LONDON: Liverpool were denied a cathartic victory against Premier League leaders Everton by VAR and Chelsea drew 3-3 with Southampton on another day of breathless drama in the English top-flight on Saturday.
Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 as Pep Guardiola got the better of former assistant Mikel Arteta, while misfiring Manchester United prepared to take on Newcastle in the late kick-off.
Jurgen Klopp’s champions were desperate to atone for their 7-2 mauling against Aston Villa before the international break but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after Jordan Henderson’s late strike was chalked off for offside.
Everton, who have not beaten Liverpool since 2010, remain three points clear of their Merseyside rivals at the top of the table after a number of controversial calls went their way at Goodison Park.
But Klopp was mystified that Henderson’s potential winner in added time against 10-man Everton was ruled out for a barely perceptible offside decision against Sadio Mane.
He was also at a loss to explain how Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had not been dismissed and had not conceded an early penalty for a knee-high challenge on Virgil van Dijk.
“There were a number of big moments in the game,” said a baffled Klopp. “The only situation I saw back is the Henderson goal and I didn’t see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it.”
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with his side’s performance, even though they were denied a fifth straight Premier League win.
“We competed with them,” he said. “We were 1-0 down and equalized, 2-1 down and equalized. It was a good test and I have a good feeling.
“To know we can compete with the champions of the last season it gives us more confidence for the future.”
Sadio Mane, who missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus, put Liverpool ahead in the third minute.
But the pivotal moment in the match came when Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford inside the box minutes later.
However, no penalty was awarded after a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford was lucky to avoid a red card.
The Dutchman was substituted and his towering presence was missed at the other end as Michael Keane equalized in the 19th minute.
Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front 18 minutes from time but Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted his 10th goal of the season to pull Everton level again.
Richarlison was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Thiago Alcantara in the 90th minute and Everton were grateful for the intervention of VAR in the final seconds.
Chelsea looked to be in total control after cruising into a 2-0 lead against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of new signing Timo Werner’s first Premier League goals.
But a goal from Danny Ings shortly before half-time and a second-half strike from Che Adams wiped out their lead.
Frank Lampard’s side rallied immediately to regain the lead, Werner teeing up Kai Havertz for a neat dinked finish to make it 3-2.
But Southampton were not to be denied and Jannik Vestergaard bludgeoned home an added-time equalizer for Saints from a free-kick that Chelsea failed to clear.
Lampard said his side had to tighten up at the back after conceding three goals for the second time this season.
“We are seeing lots of goals across the league and no manager is happy” he said.
“I don’t know why it is. There are attacking players in this league and maybe pre-season and lack of working time plays a part. But we have to get better at it.”
City returned to winning ways after an indifferent start to the season, courtesy of a first-half goal from Raheem Sterling.
Aguero drove forward and fed Phil Foden on the left, with the England midfielder cutting in to shoot. Bernd Leno could only parry his effort, which fell kindly for Sterling to sidefoot home.