Premier League: Chelsea-Liverpool deadlock stalls title aspirations for heavyweights

Chelsea have fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in a breathless encounter between the two title chasers at Stamford Bridge, but the stalemate leaves Manchester City 10 points clear at the top.

The draw means Chelsea remains second on 43 points from 21 games, one point ahead of Liverpool, who have a game in hand, with leaders Manchester City on 53 points from 21.

With both sides weakened by key absences - and Chelsea dropping striker Romelu Lukaku, after he criticised the tactics of coach Thomas Tuchel - Liverpool quickly seemed to have the game in their grip, after goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah before they depart for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mane capitalised on an error by Trevoh Chalobah to open the scoring in the ninth minute and Salah doubled the lead 17 minutes later, when he ghosted past Marcos Alonso to lift the ball over goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from a tight angle.

But the Blues clawed their way back into the game in the 42nd minute, when Mateo Kovacic majestically volleyed in off a post from the edge of the box, after a punched clearance by Liverpool reserve keeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Four minutes later, Chelsea were level, when Christian Pulisic latched onto a pass by N'Golo Kante that beat Liverpool's offside trap and the American forward coolly lifted the ball over Kelleher into the net.

Both sides went close in the second half, with Mendy and Kelleher pulling off good saves.

Meanwhile, Everton manager Rafa Benitez has called on his team to address their defensive frailties, after they fell to a 3-2 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion at home.

Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister scored twice, as the visitors celebrated their first-ever win at Goodison Park, while Everton suffered an eighth defeat in 12 league games.

The Merseyside club, who were greeted with a huge chorus of boos from fans after Sunday's defeat, remain 15th on 19 points after 18 matches.

Late goals from Stuart Dallas and substitute Daniel James have earned Leeds United a crucial 3-1 victory over Burnley, a win that moves the home side eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Mads Roerslev has scored his first goal for Brentford to give them a comeback 2-1 home win over Aston Villa, after Yoane Wissa cancelled out an early Danny Ings opener for the visitors.

The 22-year-old Dane, who joined Brentford in 2019, enjoyed a memorable afternoon, as he also provided the assist for Wissa's equaliser.

Brighton & Hove Albion have kicked off the new year with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Everton, with two goals from Alexis Mac Allister and one from Dan Burn.

Brighton's first win at Goodison Park in any competition lifted them to eighth in the table with 27 points after 19 matches.