Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was not to blame for the goal which extended Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League, according to manager Jurgen Klopp. David Luiz struck a quickly-taken free-kick in the first half to put the Blues ahead, before Georginio Wijnaldum headed home an equaliser after the break.
Mignolet appeared to lose concentration as Luiz hit his free-kick after 24 minutes but the Belgium stopper turned from villain to hero in the closing stages as he saved Diego Costa's penalty late on. The draw keeps the Reds 10 points behind the Blues with 15 games remaining on a night where all of the top four dropped points.
But following a campaign when Liverpool have continually rotated their 'keepers, Klopp refused to make Mignolet accountable for the opening goal after his side had made an encouraging start to the game. The ex-Borussia Dortmund boss instead hailed the 25-yard strike from Luiz which was a bolt from the blue.
"That was world class from David Luiz we have to say that," the Liverpool coach told BT Sport, according to BBC Sport. "Two seconds before he was on the side-lines next to me talking to Conte. You have to say we have to be prepared but he was obviously surprised. Yes maybe if he was not surprised he could have saved it but even if he was prepared it would have been difficult to save it because it was really in the corner and right in the corner. It was a really good situation for Chelsea obviously."
The point keeps Liverpool fourth in the table but they could yet drop out of the Champions League places if Manchester City beat West Ham United on Wednesday [1 February]. Manchester United could meanwhile go within two points of the Merseysiders if they overcome Hull City.
Klopp was content with the display from his Liverpool side but he is realistic over their progression having won just one of their nine games in 2017. "I'm not sure happy is the right word to say how I'm feeling, but I'm proud of the boys because they did outstanding things against a really good side," he added.
"We did really well. The result we can't change. We could have lost because it was a penalty. In the second half we caused them problems, we could have scored a second time or a third time. I'm happy we could give this sign and create this atmosphere. It was a good performance."