Conor Bradley delivered an impressive performance by scoring his first goal for Liverpool and providing two assists as the Reds defeated Chelsea to maintain their top position in the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp’s team entered this round with a five-point lead at the top of the table, and with Arsenal and Manchester City winning their matches against Nottingham Forest and Burnley, the Anfield club needed to do the same against Chelsea.

After beating Bournemouth 4-0 in their previous league match, they once again displayed confidence and dominance to overcome Chelsea.

Darwin Nunez hit the woodwork twice in the early stages – and four times in total – before Diogo Jota showed great determination to penetrate the defense and score from Bradley’s pass.

The 20-year-old Northern Ireland international, who has emerged as a promising talent at Liverpool this season, then rightfully got the goal his recent impressive performances deserved as he sprinted into the box from the right before shooting into the far corner.

Liverpool should have been 3-0 up at halftime, but Nunez hit the post from the penalty spot after Jota was fouled.

Mykhailo Mudryk missed a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit after the break when he kicked high over the bar with only Alisson to beat.

Dominik Szoboszlai punished Chelsea for that missed chance as he scored Liverpool’s third, heading home Bradley’s cross, and although Christopher Nkunku netted a consolation goal for the visitors, Luis Diaz added a fourth late on with a close-range shot.

It was the perfect result for the Reds, both in maintaining their lead at the top of the Premier League and in boosting confidence before facing Chelsea again in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on February 25.

Bradley shines as the Reds aim to send Klopp off on a high note
This was Liverpool’s second game since the shocking announcement by Klopp that he will leave the club at the end of the season after eight years at the helm.

The first game following the news was an emotional FA Cup fourth-round fixture against Norwich at Anfield on Sunday, and it’s clear from both that performance and now this one that Klopp’s players are determined to ensure his final season at the club ends memorably.

Liverpool put five goals past Norwich to win 5-2, and they could easily have had as many in a dominant first half against Chelsea, with the unfortunate Nunez hitting the woodwork three times.

But the night belonged to the exceptional Bradley, who once again rose to the occasion despite the presence of fellow full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench, and he was deservedly given a standing ovation when he went off in the second half.

A night of penalty frustration for Chelsea
Chelsea has shown some improvement under Mauricio Pochettino in recent months, particularly at Stamford Bridge, where they have not lost in all competitions since October 28.

However, there is still plenty of room for improvement in their away form as they arrived at Anfield having lost five of their last six away games in all competitions.z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z

A victory here never looked likely, but Chelsea will feel aggrieved that a couple of penalty decisions went against them, which might have made for a closer contest.

First, appeals were waved away when Conor Gallagher went down in the box under pressure from Virgil van Dijk, who later appeared to clip Nkunku inside the box in the second half.

Nkunku’s goal was a positive for the visitors on his return from injury, but ultimately they were second best as Liverpool put on a display that will make their title rivals stand up and take notice.