Chelsea lost ground on Premier League leaders Manchester United this weekend, as Luis Suarez earned Liverpool a hard-fought point at Stamford Bridge.
The result means that Chelsea are now three points adrift of the top, following their third consecutive Premier League game without victory.
Chelsea played the majority of the game without the ball, but looked more threatening when then did have it, compared to a lacklustre Liverpool attack who created very little throughout.
John Terry headed the blues in front before being stretched off later in the half after a nasty looking collision with Luis Suarez, before Mata had a glorious chance to double their lead on the stroke of half time.
However Chelsea were made to pay as Suarez was in the right place again to head home an equaliser mid way through the second half.
Chelsea’s inability to finish off the chances is something that will worry manager Di Matteo as they fall further behind the premier league leaders.
For Liverpool it is now six games un-beaten in the league, albeit with only two victories.
The game started slowly for Chelsea, but a rare mistake from Joe Allen allowed Eden Hazard to slip a ball easily through an un-organised Liverpool defence to Oscar, only for the Brazilian to hit the ball over the bar.
Chelsea were starting to open up Liverpool with ease and got there reward in the 20th minute.
Back from his four game suspension, Terry headed home an in swinging Mata corner to give Chelsea the lead. Questions will be asked about the Liverpool marking, which was non-existent to allow Terry so much space in an advanced area.
Terry’s day quickly change though, as he was forced off later in the first half, following a serious looking accidental collision with Suarez.
Chelsea continued to push forward, Fernando Torres in particular wanting to impress against his former side. Hazard’s strong run fell to the feet of Torres who forced a good save out of Brad Jones. On the stroke of half time, the best chance of the half fell to Mata, who after good initial work to beat Andre Wisdom, blazed the shot over Liverpool’s bar.
The second half started in the same light as the first, with Torres and Mata forcing Jones into good saves. However the introduction of substitute Suso gave Liverpool more belief when going forward and the reward was imminent.
Suso swung a corner in, for Jamie Carragher to flick the ball on at the front post – his first assist since April of 2009 – giving Suarez the easiest of finishes. It was Suarez’s eighth goal of the campaign to make him joint top scorer in a productive season for the Uruguayan.
The game became more open with both sides squandering chances to win the game late on, however Chelsea will see the fixture as ‘two points lost’ rather than a point gained.