Liverpool v Chelsea: Sadio Mane and Mateo Kovacic involved in heated clash

Sadio Mane and Mateo Kovacic in Liverpool vs Liverpool

Liverpool's struggles at Anfield continued as they were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea on Thursday evening.

The Reds were just one point behind Chelsea at the start of play and knew a win would propel them into the top four.

But they were unable to build on a bright start.

Mason Mount scored the only goal of the game in the first half. He latched onto a long ball from N'Golo Kante, cut inside and then unleashed an unstoppable effort into the corner.

Liverpool could not find an equaliser. In fact, it took them 86 minutes to record a single shot on target as they lost their fifth game in a row at home.

Sadio Mane and Mateo Kovacic clashed in Liverpool vs Chelsea

It was a very frustrating day for Sadio Mane in particular.

The Senegalese international has looked off the boil recently.

He had a golden opportunity to score in the first half but he miscued his effort when one-on-one with Edouard Mendy.

And, late in the game, he was on the wrong end of some naughty play from Mateo Kovacic.

Mane had the ball when he was fouled by Antonio Rudiger.

The whistle had already gone but Mateo Kovacic then booted the ball at Mane from close range a he was sliding along the turf.

Mane was, understandably, not very pleased.

He got up almost immediately and squared up to the Croatian midfielder, who just laughed in Mane's face.

To the Liverpool star's credit, he was able to keep his cool as he walked away.

That's naughty from Kovacic. Accidental or not, his actions could have caused some harm to Mane and he could easily have been shown a card.

Fortunately, Mane was fine and was able to continue.

That result means Chelsea have moved up to fourth in the table.

They are four points in front of Liverpool, who are now positioned in seventh.

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