Report and free highlights as Chelsea beat a valiant Man City to confirm Liverpool as English champions for the first time in 30 years
Liverpool have been crowned Premier League champions after Chelsea’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Manchester City left the Reds with an unassailable lead.
City had to win to delay Liverpool’s celebrations but a first-half defensive mix-up allowed Christian Pulisic (36) to put Chelsea ahead and, after Kevin De Bruyne’s (55) sublime equaliser, Willian fired home a penalty following Fernandinho’s red card to seal Chelsea’s – and Liverpool’s – triumph.
With City 23 points behind Liverpool with just seven games to play, there is now no way back mathematically for Pep Guardiola’s back-to-back title winners, while Chelsea celebrated a win which strengthens their hold on a top-four place.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (6), Azpilicueta (7), Rudiger (8), Christensen (8), Alonso (6), Kante (7), Barkley (7), Mount (6), Willian (7), Pulisic (8), Giroud (6).
Subs: Abraham (7), Kovacic (6), Pedro (N/A), Gilmour (N/A)
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Laporte (7), Fernandinho (5), Mendy (3), Rodri (6), Gundogan (5), De Bruyne (8),Bernardo Silva (6), Mahrez (7), Sterling (7).
Subs: David Silva (7), Jesus (6), Zinchenko (6), Otamendi (5)
Man of the match: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
How Chelsea helped Liverpool become champions
At kick-off, Liverpool supporters across the country were watching on excitedly with their first English title in 30 years potentially just 90 minutes away. But City dominated the ball early on and looked likely to make the Reds wait to go on when Chelsea stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga nearly handed the visitors a goal, miscuing a pass out and having to stop Bernardo Silva from capitalising.
Kepa impressed moments later though, tipping Fernandinho’s header from a set-piece over the bar and Chelsea began to get a foothold, with Ross Barkley seeing one shot blocked and another cleared two yards out by Fernandinho before Andreas Christensen drew a smart stop from Ederson with a header from the resulting corner.
Those chances had come against the run of play and Chelsea took the lead on 36 minutes with a stunning counter-attack.
After a cleared Man City free-kick, Mendy and Gundogan’s miscommunication allowed Pulisic to pick up the ball just inside his own half and charge forwards, where, after skipping past Mendy’s recovery challenge, the American expertly slotted in from the edge of the penalty area.
- Two changes for Chelsea, super sub Pulisic started and so did Barkley
- Six changes for Man City, including Laporte, De Bruyne and Sterling coming in
- Sterling, Bernardo, and Mahrez formed a three-man attack
Both Chelsea and Liverpool supporters will have celebrated that one but just 10 minutes after the break De Bruyne hauled City back on level terms with a sensational free-kick, looping his shot into the top corner from 30 yards out.
Raheem Sterling then almost completed the turn around when he chipped over Kepa and onto the post from a fast City break before Mason Mount blew a great chance to put Chelsea back in front, skewing wide on 62 minutes.
Sterling again went close, bending a shot just beyond the far post after Antonio Rudiger had survived a VAR check on his painful – but legal – collision with De Bruyne from a clearance.
However, despite City being in full flow, Chelsea remained dangerous on the break and Kyle Walker pulled off an incredible sliding goalline clearance to deny Pulisic a second on 72 minutes when Chelsea and Liverpool supporters were just about to celebrate.
That Chelsea threat eventually proved too much when Fernandinho resorted to pushing away a Tammy Abraham shot with his arm on the City goalline, after Ederson had twice denied the England man. After a VAR check, the City defender was shown a red card and Willian blasted emphatically into the top corner.
It was a big moment for the Brazilian, who could leave the Blues this summer, and helped Chelsea boost their Champions League qualifying hopes. But it was a far bigger moment for Liverpool supporters who celebrated outside Anfield.