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Advantage City as Chelsea and Liverpool draw thriller

Chelsea produced a stunning first-half fightback to salvage a 2-2 draw against Liverpool as Manchester City’s rivals served up a Premier League classic which did little for either sides’ title aspirations.

Liverpool looked on course to emerge as the primary challengers to City’s crown as goals from Sadio Mane, who escaped a first-minute red card for an elbow on Cesar Azpilicueta, and Mohamed Salah saw the visitors race into a two-goal lead and silence Stamford Bridge inside the opening 26 minutes.

But Chelsea, who dropped club-record signing Romelu Lukaku, produced a spirited comeback in the space of four first-half minutes as Mateo Kovacic’s spectacular volley and Christian Pulisic’s brilliant lob levelled the pulsating contest on the stroke of half-time.

The platform was there for both Chelsea and Liverpool to push on and claim a victory which would have taken a chunk out of Manchester City’s 11-point lead at the top of the table, but inspired saves from Caoimhin Kelleher and Edouard Mendy ensured the spoils were shared.

The result means Chelsea remain second, 10 points behind leaders City, and a point and a place ahead of third-place Liverpool, who have played a game fewer than their title rivals.

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