Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Gary Cahill, Story

Willian played the role of super-sub and scored in the 85th minute to help Chelsea steal a point from Liverpool at Anfield.
Willian played the role of super-sub and scored in the 85th minute to help Chelsea steal a point from Liverpool at Anfield.
Gary Cahill and Jordan Henderson dish out their post-match thoughts after Chelsea nicked a point at Liverpool.

Gary Cahill admitted that Manchester City were the big winners after Chelsea and Liverpool held each other to a 1-1 draw at Anfield, but Antonio Conte insisted he was pleased with the “amazing reaction” of his players to earn a point after going behind.

Both teams missed chances before Mohamed Salah pounced upon Tiemoue Bakayoko’s mistake to open the scoring against his former club on 65 minutes. Chelsea found an equaliser when substitute Willian’s cross looped into the top corner of Simon Mignolet’s net with five minutes remaining.

Cahill felt the slice of good fortune was no less than Chelsea deserved for their second-half display, though he conceded that neither side should be happy with a result that will allow Manchester City to pull further away if they beat Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

“On reflection, I thought in the second half we deserved to equal the game up,” the Chelsea captain told BT Sport. “They had some good spells in the first half and we came on strong in the second half, especially late on.

“We made a few changes and had a few [crosses] flash across the box. They caused us problems at times and I’m sure we did them. We’re delighted that we got back into it and it’s a shame we couldn’t get the three.”

Willian celebrates after scoring the equaliser for Chelsea against Liverpool.

Asked if the draw favoured City, he replied: “I’d say so. If we were in their shoes we’d be delighted. It’s a shame but we’ve got some more games coming up now. [Anfield] is clearly a difficult place to come, so we’ll take the point and keep going. It was important we didn’t lose today.”

Conte focused on the positives of Chelsea’s display, less than 72 hours after they completed a 5,000-mile round trip to Baku to face Qarabag in the Champions League.

“I think for the whole game we had a really good performance,” Conte said. “In the first half we were very solid and always dangerous when we had the ball. In the second half we created a lot of chances.

“We conceded a goal maybe in the best moment for us, but then we found the strength for a great reaction. An amazing reaction from my players. I think we deserved to draw but maybe I think we deserved to win.

“I didn’t speak with [Willian] about the cross or if he tried to score in this way. But for sure we deserved to score, and we created many chances to draw and then to try to win.

“For sure it was a really good performance, great spirit and despite a long travel, despite no rest for my players. I’m very pleased for the spirit and the commitment that they showed in this game.”

Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

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