Match Today: Chelsea vs Liverpool 04-04-2023 English Premier League
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Managerless Chelsea host Liverpool on the back of disappointing defeats for both sides that put the hosts 2-0 down at Aston Villa on Saturday just hours after the Reds were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City.
The international break came undoubtedly at the worst of times for the Chelsea side, who began to take the pressure off Graham Potter's shoulders in March but Aston Villa had no trouble picking up where they left off before a two-week hiatus.
Seeking to build on a run of three wins and a draw as Aston Villa made the long journey south, Chelsea returned to a very familiar version of themselves under Potter and succumbed to superb goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn while wasting a host of golden chances in front of goal.
Chelsea vs Liverpool
The toxic atmosphere was evident at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fell to the bottom half of the Premier League table - now sitting in 11th place which was wholly unacceptable for a club of its stature and financial might and the reassuring pats on the back from the owners stopped.
On Sunday night as Potter has been relieved of his duties Bruno Saltor will take over temporarily while the search for a successor begins as the Blues trail 13 points off their place in the top four thanks to Newcastle United's win over Manchester United on Sunday.
Everything that could go wrong with Chelsea on Saturday has gone wrong and only one of their last five Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge has been victorious but the upcoming visitors have little reason for unbridled optimism either.
Now an ugly weekly occurrence in the Premier League, players swarmed around the referee during Liverpool's clash with Manchester City at the Etihad, with those in red fuming that Rodri evaded a second yellow card just two minutes after entering Simon Hooper's book.
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Yet an unemotional Jurgen Klopp claimed that playing against 10 men was unlikely to make a difference for his side, who took the lead on Saturday at lunchtime through Mohamed Salah before Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Julian Alvarez turned the game heads for the champions, according to Klopp.
The four players "only" performed at a satisfactory level in Manchester and some Reds fans would argue that figure is generous - Liverpool head to Stamford Bridge after dropping to eighth in the table, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford leaping ahead of the Merseyside side thanks to a 3-0 draw. 3 in Amex.
The period of review and recuperation during the international break has proven fruitless for Liverpool who have now lost each of their last three games - all on the road - and five of the Reds' last seven away fixtures have ended in the Premier League.
Klopp faced Chelsea in his 1,000th game as manager in January but neither fan got their money's worth in the event of a goalless draw - the third time in succession the two sides have failed to score against each other in 90 minutes - and some may already bet on the narrow issue. And a similar lull is taking shape in the capital.