Chelsea keep pace with Manchester United as they end the month unbeaten
Chelsea end the month seven points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United after an impressive performance against a Liverpool side which has now suffered successive league defeats.
Diego Costa and his Chelsea teammates celebrate after Eden Hazards' equaliser
The last time these two sides met, Balotelli, in the words of manager Brendan Rodgers, reached one of the lowest points in his career. The Italian reacted to a bad challenge from Ivanovic, as Mario got up and stamped on the defenders fingers as he walked away.
But Chelsea shackled Liverpool's chief tormentor in a performance which saw the Londoners outmuscle and overpower their opponents.
Rodgers' side, who sit second on the table, have hit a rough patch in their last two matches and have only managed the one goal in two matches.
Liverpool could not have wished for a better start though as Lallana rushed through Chelsea's defence before being brought down by John Terry, Mario Balotelli who is known for his tremendous record from the spot stepped up and dispatched his spotkick into the bottom right corner.
Chelsea's response to going behind was to surge forward relentlessly, Gary Cahill went a fraction wide with a bullet of a header, Hazard had a penalty appeal turned down, while an acrobatic save from Mignolet prevented Oscar from finding the top corner.
The visitors were dominating the midfield and there was a sense of inevitability about Hazard's leveller. Although, arguably, the home side could have cleared the danger as Oscar's pass ricocheted off Sakho's shin and fell kindly to the Belgian, who clinically found the top corner for his twelfth goal of the season.
Hazard's virtuosity combined with the ballast provided by Matic, Mikel and Ramires in the middle of the pitch forced Liverpool into uncharacteristic rash passes.
The first half belonged to Chelsea, but, after the break, the home team showed glimpses of the effervescence which had seen them have such a great start to the season.
Sakho directed Jordan Henderson's chipped pass towards the woodwork, a Emre Can half-volley forced Jan Oblak into action and then came the first penalty appeal as Azplicueta clambered on top of Sterling.
In between a flurry of Liverpool chances, Mignolet came to his team's rescue, preventing Hazard from grabbing his second of the match, and it was Chelsea who finished the stronger.
An alert Mignolet dived low to stop Matic's dipping strike and, as the game neared a conclusion, Loic Remy provided Anfield with a moment of brilliance as he took the ball down on the chest before sharply turning Stevan Savic, Remy then had the composure to bend the ball ever so nicely into the top right corner as a onlooking Mignolet didn't even bother with a courtesy dive, the Chelsea away fans broke into pandemonium, the stewards could hardly hold Remy back as he went over to celebrate
Barclays Premier League table