UNDER-21 REPORT: LIVERPOOL 3 CHELSEA 3
Super-sub Jeremie Boga scored twice to help Chelsea recover from 3-0 down in the second half, while Lewis Baker converted a penalty to complete the comeback.
The Blues had fallen behind early on, and the Liverpool lead was doubled with 10 first-half minutes remaining through an almost identical corner. If Chelsea looked to be struggling, things got worse three minutes into the second period when the hosts netted a third, but substitute Boga put us back on track when he netted an individual effort shortly afterwards, and combined with Patrick Bamford to score a second before striker Bamford was felled inside the area, allowing Baker to side-foot home and complete an unlikely comeback.
Chelsea began the game kicking into the Merseyside sun, and had to absorb a little Liverpool pressure before being gifted the game's first chance.
A poor backpass was seized upon by Bamford, the Chelsea striker, but after hesitating and on his shot he was denied by the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who pushed the ball to safety.
Ten minutes later Liverpool took the lead, a little against the run of play. A Dani Pacheco corner was headed goalwards by Danny Wilson, whose effort was parried by Jamal Blackman but pounced upon quickly by Michael Ngoo, who could not miss from just four yards out.
The goal, rather than galvanising Chelsea, seemed to give Liverpool fresh impetus, and they saw a goal disallowed just three minutes later for offside, before Adam Nditi had to clear to keep his side in the contest.
It was from another corner though that Chelsea would concede a second, and surely coach Dermot Drummy would be unhappy with his side's defending, Wilson's header again blocked on the line but slammed home by Jack Robinson.
Chances had been few for the visitors, who would need to link play better in the final third if they were to find a way back into the game. Plenty of possession in the middle had not transferred further up the field, while Liverpool had worked hard off the ball and made their chances count. Just before the break, Pacheco flashed a drive just past the far post.
The second half couldn't have started worse for the Blues as Krisztian Adorjan flicked a Pacheco cross in to make it three, which looked like it would end Chelsea's challenge.
Bamford's direct running almost provided a consolation but he misfired when inside the area, but shortly afterwards substitute Jeremie Boga did get Chelsea on the scoresheet with a fine solo effort.
Picking the ball up on the halfway line, the youngster beat two challenges on his way into the box before slotting past Gulacsi and in off the far post.
Chelsea's second-half performance, bar the first couple of minutes, was certainly an improvement, and Bamford was unlucky not to find the net when his shot was well saved following good midfield work from Conor Clifford.
Boga's introduction had made a huge difference, and the Frenchman would score a second goal just after the hour when he exchanged passes with Bamford and burst between two Liverpool defenders before poking past the goalkeeper to halve the deficit.
At the other end Nditi cleared off the line again as Liverpool responded but all the action now was at the Liverpool end.
Two minutes after the goal Bamford was put through on goal and Gulacsi, in trying to divert the ball away, could only bring the striker down for a penalty.
He was yellow-carded, and Lewis Baker would step up to send the penalty into the bottom corner. Out of nowhere Chelsea had drawn level.
It almost got even better with 15 minutes to go when Baker caught another sight of goal, but Gulacsi palmed it away to keep his side level.
Spaniard Pacheco almost won it for Liverpool when he drove across goal, but again it was cleared by the boot of a Chelsea defender, and then with three minutes to go Jamal Blackman produced a superb save from Liverpool sub Joao Teixeira
The game still looked like there would be a winning goal, and after all the drama of the previous 90 minutes, the only surprise was that there was no further strike in the three added minutes.
After a poor first half, Chelsea had improved greatly in the second, and earned a creditable draw, for which Drummy could be incredibly satisfied.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Jamal Blackman; Todd Kane (c), Alex Davey, Nathan Ake, Adam Nditi; George Saville, Conor Clifford, Lewis Baker, Lamisha Musonda (sub Jeremie Boga h-t), Patrick Bamford, Billy Clifford.
Unused subs: Mitchell Beeney, Andreas Christensen, John Swift, Tika Musonda.