Chelsea's interim head coach Bruno Saltor hailed his players' response to a difficult few days after the Blues enjoyed the better of the play in Tuesday's goalless draw with Liverpool.

Chelsea missed several clear chances to win their first game since Graham Potter's sacking, with Kai Havertz denied a second-half winner by a VAR review after a shot rebounded into the net via his arm.

The result keeps the Blues in the bottom half of the Premier League table, but there was cause for optimism after a game in which Liverpool managed just two shots from inside the Blues' area.

Speaking after the draw, former Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Bruno outlined his pride in Chelsea's performance, despite them failing to net in a sixth different home league game this season.

"I asked the players to play with their hearts and I think we saw that," the Spaniard told Sky Sports. "We gave everything, we created chances. We scored twice, one offside and one handball.

"I think it was a big performance from the boys, it's a good start for them after some difficult, emotional days.

"They were able to keep themselves focused, to use their heads and their hearts as well, so credit to them.

"It's been a really difficult season for them. To come back from the news we had in the last few days is incredible. 

"It shows they are able to focus on the moment and on performing well. They have to be proud of themselves."

One major positive for Chelsea came in the form of N'Golo Kante, who gave an energetic performance as he captained the side on his first league start since last August.

Kante won five of his seven duels and was successful with all three of his attempted tackles, but Bruno believes being able to lean on his experience is equally crucial for Chelsea.

"He's outstanding," Bruno said of Kante. "Both with what he brings to the team in terms of football, and what he brings in terms of leadership. He's a massive plus for the team."

With the appointment of Potter's long-term successor not believed to be imminent, Bruno was asked if he expects to be in place for Saturday's trip to Wolves, but the 42-year-old is taking things day by day. 

"I expect to go home now and rest, then go game by game," he said. "That's what we are trying to do, trying to be as professional as we can, help the club and present the best that we can.

"It's a difficult situation, but I think everyone is doing the best they can. We just need to relax, be calm and assess the boys. I know it sounds boring, but it's a day by day job.

"The only thing I can say is I'm happy for the first performance, but it's what they [the players] deserve. It's credit to them, it's not credit to me."

Chelsea endured a frustrating start to the post-Graham Potter era as they shared a 0-0 Premier League draw with Liverpool, a VAR check denying Kai Havertz a winner at Stamford Bridge.

Interim Blues boss Bruno Saltor saw his team create plenty of chances against a much-changed Reds side after Jurgen Klopp omitted Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and other key players from his starting XI. 

However, Chelsea's familiar attacking woes were on full display as Havertz saw a potentially decisive strike ruled out for handball to cap a wasteful performance.

While the result keeps Chelsea inside the bottom half, Liverpool failed to make up ground on their rivals for a top-four finish as their winless run was extended to four games across all competitions. 

Chelsea started brightly as Mateo Kovacic forced Ibrahima Konate into a sliding goal-line clearance, before Alisson smothered Havertz's close-range flick following good work from Ben Chilwell.

Reece James thought he had volleyed Chelsea ahead after 24 minutes, but an offside call against Enzo Fernandez in the build-up saw his powerful finish chalked off.

Having offered virtually nothing as an attacking force, Liverpool almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time, Wesley Fofana crucially deflecting Fabinho's volley around the post.

Kovacic fired over from a glaring one-on-one chance after the interval, before Havertz was denied the opener by a VAR review when the German's tame finish bounced back off Alisson and found the net via his arm.

Joao Felix sent a wild volley over as Chelsea continued to create the clearest opportunities late on, with even the introduction of Salah failing to inspire out-of-form Liverpool.


Virgil van Dijk has been ruled out of Liverpool's Premier League trip to Chelsea through illness, with Mohamed Salah surprisingly named on the bench as Jurgen Klopp makes six changes to his side.

Van Dijk reportedly missed training after feeling unwell ahead of Tuesday's game at Stamford Bridge, where Liverpool are looking to end a run of three successive defeats either side of the international break.

The defender previously missed seven games with a hamstring injury in January and February, with the Reds suffering demoralising defeats at Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves in his absence.

Van Dijk is not the only notable absentee from Klopp's starting lineup in west London, with Salah joining Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in dropping to the bench.

Joe Gomez and Konstantinos Tsimikas replace the full-back pair, while Curtis Jones, Joel Matip, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino have been brought in, with Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo also replaced. 

Chelsea's interim head coach Bruno Saltor, meanwhile, has made two changes to the side that began Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa – a result that led to Graham Potter's dismissal.

N'Golo Kante will captain Chelsea on his first Premier League start since last August, with Wesley Fofana the second player introduced by former Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Bruno.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk are both named on the bench after starting the defeat against Villa, a result that left Chelsea mired inside the Premier League's bottom half.

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