retained their five-point lead at the top of the table as they became the first team to win their opening six games in successive seasons with a fiercely-fought victory over at Stamford Bridge.

’s title pace-setters looked on course to win in comfort as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s magnificent free-kick and Roberto Firmino’s header gave them complete control at the interval.

, who had been denied an equaliser when Cesar Azpilicueta’s close-range effort was ruled out for offside by VAR, were in no mood to capitulate and made fight every inch of the way to maintain that perfect record.

Tammy Abraham had chances to increase his tally of seven goals this season, particularly when he was denied by keeper Adrian when clean through in the first half, but it was left to N’Golo Kante to set up a grandstand finish with a superb strike with 19 minutes to play.

, however, held on, surviving missed chances from Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount, to produce an instant response to Manchester City’s 8-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

bandwagon rolls on

remain unstoppable in their duel with after one of those victories all potential champions will need to secure if they are to claim the big prize at the end of the season.

’s side have made a habit of unleashing an attacking blitz on opponents in a remarkable run of only one league loss since the start of last season, their winning sequence now extended to 15 games.

This was totally different.

may have looked to have been on cruise control with that interval advantage, but were always in this game and pressed the league leaders right until the final whistle.

They were far below their best, were more sloppy than usual and on occasions looked jaded – but they still emerged victorious from what is traditionally one of the most hazardous away assignments on the calendar.

Over the course of a long campaign, a season will hope will end their 30-year wait for the title, it is victories on days such as this that will be vital, if not more so, than the days when opponents are blown away.

Klopp’s delight at the final whistle, in contrast to some of his expressions of fury during the game, said it all.

This was a crucial victory. ’s bandwagon rolls on.

and Lampard can take heart

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante made his first Chelsea start since 18 August after recovering from injury

have still to win at home in the and this season, and no defeat by is anything other than an acutely painful experience.

And yet, despite this loss coming hard on the heels of the home loss to Valencia in their opening group game, manager Frank Lampard will take great comfort and confidence from the performance of his team.

This is a new , leaning heavily on youngsters such as Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Abraham, and being built in a new style by Lampard.

When went two up through Firmino’s header after poor marking at a free-kick, the goal coming moments after Azpilicueta’s apparent equaliser had been overruled by VAR, it would have been easy for ’s heads to drop.

Nothing could have been further from the truth as they pressed and pressurised until the final whistle before receiving a warm and appreciative ovation from the supporters.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga may have kept them in it with a magnificent save from Firmino but , driven by the magnificent Kante, were left cursing those late missed opportunities for Batshuayi and Mount that could have earned them a point.

No defeat is easy to take, especially against , but this was a performance that will give Lampard hope and encouragement.

Reds closing in on City’s record – the stats

  • have conceded 13 goals in their six matches this season – their most after six league matches of a season since 1978-79 (also 13), when they went on to finish bottom of the First Division.
  • have won consecutive matches against for the first time since a run of four wins between November 2010 and May 2012.
  • have won their last 15 league matches – the only team with a longer winning run in top-flight history is (18 between August and December 2017).
  • have lost consecutive home matches in all competitions for the first time since April 2014, when they lost against Sunderland and Atlético Madrid.
  • managed his 150th game today – he has registered 92 wins in those games, with only (105) winning more in his first 150 matches in the competition.
  • Frank Lampard is only the second manager to fail to win any of his first four home matches in all competitions (W0 D2 L2), after Bobby Campbell in 1988.
  • Since the start of the 2018-19 season, have scored 34 goals from set-piece situations in the – seven more than any other team.
  • have failed to win any of their opening three home matches in a season for only the second time, also doing so in 2001-02 during Frank Lampard’s first season there as a player.

More to follow.

Line-ups

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4ChristensenSubstituted forZoumaat 42′minutes
  • 29TomoriBooked at 20mins
  • 33EmersonSubstituted forAlonsoat 15′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Kanté
  • 5Jorginho
  • 17KovacicBooked at 84mins
  • 10Willian
  • 9AbrahamSubstituted forBatshuayiat 77′minutes
  • 19Mount

Substitutes

  • 3Alonso
  • 8Barkley
  • 11Pedro
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Zouma
  • 22Pulisic
  • 23Batshuayi

  • 13Adrián
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldBooked at 57mins
  • 32Matip
  • 4
  • 26Robertson
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forLallanaat 84′minutes
  • 3FabinhoBooked at 78mins
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11SalahSubstituted forGomezat 90+2′minutes
  • 9Firmino
  • 10ManéSubstituted forMilnerat 71′minutesBooked at 86mins

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 12Gomez
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 20Lallana
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 24Brewster
  • 62Kelleher
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
40,638

Match Stats

Home TeamAway Team
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

Willian () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Roberto Firmino ().

Booking

Marcos Alonso () is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marcos Alonso ().

Andrew Robertson () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Jorginho () right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Marcos Alonso.

Willian () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andrew Robertson ().

Attempt missed. Mason Mount () left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marcos Alonso.

Attempt missed. Michy Batshuayi () header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Marcos Alonso with a cross.

Kurt Zouma () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Mateo Kovacic () is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Mason Mount ().

Georginio Wijnaldum () wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, . Adam Lallana replaces Jordan Henderson.

Foul by Mason Mount ().

Trent Alexander-Arnold () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kurt Zouma ().

Roberto Firmino () wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, . Mason Mount tries a through ball, but Marcos Alonso is caught offside.

Willian () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joel Matip ().

Attempt missed. Michy Batshuayi () right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by César Azpilicueta with a cross.

Booking

Fabinho () is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michy Batshuayi () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, . Conceded by Fikayo Tomori.

Substitution

Substitution, . Michy Batshuayi replaces Tammy Abraham.

N’Golo Kanté () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Marcos Alonso () right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jorginho.

César Azpilicueta () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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