encounter centred on the April 2014 meeting between these teams – and Steven Gerrard’s ill-fated slip – that derailed Liverpool’s bid for a maiden Premier League title.
But where Brendan Rodgers’ side floundered, the 2018-19 vintage are accelerating towards the finish line. They have won seven successive games in all competitions.
Fabinho an essential fixture in midfield
A peripheral figure during the early stages of his debut Anfield season, Fabinho is now entrenched in Liverpool’s strongest XI.
The long-striding Brazil international shielded his defence with distinction in this match, making four tackles, and moved the ball around with purpose.
Emerson in costly loss of concentration
Chelsea defended commendably stoutly for much of the match, but left-back Emerson was all too timid in allowing Salah to beat him to a return pass in the lead-up to Mane’s opener.
Henderson hoovered up the loose ball and Liverpool were on their way to three points.
Chelsea can look forward to consecutive home matches, against Slavia Prague in the Europe League on Thursday and Burnley the following Monday. courtesy:goal.com