Liverpool claimed a creditable 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, although the result effectively quashes their hopes of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Brendan Rodgers’ side came into Sunday’s clash with the Premier League champions seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who were 2-1 winners at Crystal Palace 24 hours earlier.
Although Liverpool became only the fourth side to take anything away from Stamford Bridge in the league this season, their inferior goal difference means they would require a sizeable and improbable swing to overtake United in the final two matches of 2014-15.
It was Chelsea captain John Terry who put his side ahead in the fifth minute with a powerful header from a corner, before his opposite number Steven Gerrard – who was described as “a champion” by Jose Mourinho this week and was given a warm reception by the crowd when he was substituted late on – nodded in an equaliser at the end of the first half.
Against a Chelsea side that showed five changes from the team that sealed the title against Palace last week, including a first Premier League start for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Liverpool had the better of the second half and saw Philippe Coutinho spurn a golden opening to go ahead.
However, Rodgers’ men could not find the winner that would have kept their slim Champions League dreams alive, as Chelsea maintained their unbeaten home league record this season.