Forward Diego Costa helped lift Chelsea to a stunning 2-1 victory over Liverpool to keep his side undefeated Saturday afternoon at the Anfield.
Costa notched his 10th goal of the Premier League term in the 67th minute, breaking a 1-1 knot that dominated most of the match.
Reds midfielder Emre Can provided his side’s singular goal in the ninth minute, and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill equalized five minutes later with some help from goal-line technology.
Chelsea remains in first, and undefeated, and created more of a buffer between themselves and Southampton. Liverpool remain in sixth behind Swansea, and could have used the three points to pressure West Ham and Arsenal for the top five.
Costa put the Blues up for good after rebounding Oscar’s attempt in front of the net and firing a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner past Reds keeper Simon Mignolet. The Brazil-born star is now tied with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for the league lead in goals.
Can provided Liverpool an early glimmer of hope, gunning his shot deep outside of the Blues area and deflecting it off Cahill for the 1-0 lead in the ninth. However, Cahill found restitution and redemption in 14th minute.
Cesc Fabregas placed an excellent corner deep inside the Reds six-yard box and Cahill put his left foot on it for the score. At first it seemed like Mignolet made the save, but Chelsea’s players quickly began to protest and referee Anthony Taylor blew the whistle to signal the goal.
Upon closer inspection of the replay it clearly showed Mignolet put himself squarely in front of the ball, but it had already broken the goal line. Mignolet totaled three saves on the day, as did Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.
From there neither side could break through until Costa’s heroics, and it once again left Liverpool desiring either the return of Daniel Sturridge or some sign of hope from Mario Balotelli.
Sturridge last took the field for Liverpool on Aug. 31, and England manager Roy Hodgson didn’t name the player for the next round of international matches. Meanwhile, Balotelli managed to squeeze off one shot against Chelsea, and was flagged for four of the Reds six offsides.